If the Fantastic Beasts series had received the kind of critical acclaim and done the kind of box office numbers that greeted the Harry Potter franchise, then the studio’s decision to announce five spinoffs before a single frame had been shot would probably have been justified. However, despite the two adventures of Newt Scamander earning over $1.4 billion globally, the reception has been much more lukewarm.
The Crimes of Grindelwald made $150 million less than Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and became the first installment in the Wizarding World to earn a Rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes with a meager 37%, which are alarming drops for what’s supposed to be one of Warner Bros.’ premiere franchises.
The upcoming and still-untitled third outing is now set to be the defining Fantastic Beasts movie, with the reaction from both critics and audiences set to play a massive role in determining the future, as there are two big budget blockbusters still to come. Or so we thought.
The Hobbit trilogy has already shown what happens when you stretch out slim source material into multiple movies that act as a prequel to one of the most successful and beloved franchises of all time, with the end result being an overwhelming sense of disappointment and apathy. And now, we’ve heard from our sources – the same ones that told us Ahsoka Tano will appear in The Mandalorian months ago, and that a third National Treasure movie is happening – that if Fantastic Beasts 3 doesn’t arrest the recent slump, then Warner Bros. might cut their losses and make the fourth movie the final chapter.
According to our intel, there’s also been internal talk of concluding the story with some kind of limited series on HBO Max instead of making a fifth movie, but that’s just an idea for now and not something set in store. And while 99% of Hollywood would be happy with $655 million at the box office even with largely negative reviews, that simply isn’t good enough when it comes to the Wizarding World. Meaning that Fantastic Beasts 3 is now under a huge amount of pressure to succeed because if it doesn’t, the series could come to a premature end.
Will it be able to deliver? It’s far too early to tell, but there’s clearly a lot riding on the film and we’re hopeful that it’ll turn things around for the once promising franchise.