Fantastic Beasts movie spins magic in the US

Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them has cast a spell over audiences in America.

The movie starring Eddie Redmayne summoned a hefty $75 million (£60.7 million) at the box office, according to studio estimates, unseating Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange from the top spot.

The success of the JK Rowling creation is a promising kick-off for the planned five-film franchise, but it didn’t leave much room for other wide releases to find their footing this weekend.

Ang Lee’s wartime drama Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk tanked in its expansion from four to 1,176 cinemas with a mere $930,000 (£753,000).

The film cost a reported $40 million (£32.3 million) to produce.

Other more modestly budgeted films also struggled, including high school comedy The Edge Of Seventeen, which earned $4.8 million (£3.8 million), and the boxing drama Bleed For This, which took in $2.4 million (£1.9 million).

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