“Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” welcomed a boost in ticket sales at the international box office, though the third installment in the “Harry Potter” spinoff series already seems to be running out of steam.
Over the weekend, “Fantastic Beasts 3” added $71.7 million from 66 foreign markets, taking the film’s international tally to $150.4 million. After debuting to a less-than-enchanting $43 million in North America, “The Secrets of Dumbledore” has collected $193.4 million to date.
Along with United States and Canada, the Warner Bros. film opened this weekend in France, collecting $7.1 million; Mexico, collecting $7.1 million; Brazil, collecting $4.7 million; and Korea, collecting $4.1 million. Among holdover territories, the third “Fantastic Beasts” earned $5.3 million in Germany, $4.6 million in Japan and $3.6 million in the United Kingdom. In China, where roughly 50% of movie theaters are closed due to COVID-19, the movie has grossed $14.7 million.
“The Secrets of Dumbledore,” which carries a huge $200 million price tag, will be reliant on the international box office to make money in its theatrical run. The first two “Fantastic Beasts” installments — which ended with $814 million globally and $650 million globally, respectively — made nearly 75% of revenues from foreign sales.
“Fantastic Beasts was never going to maintain Harry Potter’s success — that was a once-in-a-generation phenomenon,” says David A. Gross, who runs the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research. “However, the series remains strong overseas, in spite of softness in China and no business in Russia and Ukraine.”
As Gross references, “Fantastic Beasts” has struggled to live up to the zeitgeist-defining popularity of the original billion-dollar blockbuster franchise. But the pandemic, as well as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, have also cut into international box office returns. Since the pandemic began in 2020, only five Hollywood movies have been able to generate at least $500 million at the global box office.
One film that hasn’t had trouble smashing that milestone is “The Batman,” which has been a bright spot for Warner Bros. Over the weekend, the comic book adventure, starring Robert Pattinson, surpassed $750 million worldwide. With those box office receipts, “The Batman” has strengthened its position as the highest grossing film of the year, both domestically and worldwide.
Rather than dwell on comparatively lackluster turnout for “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore,” Warner Bros. instead turned the attention to its popular masked vigilante.
In a statement that touted the success of “The Batman” and ignored “Fantastic Beasts 3,” Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros. president of domestic distribution, said, “The incredible response we’ve seen at theaters across the country is a testament to both the enduring power of this iconic DC superhero and the huge appetite out there to experience great movies on the big screen. We congratulate everyone involved on reaching this impressive milestone.”
Added Andrew Cripps, the studio’s president of international distribution, “‘The Batman’ performs on every level, delivering critical praise and big crowds in every market around the globe. We’re so proud of the film and so happy it continues to strike a chord with audiences everywhere.”
As for “Fantastic Beasts” it’s unclear if the prequel saga will complete its ambitions as a five-film franchise. For now, Warner Bros. executives are waiting to see how “The Secrets of Dumbledore” is received by audiences before giving films four and five the greenlight.
Directed by “Harry Potter” veteran David Yates, “The Secrets of Dumbledore” follows Albus Dumbledore (portrayed by Jude Law) as he partners with notable magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) to thwart the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelson, who replaces Johnny Depp) from igniting a wizarding world war.