With an estimated $43 million opening, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore won the weekend box office, although Warner Bros. undoubtedly hoped for more from the third film in the latest Harry Potter-verse series.
In comparison to the previous two films, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opened with almost $75 million in 2016 and The Crimes of Grindelwald brought in $62.1 million in 2018. And while the movie industry is still recovering from the pandemic, many films with loyal fan communities have delivered much higher openings in recent weeks such as Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and The Batman, which may send the wizards and witches at Warner Bros. looking for answers over the next few weeks.
Dumbledore didn’t enchant critics, which may have also played into the lower than expected box office, with the film scoring 49% on Rotten Tomatoes. It did rate much better with viewers however, with ticket buyers giving Dumbledore an 85% Audience Score and a CinemaScore grade of B+.
Warner Bros executives shouldn’t be too concerned, as they could have bank rolled Morbius or Ambulance (with $4.7 million this weekend for a total of $64.6 million and $4 million for a total of $15 million respectively).
In more positive news, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 continued to burn rubber with $30 million this weekend, for a domestic total in the $119 million range for its second week. Even with animated competition in the form of Universal’s The Bad Guys, Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles should finish their cinematic run in the $175-185 million range in North America, with an additional $145 million overseas.
Sonic’s idol, The Batman, will be leaving most theaters this week (with an HBO Max debut on April 18), finishing with $3.8 million this weekend for a domestic total of $364 million. The Robert Pattinson-led film will end in 4th place all-time behind The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, and Wonder Woman, further triggering disgruntled fans of the Snyder-Verse.
Be sure to come back next week to see how Fantastic Beasts and Sonic continue to fare at the box office.