The Secrets of Dumbledore don’t appear to be all that fantastic.
The third Fantastic Beasts film, The Secrets of Dumbledore, finally opened stateside this weekend. Unfortunately, for fans eager to see the franchise continue beyond the third film, hope may soon be dwindling. As it stands, the film is looking to open between $40-$45 million at the domestic box office following a $20 million Friday opening. A rather dismal number for such a huge blockbuster. It’s not performing much better overseas, either, having earned a bit more than $60 million internationally to date.
The film, which cost $200 million, is on track to open well below the first two installments. For comparison’s sake, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opened to $76 million in 2016, while the second film, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, opened to $62 million in 2018. With the numbers continuing to decline, Warner Bros. seems hesitant to move forward with the previously announced fourth and fifth films in the franchise.
Making matters worse, there’s plenty of behind-the-scenes drama surrounding these films. In recent years, franchise stars Johnny Depp and Ezra Miller have become just as famous for their actions outside of set. Depp, of course, is currently embroiled in a nasty legal battle with ex-wife Amber Heard following domestic abuse allegations. He left the franchise after the second installment and the studio brought in the fantastic Mads Mikkelsen to replace him. While Miller has been in the tabloids for his physical actions against various people in public. There’s also the matter of J.K. Rowling and her anti-trans views. Needless to say, the Fantastic Beasts franchise will be lucky to regain any of the magic it once held for Harry Potter fans.