First Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald Reviews Are A Decidedly Mixed Bag

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Is the Fantastic Beasts prequel series already beginning to lose its spark?

That’s the question that’s been raised by numerous critics today, after Warner Bros. lifted the official review embargo for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

It’s the second installment in the studio’s star-studded prequel series, one which broadens the scope to allow for more overt callbacks to the Harry Potter franchise of old. And while The Crimes of Grindelwald leans on the nostalgia factor, it’s managed to succumb to a 55 percent Rotten Tomatoes score after 29 reviews. That’s… not great.

Of course, it’s by no means a disaster, but the fact that critics are calling out the David Yates-directed sequel for its bloated story, not to mention that it’s seemingly devoid of any real sense of magic and whimsy, does raise some cause for concern. There are plenty more reviews still to be counted, so expect that Tomatometer score to chop and change over the course of the weekend.

As things stand, though, The Crimes of Grindelwald has been deemed “rotten,” with the consensus stating that the sequel “has glimmers of the magic familiar to Harry Potter fans, but the story’s spell isn’t as strong as earlier installments.”

Exactly how this affects the film’s box office projections will be told in time, but it’s fair to say that Warner Bros. executives will be sweating now that the embargo has lifted. Two weeks ago, we brought you the news that The Crimes of Grindelwald was targeting $75 million in its opening weekend, but in light of recent reviews, don’t be surprised if box office analysts favor a more conservative estimate – like, say, $60 million – closer to the time. And who’s to say that Fantastic Beasts 2 won’t channel the spirit of Venom?

All will be revealed once Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald begins playing next Friday, November 16th.

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