Entertainment

Box Office: ‘Fantastic Beasts 3’ Tracking For Soft Opening Weekend

While the domestic box office is showing signs of life after an age of COVID lockdowns, it seems that not every movie franchise is being buoyed by the return of box office. “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore,” Warner Bros. The latest entry in its prequel series to the Harry Potter franchise has got off to a rocky start and looks set to make a record debut for a Wizarding World film.

The third Fantastic Beasts earned $20.1 million on Friday and Thursday nights from 4,753 North American locations, the lowest opening-day figure for a Potter-related film. Industry analysts are forecasting a three-day open near $40 million with some upside opportunities.

That’s not exactly the most disastrous result for a 2022 theatrical release, but it’s a disappointing opening for a film franchise expected to behave like a box office juggernaut. Secrets of Dumbledore has a whopping $200 million production budget, bloated by COVID-related delays and security costs. Warner Bros. must appeal to an international audience in order for the Wizarding sequel to flourish.

The opening of Secrets of Dumbledore continues a downward trend for the Fantastic Beasts series. 2016’s first entry grossed a domestic opening of $74 million, while the 2018 sequel, The Crimes of Grindelwald, dropped to a $62 million debut. While “Secrets of Dumbledore” could be forgiven for falling victim to a theatrical landscape that’s not as potent as it was before the pandemic, things aren’t quite that simple. Many sequels released in recent months have made bigger debuts than their predecessors, such as Venom: Let There Be Carnage, Spider-Man: No Way Home, and last week’s Sonic the Hedgehog 2. It seems that “Fantastic Beasts” doesn’t generate that level of excitement from moviegoers.

Directed by David Yates, Jude Law returns as beloved Hogwarts professor Albus Dumbledore in Fantastic Beasts 3, and Eddie Redmayne reprises his role as magizoologist Newt Scamander. Other starring roles are Ezra Miller, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Callum Turner and Jessica Williams.

In his film review diversityChief film critic Peter Debruge called Secrets of Dumbledore “much improved” with Mikkelsen. “Followers are likely to love the forthcoming revelations, including a deeper connection to the tragic love story between beloved Hogwarts Headmaster Albus Dumbledore and the wizard determined to settle scores with Muggles,” Debruge wrote.

There’s more to come…

https://variety.com/2022/film/box-office/box-office-fantastic-beasts-3-opening-weekend-1235233724/ Box Office: ‘Fantastic Beasts 3’ Tracking For Soft Opening Weekend

Charles Jones

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