The latest installment in the magical world of Harry Potter has had a solid opening week in theaters. Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, a prequel centering around Newt Scamander and a trip to New York City in 1926, has been widely well-received by critics and audiences alike. Although the film is quite a departure from the Harry Potter franchise, it seems to be building a solid foundation for the four remaining movies in the new franchise. It seems that the world of J.K. Rowling has grown up along with the original fans of Harry Potter, and this new, adult take on the wizarding world is winning plenty of new and old fans.
After a domestic opening weekend that raked in $75 million, $8.25 in IMAX sales alone, and $145.5 million overseas, the box office totals for Fantastic Beasts have continued to rise impressively over Monday and Tuesday, bringing Warner Brothers' latest offering past the $170 million mark.
As reported by Deadline, the magical movie starring Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander brought in a further $12.5 million on Monday, and $12 million on Tuesday in overseas sales, bringing the current overseas box office total up to $170.7 million. Domestically, the film topped the $90 million mark this week, and is holding onto that top spot at the box office. This puts the film (which had a production budget of $180 million) at over $261 million worldwide within the first five days.
As well as occupying the number one spot at the box office, the film has been critically well-received, currently sitting at a 77 percent on Rotten Tomatoes with an audience score of 85 percent and a 7.9/10 on IMDB. It's not too surprising that the film is doing so well, with the massive popularity of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (as many are now dubbing this particular cinematic universe) behind it, and a huge marketing campaign to back that up. With the film still to open in Japan and China (two very lucrative markets), the numbers are only set to grow over Thanksgiving.
All of which is great news for fans of Newt Scamander and his new magical friends. Although there was little doubt that the film would do well, having the numbers confirm fan interest helps guarantee that the four planned sequels will make it to the big screen. Although this opening weekend hasn't broken any records, it's comparable to opening weekends for previous Harry Potter installments, and has earned a higher weekend multiplier and 'Thursday-to-weekend' percentage than some of the most recent Harry Potter offerings. Overall, this is a solid start to the new franchise, and any concerned fans can breathe a sigh of relief.
There are, of course, always some concerns with the launch of a new franchise. While Fantastic Beasts has been performing consistently with previous Harry Potter movies, the studio may have been aiming for a bigger opening weekend - especially taking into account inflation and the increased popularity of IMAX and 3D. As the first in a franchise, there is also likely to be a drop between the first and second films' takes, as audiences who were merely curious about the first choose not to return for the second.
The reaction to the size of this new franchise got mixed reactions, and although Newt Scamander will not be the lead in all four remaining films, some still feel that a five-part series may be a little too ambitious. Reactions to Fantastic Beasts 2 will obviously have to wait until the film comes out in 2018, however, so for now we can sit back and enjoy this fantastic box office news.
- 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