Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore Has Lowest Opening Weekend In Harry Potter Franchise

"Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore," the third installment in the "Fantastic Beasts" franchise, managed to collect a mere $43 million (against a $200 million budget) in its domestic box office debut (via Variety). 

This definitely is not great news for the franchise, given the circumstances that surround the booting of the remaining "Fantastic Beasts" films altogether amid an endless string of controversies. The reasons behind this statistic are multifaceted, from negative-to-mixed reviews to a dwindling interest in the Wizarding World offerings, making it the lowest opening weekend in the entire "Harry Potter" franchise.

Franchise setbacks, diminishing appeal

When compared to its predecessors, the opening performance of "Fantastic Beasts" does not measure up in adequate ways, as 2016's "Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them" had a domestic opening of $74 million, while "The Crimes of Grindelwald" opened to $62 million. Keeping in mind that "The Secrets of Dumbledore" had a whopping $200 million budget and Warner Bros. spent millions to promote the film worldwide, the only hope for the franchise will be to earn back a chunk of that revenue via international sales (the other "Fantastic Beasts" installments made 75% of their revenue from global markets alone).

However, this could prove to be tricky, primarily due to a resurgence in COVID cases in some parts of the world (such as Shanghai and Kerala at the moment), while lockdowns and closed theatres in countries like China could lead to limited theatrical releases. Other Warner Bros. releases, such as "The Batman" have raised the benchmark to stellar levels, as the Matt Reeves' superhero noir has flown past the $750 million mark already. On the other hand, it is difficult to speculate whether "Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore" will be able to break even in the upcoming weeks, given the problematic, controversial legacy of the franchise so far.

"Sonic the Hedgehog 2," "Everything Everywhere All At Once," and " The Lost City" have fared astronomically better than this particular "Fantastic Beasts" film, enjoying greater revenue and positive reviews than a major Sony superhero offering ("Morbius") and an action-packed, Michael Bay film that basically delves into pure Bay-hem ("Ambulance"). The "Sonic" sequel has generated $119 million in North America so far (which is great news), while "The Lost City" has had a domestic tally of $79 million, and the indie multiverse offering by Daniels, "Everything Everywhere All At Once" has earned $17.6 million so far.

It remains to be seen whether "The Secrets of Dumbledore" will be successful in wowing global audiences with its sweeping locations (magical and otherwise), ensemble cast, and well, fantastic beasts. I wish it had more fantastic beasts, and endless Newt Scamander escapades, but that's just me.

"Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore" is currently playing in theaters.