Warner Bros. has had two years to get people excited for the follow-up to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and yet the numbers have come in for the sequel, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and the new movie only performed slightly better. The film made $9.1 million on opening night, while Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them scored $8.8 million, an improvement of only $300,000. Where to Find Them went on to gross $74 million on its opening weekend, which is less than any of the Harry Potter movies. Crimes of Grindelwald is expected to earn between $65-75 million.
However, THR writes that the film is going to perform overseas: “Overseas, it’s expected to do far more business as it launches in almost every corner of the globe. Opening Wednesday in a smattering of markets, it earned another $18.4 million on Thursday for a two-day total of $31 million. It unfurls in a raft of additional markets on Friday, including the U.K., Rowling’s home country.” So if there’s a way to make Fantastic Beasts profitable, it’s likely to come from international markets. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them may $234 million domestic, but raked in a whopping $580 million overseas.
Elsewhere at the box office, Instant Family made $550,000 off Thursday night previews and is expected to hit the higher end of its $10 million-$21 million. Meanwhile, Widows pulled in $600,000 from previews and is expected to earn somewhere between $12-18 million for the R-rated heist thriller.
Where all of these movies will be truly tested is over the Thanksgiving frame as families go out to the theater next weekend. Right now, it looks like Crimes of Grindelwald will perform in line with Where to Find Them, which might be good enough for Warner Bros. even if it’s not reaching the Potter-sized hit the studio was hoping for.