Box Office Figures for “Secrets of Dumbledore” Only Show That Times Have Changed
With Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore now in its theatrical release in most markets around the world to mixed reviews, many media outlets are saying that the Fantastic Beasts franchise – if not the Wizarding World franchise as a whole – has lost its magic. Has it?
That’s a little bit harder to say. Though it is true that Secrets of Dumbledore has not brought in the same ticket sales as even Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (leading to a “franchise-low opening weekend” in North America of a reported $43 million so far), this isn’t the full picture.
As mentioned by the New York Post, Secrets of Dumbledore has topped the box office domestically in North America and brought in $20.1 million on April 15 alone. For some added context, the New York Post writes that Sonic the Hedgehog 2 brought in $10.9 million on April 15, for $100.5 million cumulatively, while Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe’s latest film, The Lost City, brought in “$2.1 million Friday and $74.1 million cumulatively.”
Prior to its release in the United States, Secrets of Dumbledore was released in some other markets, including the United Kingdom. According to an April 12 article from Variety, Secrets of Dumbledore also topped the box office in the UK, “with £5.8 million ($7.6 million), according to numbers released by Comscore.” While this is low, the film appears to be doing well globally. Deadline writes that the film was looking at nearly $77 million overseas cumulatively by the end of the day on Thursday, April 14:
The ‘Harry Potter’ franchise spinoff has always demonstrated its potency more so abroad than stateside, so look for the magic there. David Yates, who has directed all the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ movies, and ‘Harry Potter Order of the Phoenix’, ‘Half-Blood Prince’ and ‘Deathly Hallows 1 & 2’ [sic], is natch behind this threequel, which after a $56.9 million start in 22 offshore markets last weekend is eyeing, thanks to Easter vacations, a near $77M overseas cume by EOD Thursday. Add in a global weekend projected haul of $80M, and it will take Dumbledore‘s worldwide cume to $157M by Sunday according to industry estimates. Note the Easter holiday abroad and in U.S./Canada could take these numbers higher.
Looking at previous box office figures for the Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter films, Box Office Mojo reports that Crimes of Grindelwald alone grossed $654,855,901 worldwide during the period from November 16, 2018, to February 21, 2019. This, at the time, led to its being called a “box office misfire” by Screen Rant.
Warner Bros. also seems to be watching the franchise closely, and it’s understandable that it would be. There has been no shortage of controversy surrounding the Wizarding World recently, including the views of author J.K. Rowling, the recasting of Gellert Grindelwald, and the legal troubles of actors including Ezra Miller (reprising their role as Credence Barebone in Secrets of Dumbledore). Even following the film’s release, some controversy has arisen because of the decision by Warner Bros. to cut some lines of dialogue related to Dumbledore’s relationship with Grindelwald for the Chinese market, where Secrets of Dumbledore is reportedly performing well.
One main talking point lately has been in relation to whether or not Warner Bros. will continue with the Fantastic Beasts film series. Back in February, we reported that David Heyman had revealed that the fourth Fantastic Beasts script had not been started at that time, and this appears to remain the case. A second article from Variety on April 12 echoes that the fourth and fifth films may not go ahead as planned.
As for what’s next? There’s speculation about whether or not “Fantastic Beasts” will complete its ambitions as a five-film franchise. At the moment, there’s no screenplay for a fourth installment, sources have confirmed. Executives at Warner Bros. are waiting to see how “The Secrets of Dumbledore” is received before giving films four and five the greenlight.
As the only Wizarding World film to be released during the COVID-19 pandemic – alongside numerous other global crises – it remains to be seen what effect the box office figures for Secrets of Dumbledore will have on the direction of the Fantastic Beasts franchise and the Wizarding World as a whole. A Warner Bros. executive has previously expressed the company’s desire to continue creating original Wizarding World content, so this is also a possibility – one that some have suggested could be the right move for the stories told in Fantastic Beasts.