J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World has been a license to print money almost since day one and while we always expected the new movie, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, to have a solid box office opening, the projected numbers the movie is currently seeing are actually better than what the movie was tracking toward just a few weeks ago. The film is now expected to see an opening of at least $65 million but is more likely to do something closer to $75 million.
Early estimates for Grindelwald's box office were in this same ballpark, but the lower range of the film's expectations have jumped from $63 million to $65 million. $75 million was the upper limit expectation at the time, but it now seems like $75 million may not be the upper limit at all, as Variety reports that some industry analysts actually expect the movie to do that much business on opening weekend, which means exceeding it is far from impossible.
The first Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them brought in just short of $75 million on its opening weekend, so it looks like the sequel is on track to match the original. Certainly, if The Crimes of Grindelwald comes up short compared to the first film there will be some disappointed studio executives. However, it does seem like if the ticket sales do add up to less than the first movie, it will be a negligible amount.
While the first Fantastic Beasts film did well at the box office, bringing in over $800 million around the world, domestically it's actually the lowest performing film of the entire Wizarding World franchise, bringing in $234 million.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald does not look poised to change that. It will be interesting to see how the new movie compares to the previous one overall. It's not that surprising that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them didn't break the bank. While it was a story set in the same universe as Harry Potter, it didn't include any of the characters that people had grown to love over the course of 10 years and eight movies. It would be expected that fans of those films wouldn't be entirely sold on this new off-shoot story.
Now, however, people know what to expect and the question is, how many people are now on board with Newt Scamander and Grindelwald and the rest? Also, with the addition of at least one character that fans do know, a young Albus Dumbledore, old-school fans might be more willing to give the series a try.
The other thing that might draw people in is the fact that the new movie has been teasing some pretty big spoilers. There's even a Twitter hashtag specifically for those who go to early screenings in order to ask them to keep the film's secrets, which means that there must be secrets worth keeping. The rest of us will find out for sure this Friday.