Warner Bros’ Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is releasing ahead of domestic in 22 international box office markets this weekend, beginning in Holland and Belgium on Wednesday and including the UK, Australia, Germany, Japan, Spain and China through Friday. The latter, unfortunately, is not expected to serve up any magic given significant cinema closures.
Currently, estimates for the early offshore release are in the mid-$50 million range. That’s down compared to the previous two films in the Wizarding World spinoff series. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald in like-for-like markets and at today’s rates opened to $120M and $115M, respectively. Those films had gone out in a November corridor and played into Christmas, finaling at $580M and $495M internationally.
Again, China is a big drag this time around; the market contributed about a third of the opening grosses on the earlier movies. I understand Warners would have happily moved the PRC date on The Secrets of Dumbledore, but that simply wasn’t an option given how releasing films there works. The threequel is nevertheless leading presales in the market for the weekend.
Elsewhere, this third installment in the franchise is going out in key markets where all things Harry Potter excel, notably the UK where a premiere was held at London’s Royal Festival Hall on March 29.
The Secrets of Dumbledore is currently carrying a 60% Fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes (read Deadline’s review here) and is opening across school holidays in many of its overseas plays. That portends perhaps less of an urgency to rush out at the weekend, with weekdays expected to be stronger. New family product has been scarce of late, and desire is there; Paramount’s Sonic The Hedgehog 2 did strong business in its early release last frame, getting out ahead of this Fantastic Beasts and expanding in the coming session to Mexico, Brazil and Italy, notably.
On Easter weekend, the David Yates-directed Dumbledore will add 44 markets including France, Italy, Korea and all of Latin America.
The Secrets of Dumbledore is the third episode in the five-part J.K. Rowling-created Harry Potter prequel series. It’s set several years after the events of The Crimes of Grindelwald and sees beloved wizard Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) task magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and his allies with a mission, taking them into the heart of dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald’s army (Mads Mikkelsen, replaces Johnny Depp at Grindelwald from the two previous entries).
The film is scripted by Rowling and Steve Kloves and also stars Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Callum Turner, William Nadylam, Poppy Corby-Tuech and Jessica Williams. Rowling, Kloves, David Heyman, Tim Lewis and Lionel Wigram produce, with Neil Blair, Danny Cohen and Courtenay Valenti exec producing.
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