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Following a delay to the original schedule, we learned this week that Fantastic Beasts 3 is set to go before cameras early next year. The movie saw a delay following a box office for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald that, while certainly not a box office bomb, was the lowest grossing movie in the Wizarding World franchise to date. Now, it sounds like one of the remedies to that is a new film that might include more familiar characters and locations.
It seems that the general feeling is that the audiences who did go see The Crimes of Grindelwald were very happy when the film returned to the primary location of the Harry Potter movies, and so focusing on the parts of the larger world that fans know best may help the new movie.
Whatever the reason, it certainly seems that the Fantastic Beasts franchise is in need of help. While it is continuing the story of the Wizarding World for fans, it has never been able to grab people in the same way. And more importantly, the drop off in audience between the two films was significant. If that were to happen again between part two and part three, Warner Bros. would have a serious problem.
Things got so bad with the last entry that there was even some question if the Fantastic Beasts franchise would role out in the way it was originally planned. There are supposed to be five total movies in this series, and that does appear to still be the case, even after the unpleasant results of Grindelwald.
While bringing more of the action back to Hogwarts might certainly help, and really, you can never have too much Jude Law, I really wonder if it's going to be enough. The larger issue with The Crimes of Grindelwald, in my opinion anyway, is that simply not enough happened. The film felt like it was still acting as a setup for a larger franchise, and that's just not what you want to be feeling two movies into your story. More needs to actually be happening, if it does, I'm not sure anybody really cares where it's taking place.
Still, if Fantastic Beasts 3 can do both things, give fans familiar locations and characters that they love, and give us all a bit more meat on the bones of this story, then the franchise will probably get back on track. Fantastic Beasts 3 is set for a November 2021 release.