It was Butter Beers and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Jelly Beans all round at Warner Bros over the weekend. Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them has conjured up more than $220 million worldwide in its opening weekend.
The first of five planned spin-offs from Harry Potter clocked in an impressive $75 million in the US and more than $145 million from the international market. Eddie Redmayne leads the cast as Newt Scamander in a fantastical tale set almost 80 years before Harry Potter enrolled at Hogwarts. The critical response to the film has been mostly positive with an overall consensus that it’s good, but not great.
I wouldn’t class myself as a massive Harry Potter fan; I thought some of the movies were alright if unremarkable, but I can understand why JK Rowling’s creation became the phenomenon it has. That said, just about every Christmas I slap the Potter Blu-rays in and get on with wrapping some presents.
Fantastic Beasts cost an estimated $180 million to produce (before marketing), and as long as it has another solid weekend, it should be well into profit after the Thanksgiving holiday.
On a side note, the casting of Johnny Depp in the Fantastic Beasts sequel has caused quite the stir amongst the Potter community. Depp has had a difficult few years both personally and professionally, and his casting has been dubbed ‘a gamble’ for Warner Bros. Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter director David Yates was full of praise for Depp taking on the role of Gellert Grindelwald,
“What you have to remember about Johnny is that extraordinary talent and that talent never goes away. Hollywood is such a fickle place. People go up and go down.
He’s a huge Potter fan. He loves the world. He was beyond excited about working on this material. In fact, he didn’t even want to see a script, he just said ‘I’m in’.”
Fantastic Beasts 2 is due for release November 16, 2018