Though many Potterheads thought they'd left the wizarding world behind back in 2011 with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2, franchise distributor Warner Bros. pleasantly surprised fans when they announced plans for a film adaptation of J.K. Rowling's spin-off book, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Now that this finally came to fruition last week with the film's U.S. and U.K. premiers, fans are eagerly discussing the newest addition to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and patiently awaiting the already confirmed Fantastic Beasts 2.
Both fans and Fantastic Beasts' producers certainly anticipated an impressive box office turnout for the Harry Potter prequel, the film has thus far met, if not exceeded, those expectations. The film took in $75 million domestically in its opening weekend and $218 million worldwide. Just three days ago, reports were coming in that the film had surpassed $170 million at the international box office. Now, so soon after that news, it looks like the film has outdone itself.
According to a report from Variety, the film crossed the $200 million mark internationally following Black Friday. Execs were likely counting on this boost, given that the film opened in both China and Japan this weekend. Their instincts were right, as the film raked in $11.1 million in China and $8.2 million in Japan. Still, though, the U.K. has held steadfastly to their native franchise, with the film taking in $29 million cumulatively across the pond -- the largest support for the film has been internationally. Variety predicts that the film will not beat Moana at the box office this weekend, but it should finish out a strong second with $150 million domestically.
This news comes as no surprise, given how successful the original Harry Potter films did internationally: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 grossed $12.2 million in China and $11.6 million in Japan on its opening weekend with Part 2 bringing in $29.7 million in China and $16.1 million in Japan. If anything, Fantastic Beasts' figures are low given the franchise's history with those regions, but these numbers are sure to grow, and it's nice to see a continued international interest in all things Harry Potter.
Now all that remains is whether an entire Fantastic Beasts franchise will fare quite as well. Many Harry Potter fans felt lukewarmly about this first installment, especially after Harry Potter and the Cursed Child earned an extremely divisive reception, so it's unclear if there will ever be the same support for this series that producers saw in the franchise's heyday. Still, in this era of filmmaking, where franchises, spin-offs, and sequels are the name of the game, Warner Bros. will definitely at least try to get some more Fantastic Beasts movies off the ground before calling it quits. That's likely the right call, anyway, if these numbers are any indication.
Though Fantastic Beasts is seeing some stiff competition from Moana and Doctor Strange as it heads into this next weekend, it looks like the film will continue to rake it in, both domestically and abroad.
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) release date: Nov 18, 2016
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald/Fantastic Beasts 2 (2018) release date: Nov 16, 2018