Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald tops Fandango's most anticipated films of the fall poll. Even though Harry Potter's story ended back in 2011 with The Deathly Hallows - Part 2, Warner Bros. found a way to keep their lucrative franchise alive. They're currently in the midst of producing a prequel series, which began in 2016 with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The first entry was a commercial success, grossing $814 million at the worldwide box office. With interest in the Wizarding World still high, WB confidently moved forward on a sequel.
The second of five planned movies hits theaters this November, and the studio's marketing campaign is well underway. The Crimes of Grindelwald was a centerpiece of WB's Hall H presentation at SDCC, where a new trailer debuted. With the film's release date quickly approaching, promotional efforts will only increase, but it looks like WB has already sold the moviegoing public on another adventure with Newt Scamander.
A poll conducted by Fandango determined Fantastic Beasts 2 is the most anticipated movie of the fall. It also topped the list of most anticipated family movies, and star Eddie Redmayne is the season's third most anticipated actor, behind Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody) and Tom Hardy (Venom).
Despite the controversy over Johnny Depp's casting as the villainous Grindelwald, it isn't surprising this is the case. Fantastic Beasts is arguably the fall's biggest franchise release, especially since there are no Marvel or DC films these next few months. The poll only included movies that will be released from September - November, so the likes of Aquaman and Bumblebee (which come out over the holiday season) were not eligible. While November sees a number of high-profile offerings like Ralph Breaks the Internet, Creed II, and Bohemian Rhapsody, Fantastic Beasts should be in solid shape commercially, as it faces limited competition for its target demographic. October's Venom is the only major franchise IP hitting theaters before it, so the market will be sufficiently starved for a tentpole.
The other four movies mentioned in Fandango's most anticipated fall films poll were Bohemian Rhapsody, Venom, Ralph Breaks the Internet, and A Star is Born. Audiences seem particularly excited for Bradley Cooper's musical drama (one of the year's biggest Oscar hopefuls), seeing that the film also popped up on the lists for most anticipated actor (Cooper), actress (Lady Gaga), and movie pairing (Cooper & Gaga). It should be noted that winning the Fandango polls is not a guarantee for box office success, but it's certainly a positive sign for this crop of projects. They're on cinephiles' radars, and if they live up to the hype, they could go down as some of the biggest titles of the year.
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald/Fantastic Beasts 2 (2018) release date: Nov 16, 2018