So much for the holiday weekend box office. Maybe it was the inflation of everything that is driving more and more people from theaters to streaming. Maybe it is the fact that the Harry Potter franchise is showing fatigue. Either way, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore failed to find an audience and debuted to a less than stellar 43 million domestically.
It was enough to secure the film the top spot on the box office charts, but it’s also a low for the franchise. The first film had a $74.4 million debut in 2016 and the second, “The Crimes of Grindelwald” opened to $62.2 million in 2018. “The Secrets of Dumbledore,” which Warner Bros. released in 4,208 locations in North America, also carries a $200 million production price tag.
It’s more common than not for sequels and threequels to come in lower than their predecessors, but “Dumbledore” also follows several franchise titles that defied that logic, including “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” “Venom 2” and “Sonic the Hedgehog 2.”
However, overseas, the film is a hit. Since the film touched down in several foreign markets last weekend, “The Secrets of Dumbledore” has grossed $193 million globally to date. But the persistence of COVID-19 has cut into the box office in China, where 50% of movie theaters are closed, while Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has meant that country is not granted access to Hollywood’s films. Those limitations have been difficult for all blockbusters. Since the pandemic began in 2020, only five Hollywood movies have generated at least $500 million at the global box office. One film that hasn’t had trouble smashing that benchmark is “The Batman,” to the surprise of no one.
The film also suffered from bad reviews that referred to it as a snooze and was is being perceived as waining interest in the franchise. Kids who grew up watching Harry Potter now have kids of their own and those kids have much more things to be excited about than their parents had back in the day.
What do you think? Is the Potter franchise DOA? Let us know in the comments.