Fantastic Beaststhe spin-off saga of Harry Potter, could well end after Dumbledore’s Secrets if the film breaks its teeth at the box office. And it seems to be going well.
It’s no secret that studios and producers more often ignore public criticism and artistic considerations than box office performances, which are closely observed and more or less dictate the future of a saga cinematographic. And it’s not uncommon for a studio to bet on a long-term franchise, but become disillusioned when it comes to doing the accounts. This is what happened to Warner with Fantastic Beaststhe spin-off saga of the Harry Potter films started in 2016.
Originally, the film directed by David Yates was to be the first part of a new trilogy, before studio plans span five films, Warner having been reinforced by the success of the prequel carried by Eddie Redmayne (814 million receipts across the globe for 180 million budget excluding marketing). But next, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, achieved the worst score in the entire Harry Potter franchise (taking inflation into account). And the slope turned out to be even more slippery with Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secretsreleased four years after the second opus.
The start of the third opus was a succession of skids and red flags, between the ominous rewrites, the controversies surrounding author and screenwriter JK Rowling and actor Ezra Miller (who could be fired from the DCEU by the way), the high-profile dismissal of Johnny Depp and the Covid pandemic. -19 which further paralyzed production. Which is not very reassuring for the future.
No luckier than with Watson in the two Sherlock Holmes
According to a recent report by varietyWarner has not yet given the green light for the development of Fantastic Beasts 4, because the studio would prefer to remain cautious and wait to see how Dumbledore’s Secrets will come out at the box office to decide the fate of the saga. The film will be released this April 15 in the United States after having collected just under 57 million abroad, but according to the predictions of Box Office Pro, domestic opening weekend expected to be franchise’s weakest with only 40 to 55 million dollars in the coffers. The total domestic box office, meanwhile, is expected to be between $100 million and $140 million, which again would be a cold shower, if not a frozen one, for Warner.
The future of the saga is therefore in the hands of its audience, even if the bewitched franchise and the universe of JK Rowling – which remain cult for more than a generation – can still be declined in series on HBO Max, as announced beginning of 2021. As far as France is concerned, Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets hits theaters April 13.