Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them is finally about to be upon us later today. The film, which takes place in the same J.K. Rowling magical wizarding world as the Harry Potter movies, hopes to launch a new five-part franchise. The expectations for the film are sky high, and they should be. It looks really good, has had a solid marketing campaign, and it's currently "Certified Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes with an 83% approval rating.
The Hollywood Reporter is projecting that the film will open in the $70-$80 million region, which means it'd be a very muscular opening. That would put it just shy of Doctor Strange, which featured its own brand of sorcery and magic and opened to $85 million two weeks ago. Considering that Fantastic Beasts was made for $180 million, you can almost guarantee it's going to end up being a major hit for Warner Bros, to top off a great year where Batman V Superman and Suicide Squad made great money for the studio.
But one of the big questions surrounding the pseudo-prequel has been how Harry Potter fans will spark to it. The Potter series of films was insanely popular in its day, and when the final chapter hit theaters it opened to $169 million! It was the biggest opening for any of the Harry Potter films, demonstrating how the series had grown in overall popularity so that- by the time it reached its climax- everyone felt like they had to go see the grand finale in theaters.
This has begged the question: Will those numbers carry over to Fantastic Beasts despite there being no Harry, Ron, and Hermione?
Well, to put THR's projection into perspective, Fantastic Beasts will fall short of every single Harry Potter movie, when adjusted for inflation. The lowest Potter opening was Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix's $77 million. Adjusted for inflation, the 2007 film would've made $90 million in today's dollars during its opening frame.
So while Warner Bros. is likely getting ready to uncork tons of champagne bottles, it's worth noting that Fantastic Beasts isn't exactly going to open to Harry Potter money. It could still get there, especially if the sequels look good, but- as of now- it doesn't look like it's tapped into the same passionate audiences that gave Deathly Hallows Part 2 an $182 million opening (adjusted for inflation) in 2011.
And in case you'd like to point to Deathly Hallows Part 2 opening in July, making the comparison a tad unfair, you can also look at Deathly Hallows Part 1. That one opened on the same exact same weekend as Fantastic Beasts, back in 2010, and it pulled in a robust $125 million ($139 when adjusted).
It's also worth noting that the international market has blown up since 2011, so we've got to keep an eye on how it does overseas since those numbers will probably eclipse Harry Potter's foreign numbers, and how that can off-set things for Fantastic Beasts.
Are you going to check out Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them this weekend? Do you think the new franchise can eventually hit Harry Potter levels? Sound off!