While the Harry Potter brand has long since transcended being a cultural phenomenon and is now firmly embedded into the fabric of popular culture, there’s always been something transparently cynical about the Fantastic Beasts franchise, with Warner Bros.’ decision to adapt a 128-page fictional textbook that was originally written for charity into five feature-length blockbusters being one that was clearly made to maximize profits.
The first installment may have been a pleasant surprise that at least managed to recapture some of the old Potter magic, but follow-up The Crimes of Grindelwald suffered from the worst reviews in the extended Wizarding World by some distance, with the movie’s 36% Rotten Tomatoes score miles behind Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which had previously held the lowest rating with a still-solid 74%.
Box office takings also dropped by almost $150 million, meaning that the upcoming third installment has the potential to make or break the future of the prequel series. It also doesn’t help that J.K. Rowling is in the midst of a wave of negative publicity, while stars Ezra Miller and Johnny Depp have recently courted controversies of their own, leading many to believe that Fantastic Beasts 3 is destined to bomb when it eventually arrives.
That would be a major setback for one of the studio’s supposed marquee franchises, and we’ve now heard from our sources – the same ones that told us a new Scream movie is in the works and National Treasure 3 is in development, both of which were correct – that if Newt Scamander’s next outing does flop as is widely expected, then Warner Bros. could abandon the fourth and fifth movies entirely.
According to our intel, one of the worst case scenarios being discussed behind the scenes is to wrap up the story as an HBO Max limited series. As mentioned above, if the threequel bombs, then the move to streaming would happen at that point. If, however, it does well enough to warrant a fourth film, WB may wait and produce one more movie and then conclude things on the aforementioned platform after that. So really, it all depends on how the next chapter does.
Either way, though, the future is looking pretty bleak for Fantastic Beasts at this point and it seems very, very unlikely that we’ll end up getting three more feature-length films in the series.