Yesterday, I discussed with you where Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them is projected to land, and how that compares to what the franchise's big brother- The Harry Potter Series- did a few years ago. I pointed out that the projections for the spinoff/pseudo-prequel were over $100 million short of what the last Potter did.
The film's Thursday preview results are now in. Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them made a solid $8.75 million last night, which puts it right on pace to land in that $70-$80 million projection we discussed yesterday. That figure puts it behind Marvel's Doctor Strange, which opened two weeks ago and collected $9.4 million during its Thursday previews while on its way to a $85 million weekend. For a variety of reasons, it'd be unfair to compare it to what the last few of Harry Potter films did in their Thursday preview nights, but those movies all made north of $20 million on those nights.
Similar to what LucasFilm is doing with its expectations for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Warner Bros. is said to not be expecting Fantastic Beasts to do the same kind of numbers that Potter did- just as LucasFilm isn't expecting Rogue One to do what The Force Awakens did. The fact that it's a spinoff, and not directly related to the main saga that everyone knows and loves, means the studio was always going to be far more conservative with its expectations.
When all is said and done, and the monstrously lucrative foreign market is accounted for, Warner Bros. will be more than happy if the $169 million Fantastic Beasts hits its projections this weekend.
Something else working in the favor of Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them? As of Wednesday, Fandango was reporting that advance ticket sales were besting those for Doctor Strange before the Marvel flick opened.
Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them is now in theaters everywhere.