Warner Bros. is betting big on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and why wouldn’t they? It’s a spinoff of one of the largest franchises in any medium, ever. Initial estimates for the film put it on pace for a $200 million opening weekend (worldwide), which would have no doubt pleased the studio, but according to Deadline, that number may have to be adjusted now as the film is looking at a possible $76 million debut domestically.
That’s far from a terrible figure. In fact, it’s quite strong and in most cases, the studio would be thrilled with that type of open. However, for a film that’s set to kick off a five part series, it may not be quite enough unfortunately. “[Warner Bros.] can’t be happy about this internally,” a rival distribution chief told Deadline, before adding that $90 million would have been a much more comfortable number for the studio.
Then again, it all depends on who you ask, as another insider told Deadline that it’s still too early to make the call on whether or not Fantastic Beasts is going to be a lucrative new franchise for WB:
“It’s solid,” rebutted another non-Warner Bros. distribution chief, “but we can’t make any hasty generalizations yet and pronounce it dead. We need to give this one three weeks and see how international fares.”
As we noted above, $76 million is nothing to scoff at, and it may very well increase a bit by the time Monday morning rolls around and the final numbers are in, but when you consider that Doctor Strange did $85 million, and even the first Harry Potter film pulled in $90.3 million, Fantastic Beasts‘ opening figure isn’t looking quite as pretty.
Granted, critics seem to be taking to it pretty well, as do audiences (they’ve given it an A CinemaScore), and with casting already underway for the sequel, it’s highly unlikely that Warner Bros. will scrap their plans for Fantastic Beasts 2 at this point. However, will they still go ahead with all five films?
That remains to be seen, but from what we’re hearing, they’ll need to reach $800 million worldwide for this first outing to be considered a success. And while it may very well hit that, it certainly doesn’t seem like the series will be the box office juggernaut that Harry Potter was.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is now playing in theatres everywhere. Tell us, have you had the chance to see it yet? If so, what did you think? Drop us a comment down below and give us your thoughts!