Last year’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was a film that was a difficult film to predict for. Yes, given its connections to the world famous Harry Potter franchise — and the involvement of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling as screenwriter — it seemed like a given that the film would do decent business at the box office. At the same time, this was a film that didn’t necessarily piggyback on the Harry Potter name as much as one would think. Nowhere to be found in the advertising are any connections to Harry Potter, and to those not steeped in the industry or in the Potter fandom, those connections may not have been evident to you.
So what could we expect from this film? Would it break $1 billion internationally, or would it underperform at somewhere around $500 million? It’s worth noting that with a budget around $180 million, the movie would become profitable around the ballpark of $480 million. Luckily for WB and all involved, the film easily surpassed this milestone, and according to Variety, it’s gone on to snag $800 million worldwide — taking in $229 million-plus domestically and $570 million-plus internationally!
So where does that put the film in the grand scheme of things?
Not accounting for inflation, the number puts the film only slightly above the lowest performing film in the Harry Potter franchise, The Prisoner of Azkaban.
Take a look at the comparisons down below (via Box Office Mojo)!
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 - $1.3415 billion
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone - $974.8 million
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 - $960.3 million
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - $939.9 million
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - $934.4 million
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - $896.9 million
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - $879 million
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - $800 million
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - $796.7 million
When all said and done, it seems unlikely that Fantastic Beasts will break $850 million, so it seems safe to assume it’ll nestle itself comfortably between The Prisoner of Azkaban and The Chamber of Secrets.
So what does this performance mean for the film? As stated above, the movie is well within the profitable range. Clearly, there is a demand out there for audiences, and with the increasing ties the Fantastic Beasts films are sure to have to the Harry Potter books, you can bet that WB is counting on increased attendance from audiences in the second outing. Given the rebranding this franchise has had to utilize with this first movie, there is also a good chance the studio expected this muted response. Luckily for them, both critics and audiences who saw the film really seemed to enjoy it, and should word of mouth prove positive, they can expect a substantial uptick in sales for the second film.
Of course, that’s all speculation at this point. It’s always difficult to predict the ever-fickle moviegoing audience, but when all said and done, it’s not unreasonable to expect this figure to be an auspicious start to a budding franchise.