International audiences could save ‘Fantastic Beasts 3’ from disaster

fantastic beasts

Even though the dust has barely settled on the movie’s opening weekend, the postmortem on Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is already underway after the third installment in the planned five-film series could only muster $43 million during its first three days in theaters.

By the standards of the pandemic it isn’t a bad return at all, but the Wizarding World is held to much higher standards than most properties. After all, it’s been one of Warner Bros. biggest cash cows for over 20 years, and you can bet that the studio isn’t going to pull the plug on the prequel series unless things go so very wrong that it has no other choice.

While The Secrets of Dumbledore has disappointed domestically, it continues to do strong business overseas, with the magical blockbuster’s running total outside of the United States surging past $150 million after 10 days in release. Based on the current projections both at home and abroad, Fantastic Beasts 3 could be in with a shot at reaching somewhere in the $400-450 million range globally.

That’s far from being great, and may not even prove to be profitable given the reported $200 million budget plus additional marketing and distribution costs, but it could keep the saga on life support. Fantastic Beasts 4 and 5 don’t have scripts, or even an official green light from WB as of yet, which means the dwindling number of enthusiastic supporters will be nervously awaiting the next major update surrounding Newt Scamander’s globetrotting adventures.