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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald was the number one movie at the box office this past weekend. Having said that, it wasn't exactly a smashing success. The sequel brought in just over $62 million, which is an all-time low for an opening weekend for the Wizarding World franchise. Having said that, there is an upside, as the film did bring in nearly $200 million more around the world, which, when combined with the domestic take, as well as the over $800 million that the first Fantastic Beasts movie did, puts the larger franchise over the $1 billion mark.
This fact does spotlight one thing that seems fairly clear about the Fantastic Beast movies as a whole, they're not really meant for us. The first movie in the franchise did over $800 million around the world, but less than 30% of that total came from North America. The rest came from overseas, with significant numbers coming from China, South Korea, and somewhat unsurprisingly, Great Britain.
Even if Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald ends up being the lowest grossing movie ever based on a J.K. Rowling story, it doesn't mean the movie is going to actually have that small a box office total. If the international numbers continue for the next few weeks, the movie is going to be fine, even if the North American numbers don't go anywhere.
It does make one wonder just what the issue us with these film and the domestic audience. Even the first Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them didn't have a massive opening weekend. It's not like all the crazy Harry Potter fans rushed to check out the new film and then went home disappointed. Many were clearly uninterested when this whole franchise started. Is the North American audience just done with the Wizarding World overall? Are we just not interested in the adventures of a character not named Harry Potter while others are? If so, why is that?
At the same time, the box office has been changing and becoming more global overall. North America is still the biggest, and most important, box office region in the world for Hollywood movies, but countries like China have already become major secondary markets and many analysts feel that the nation will eventually top the U.S. when it comes to box office dollars.
While Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald might be off to a slow start, it doesn't seem like the movie is in any real trouble. We're still going to get three more movies in the series and they'll probably continue to do well overseas, even if the domestic crowd doesn't care about them as much.