In 2011, when the final film in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, was released in theaters, it brought an end to one of the largest cultural phenomenons in history. The seven bestselling books by author J.K. Rowling were adapted into eight hugely successful films grossing a combined $7.7 billion and change at the global box office. So it came as no surprise that in 2013, Warner Bros. announced that they would be returning to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, with J.K. Rowling penning a script for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - which would act as a spin-off prequel.
Fantastic Beasts is set to be released in theaters on November 18, and anticipation could not be much higher. The film will follow Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, who must recover a slew of mystical beasts that were inadvertently released from his magical brief case. The film will be released in IMAX and large screen formats, and is poised to be another franchise hit for Warner Bros. And while it was originally announced that the film would be the first in a trilogy, that no longer seems to be the case.
Much to Warner Bros. undoubted delight, it was just announced by J.K. Rowling (via Fantastic Beast's Twitter page) that Fantastic Beasts will now be comprised of five films, which ultimately will make the series another huge multi billion dollar franchise for the studio.
This development probably does not come as a shock to many, after all, why make three movies, each of which will likely be huge at the box office, when you can make five? Of course, that argument could be extrapolated to expecting six, seven, or eight films in the Fantastic Beast franchise - but don't get your hopes up on that front. It seems J.K. Rowling has already been asked this question since the news broke, and she assures her fans that the franchise will be indeed just five films - no more, no less.
Obviously, for fans of Harry Potter and the accompanying lore of the wizarding world, this news is a dream come true, and we will soon find out exactly how successful Fantastic Beasts will be; but from social media buzz, the answer is likely enormous. If we look at the Harry Potter franchise in general, only one film, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, earned less than $800 million worldwide. With inflation and the growth of the international box office, it is quite possible, if not likely, that no Fantastic Beasts film falls below that mark. So, while fans of J.K. Rowling's work are certainly happy today, it is probably Warner Bros. who has the biggest smile on their face.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be released November 18, 2016