‘Fantastic Beasts 3’ Opens to Low Cost $43M Franchise

Fantastic Beasts: A Dumbledore Secret, the third chapter of the Harry Potter spin-off, grossed a modest $43 million in its debut box office.

During the pandemic, those ticket sales were enough to top the box office charts this weekend and have one of the biggest openings in North America in 2022. But it’s also a sign that magic isn’t enough for the lucrative and ever-expanding Wizarding World of JK Rowling. Due to mixed reviews and growing apathy towards prequel star Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and company, Dumbledore’s Secrets is considered the worst possible start for a Harry Potter-adjacent movie. (Its predecessor, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, launched in North America with $74 million, while the 2018 sequel The Crimes of Grindelwald launched at $62 million.)

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The waning enthusiasm for Fantastic Beasts is problematic because witchcraft and wizardry come at a cost. Warner Bros. shelled out $200 million to produce Dumbledore’s Secrets, and the studio spent tens of millions more to promote the film to audiences around the world. Like earlier entries in the franchise, Dumbledore’s Secrets will depend on the international box office to make money from its theatrical run. The first two Fantastic Beasts installments, which ended with $814 million worldwide and $650 million worldwide respectively, generated almost 75% of overseas sales revenue.

Fantastic Beasts 3 also attracted more attention from overseas audiences. Since the film hit several overseas markets over the weekend, Dumbledore’s Secret has grossed $193 million worldwide to date. But the persistence of COVID-19 has eroded box office performance in China, where 50% of theaters are closed, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has resulted in the country not being granted access to Hollywood films. These restrictions were difficult for all blockbusters. Since the pandemic began in 2020, only five Hollywood films have grossed at least $500 million worldwide. One film that failed to break that bar is Batman, which was a bright spot for Warner Bros. This weekend, the adventure comic book starring Robert Pattinson sold around the world for $750 million.

Harry Potter veteran David Yates directed the third chapter in the prequel series that follows beloved Hogwarts professor Albus Dumbledore (played by Jude Law). But he’s just one of a pair of Dumbledore’s who have “secrets,” as the film’s title suggests. In Fantastic Beasts 3, which was co-written with Rowling and fellow Potter alum Steve Kloves, a young Albus and Scamander, a renowned magician, team up to stop the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelson, replacing Johnny Depp) from fomenting a magical world war. The cast also includes Ezra Miller, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Callum Turner and Jessica Williams.

Diversity Peter Debruge called the film a “greatly improved sequel”. The prequel saga that precedes the adventures of Harry, Ron and Hermione is supposed to be five films long, but Warner Bros. are waiting to see how Dumbledore’s Secrets will be received by audiences before giving four films. and five green lights. Fantastic Beasts 3 received a CinemaScore of B+, the same as its predecessor. The film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them received higher ratings from moviegoers – “A-“.

Behind the scenes, Fantastic Beasts has become a magnet for controversy. In addition to declining box office performance, the series was heavily criticized due to Rowling’s conflicting views on sex and gender identity, as well as allegations of domestic violence, which forced Depp to leave the franchise. And Miller, who played a pivotal role in the latest film, was recently arrested for disorderly conduct and harassment, although the actor was recently cleared of a temporary restraining order.

While moviegoers may not be aware of all the scandals plaguing Fantastic Beasts, inside Warner Bros. it has become a headache that is becoming less and less pleasant to endure because the series is no longer making money in its theatrical run. However, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is much more than a movie franchise. The fantasy universe has succumbed to lucrative theme parks, live events, and Broadway plays, as well as a wealth of consumer products and home entertainment success.

The weekend’s other big release, Sony’s R-rated religious drama Father Stu, flopped domestically, earning just $5 million from 2,705 North American theaters. The film, which dropped to number five, has earned $8 million since its premiere on Wednesday. Mark Wahlberg, who starred in the film with Mel Gibson, produced Father Stu and used his own money when COVID-19 brought additional production costs.

Rosalind Ross, Gibson’s partner, wrote and directed the film, which tells the story of boxer-turned-priest father Stuart Long and his inspiring journey from self-destruction to redemption. Father Stu is Gibson’s first major studio film since Paramount Pictures’ 2017’s Dad’s Home 2. Gibson primarily worked on small-scale indie and live-action action films with Lionsgate and Saban Films for a decade after he hit the headlines with antisemitic and racist tirades.

A few holdovers, including Sonic the Hedgehog 2, The Lost City, and Everything Everywhere, All At Once, were supposed to celebrate even more over the weekend. After all, it’s not uncommon for a romantic comedy (in The Lost City) and an indie movie (Everything, Everywhere, All At Once) to rank higher in the box office charts than a major superhero movie (Morbius). from Sony). and an explosive film by Michael Bay (Universal ER).

In second place, Paramount family film Sonic the Hedgehog 2 grossed $30 million from 4,258 theaters, down 58% in its second weekend of release. As Sonic 2 continues to captivate audiences, the film has grossed a solid $119.6 million in North America to date.

Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum’s romantic action adventure The Lost City took third place for the second weekend in a row. The film, also from Paramount Pictures, grossed $6.5 million in its fourth weekend in theaters, bringing its domestic bill to $78.5 million.

The A24 genre overload “Everything Everywhere, At Once” experienced another impressive success, climbing to fourth place with $6.1 million on 2,220 screens. Directed by Dan Kwan and starring Daniel Scheinert and Michelle Yeoh in the multiverse action, adventure comedy, fantasy and sci-fi, the indie film has earned $17.6 million so far.

In sixth and seventh place, respectively, Morbius added $4.7 million from 3,462 places, while ER scraped together $4 million from 3,412 places. Morbius, which hit theaters in early April, has grossed $65 million to date. ER, which debuted on the big screen over the weekend, has since earned $15 million.

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