By LINDSEY BAHR, AP Screenwriter
“Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets” got off to a less than magical start to its opening weekend in theaters in the United States and Canada. The third installment of the Harry Potter spinoff opened with $43 million in North America, according to studio estimates on Sunday.
It was enough to secure the film the top spot on the box office charts, but it’s also a low point for the franchise. The first film debuted to $74.4 million in 2016 and the second, “The Crimes of Grindelwald,” opened to $62.2 million in 2018. “The Secrets of Dumbledore,” which Warner Bros. released at 4208 North American locations, it also has a gross of $200. million production price.
It’s more common for sequels and sequels to rank below their predecessors, but “Dumbledore” also follows several franchise titles that defied that logic, including “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” “Venom 2” and “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” Sonic the Hedgehog 2.”
Most critics disagreed with “Dumbledore”. With a 49% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, most fell on the negative side. AP film writer Jake Coyle wrote in reviewing it that “the purpose of these films has never seemed much beyond keeping the Potter train going” and that this iteration is “a bit dull”. Audiences, which were 56% female, were a little more gracious, giving it four stars on PostTrak and a B+ on CinemaScore.
The eight Harry Potter films were responsible for more than $7.7 billion at the box office, while the first two “Fantastic Beasts” films grossed $1.5 billion in total.
This installment stars Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Ezra Miller and Mads Mikkelsen, who replaced Johnny Depp as Grindelwald. In November 2020, following Depp’s failed libel case against The Sun tabloid for an article calling him a “wife beater,” the actor said Warner Bros. asked him to resign and he agreed.
However, as with the previous “Fantastic Beasts” movies, “Dumbledore” has more hope internationally. Its gross receipts are $193 million worldwide. The previous two films earned more than 70% of their global totals from international screenings.
“Regaining the original ‘Harry Potter’ magic that began in theaters some 20 years ago is a tall order,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore. “The ‘Fantastic Beasts’ franchise, while seeing diminishing returns with each successive installment, still has enough of a devoted fan base to evoke respectable numbers, particularly with international audiences that have always provided the lion’s share of the box office for these films.” .
In its second weekend, “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” fell 58% and earned an estimated $30 million, according to Paramount. The film has grossed $119.6 million to date.
Sony also released “Father Stu” in 2,705 locations on Wednesday. Starring Mark Wahlberg, who helped finance the film, “Father Stu” is based on a true story and is a rare mainstream Hollywood film with religious themes. It earned an estimated $8 million in its first five days in theaters.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at theaters in the US and Canada, according to Comscore. Final national figures will be released on Monday.
1. “Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets,” $43 million.
2. “Sonic the Hedgehog 2,” $30 million.
3. “The Lost City”, $6.5 million.
4. “Everything everywhere, everything at once”, $6.2 million.
5. “Father Stu,” $5.7 million.
6. “Morbius,” $4.7 million.
7. “Ambulance”, $4 million.
8. “The Batman,” $3.8 million.
9. “KGF: Chapter 2,” $2.9 million.
10. “Uncharted,” $1.2 million.
Follow AP film writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr
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