It might just be me, but I don’t think there’s that much hype surrounding this new cinematic addition to J.K. Rowling‘s wizarding world. And if the early tracking for the prequel/spinoff prove anything, I might not be alone in that assessment. Granted, that’s still a solid opening weekend (it’s similar to the high end of Dr. Strange‘s tracking numbers), but for a film associated with the Harry Potter franchise, it’s definitely on the low end of expectations.
So why do I find these early numbers for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them to be disappointing? I think for me it’s the fact that going into the year, this film was easily one of my most anticipated (as it was for many others). But now coming into the homestretch, it seems like no one, myself included, really cares about it. The trailers I’ve seen (full of unfinished CGI) have done nothing for me and are somewhat bland. Not only that, but the fact that David Yates, arguably the strongest filmmaker the franchise has seen, is at helm and I still feel unsure about this installment is quite concerning. As someone who grew up with the Harry Potter movies, I really should be looking forward to this one more than I am.
I’m not sure if it’s just Warner Bros. lack of marketing or just a sub-par product in general, but Fantastic Beasts just doesn’t seem like a movie that will latch onto audiences like the other films in this franchise did. The fact that Warner Bros. had to re-release the Harry Potter films in theaters to generate buzz for this film is also a telling sign that they aren’t so sure about the future prospects of this spinoff series (despite already announcing four more films). That being said, seeing The Goblet of Fire and The Deathly Hallows back on the big screen again was a treat, so there’s that.
But, if you look at it from the standpoint that it really isn’t a Harry Potter film but instead an untested fantasy property with actors that aren’t exactly A-listers, that opening weekend number does look solid. It’s just the fact that many people, including WB, won’t be looking at it that way and truth be told, the marketing for the film hasn’t been working at all. So unless the film turns out great (which I really hope it does), expect this to be the lowest grossing film in the series, very much so if adjusting the others for inflation. Again, not necessarily a bad number to start with, but sometimes expectations can be a bitch.
Also, here’s the new IMAX poster for the film below.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is set to be released on November 18th.