Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald might have been number one at this weekends box office, but by the standards of the Harry Potter universe its not doing so hot. The film opened to $62.2 million dollars in 4,163 theaters nationwide. Thats more than $10 million off the mark set by the first Fantastic Beasts film in the same pre-holiday weekend period in 2016, and enough to give Grindelwald the smallest opening weekend of any Harry Potter-adjacent film.

But Warner Bros. execs likely arent worried, Grindelwalds international weekend gross of $191 million is more than enough to make up the difference, and as Buzzfeeds Adam B. Vary points out, puts it in an even better position overseas than some previous Harry Potter films.

So the Fantastic Beasts series could go the way of another mega-franchise with Johnny Depp in a pivotal role: like the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, they could see diminishing returns at the domestic box office, but with enough worldwide receipts to make it worth it.

But the films predecessor, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, opening on the same pre-holiday weekend, made $74.4 million. However, the film has made a ton with its worldwide opening making $253.2 million. $62 million is, as it happens, the precise opening weekend gross of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, which went on to a $794 million worldwide gross; it made less than The Greatest Showman and Boss Baby in the United States, while outgrossing Justice League around the world. Its certainly a way to run a profitable franchise . . . but a strange fate for a series like Harry Potter, still so dominant in American pop culture.

The reviews of the second Fantastic Beasts also suggested a general lack of enthusiasm this go around. But it probably wont matter: theres a Fantastic Beasts 3 slated for 2020.

More Great Stories from Vanity Fair

— Michelle Rodriguez was terrified of her role in Widows

— Loved Bohemian Rhapsody? Here are more wild and wonderful—and true—Freddie Mercury stories

Your ads will be inserted here by

Easy Plugin for AdSense.

Please go to the plugin admin page to
Paste your ad code OR
Suppress this ad slot.

— How Netflix could save film history

— Inside the Middle Easts underground L.G.B.T.Q. cinema

— How Kieran became our favorite Culkin

Looking for more? Sign up for our daily Hollywood newsletter and never miss a story.

Get Vanity Fairs HWD NewsletterSign up for essential industry and award news from Hollywood.

[contf] [contfnew]

Vanity Fair

[contfnewc] [contfnewc]