‘Fantastic Beasts 3’ off to a decent start in the franchise’s make-or-break weekend

WB Pictures & MovieStills DB Remix By Keane Eacobellis

There’s been an awful lot of doom and gloom surrounding the future of the Fantastic Beasts franchise, which has by extension turned this weekend into perhaps the most pivotal moment in the history of the Wizarding World prequel series.

After an underwhelming international opening last week, The Secrets of Dumbledore expands into dozens more overseas markets, and hits domestic screens. While the middle chapter in the five-film saga is still expected to score the lowest first frame and worst overall gross of any Harry Potter-related film, anything deemed outright disastrous could spell the end of Newt Scamander’s adventures for good.

It’s been heavily publicized that the fourth and fifth Fantastic Beasts blockbusters haven’t been given the green light by Warner Bros. as of yet, something that isn’t expected to happen until the dust settles on The Secrets of Dumbledore. While it could be weeks if not months before we find out what comes next, the movie is off to a decent enough start.

The threequel nabbed an estimated $6 million from Thursday previews, a solid return by the standards of the pandemic era, with overall projections having been raised slightly upwards into the $45-50 million range.

It isn’t going to bomb, then, but The Secrets of Dumbledore really needs to earn as much money as it can in three weeks before Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness comes along, otherwise things could go south very quickly when audiences will be doing nothing other than checking out the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.