Even though the expanded Wizarding World remains one of the most popular and beloved properties around, next month’s Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is viewed as a pivotal moment for not just the five-film prequel series, but the franchise as a whole.
Predecessor The Crimes of Grindelwald scored the lowest opening weekend, the worst reviews, and the weakest box office haul of any feature-length adventure set in the magical universe, and the situation hasn’t exactly improved since then.
Johnny Depp’s vociferous fanbase have been threatening to boycott The Secrets of Dumbledore ever since he was booted out as the big bad and replaced by Mads Mikkelsen, while it would be the understatement of the century to say that J.K. Rowling’s stock has tumbled after the creator and screenwriter repeatedly created backlash for putting her foot in her mouth.
Remember, Warner Bros. is still planning another two Fantastic Beasts movies after The Secrets of Dumbledore, so the studio really needs it to be a hit. Based on the latest projections, though, things aren’t looking too good. As per BoxOfficePro, David Yates’ latest journey into the Wizarding World is heading for an opening weekend in the $40-55 million range, well behind the previous low set by The Crimes of Grindelwald, which debuted to $62 million.
In total, The Secrets of Dumbledore is estimated to top out with a domestic haul of $115-165 million, which would be roughly on a par with the second chapter’s $159 million, although no Harry Potter-adjacent film had ever ended its theatrical run in the United States with less than $234 million before that point.
In short, if the 11th overall installment in the sprawling saga fails to deliver, serious questions will be asked.