Harry Potter fans got a long-distance return (well, except those lucky Londonites privy to West End tickets) to J.K. Rowling‘s world of witchcraft and wizardry with the Jack Thorne-scripted stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, but when Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them arrives in theaters next month, fans the world over will get to return to the wizarding world, just in a bit of a different setting than we’re used to.
From a screenplay penned by Rowling herself, Fantastic Beasts heads back in time to Jazz Age New York where Eddie Redmayne‘s Newt Scamander is on the run from Aurors and No-Maj authorities alike when his case full of magical creatures goes missing. The first of five planned films, Fantastic Beasts is a major reentry point into the beloved franchise that earned Warner Bros. more than $10 Billion in global box office, and a hugely anticipated return for Rowling, who is expected to pen all five film scripts.
Naturally, the studio is looking for a big blockbuster debut here, and if early tracking reports are to be believed, they’re going to get it. THR reports that Fantastic Beasts is on track to rake in $75 Million on opening weekend, in the U.S. alone, with some pointing to a slightly more cautious $70M since it’s an “untested property”. The report also notes that the film is tracking especially well with females of across all age groups.
Should the tracking surveys prove accurate, it’s a win for the studio. While those numbers would place Fantastic Beasts well below the biggest openings of the Harry Potter franchise, that’s certainly to be expected considering the film hinges on new characters and a new setting.
Directed by Harry Potter veteran David Yates, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them also stars Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Colin Farrell, Ezra Miller, Samantha Morton, Carmen Ejogo, and Ron Perlman, and opens in theaters on November 18th.