The latest entry in the Fantastic Beasts saga doesn’t arrive in theaters in North America until next week, but the film has already launched in several markets overseas. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore debuted in 22 countries this weekend and pulled in a total of $58 million to this point, according to Deadline. This new Fantastic Beasts film is debuting with quite a few challenges in front of it, but that number isn’t very encouraging when you stand it up against international openings from the other films in the series.
2018’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald had an international debut of $191 million, more than three times what Secrets of Dumbledore managed to pull in. That said, the second film in the series didn’t face a fraction of the challenges that its successor has been dealing with. Secrets of Dumbledore only managed to take in $10 million in China, but more than half of the country’s theaters are closed due to COVID. This new Wizarding World effort also only opened in 22 countries around the globe in its first weekend, while Crimes of Grindelwald launched in a total of 79 markets.
It’s also worth mentioning that the reactions to Crimes of Grindelwald had a serious impact on the future of the franchise. The confusing plot and lackluster take on the villain brought a lot of excitement earned in the first movie to a halt. The Secrets of Dumbledore has been met with much better reviews than its predecessor, but the effects of Grindelwald still loom large.
The Secrets of Dumbledore sees the franchise villain, Grindelwald, get a reimagining with a new actor taking on the role. Mads Mikkelsen replaced Johnny Depp for the new movie but didn’t try to copy what the previous star had done in the second movie.
“Nobody’s interested in me going in there and trying to copy anything, that would be creative suicide immediately, especially when it’s been done before and masterfully,” Mikkelsen told Collider. “So everybody’s expecting us to find a different path. Having said that, we need a bridge between what he did and what I’m gonna do, so those bridges you have to find together, whether it’s a certain look, whether it’s a certain attitude in certain situations, but you have to make it your own. Anything else would be plainly just creatively stupid.”
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore opens in theaters in North America on April 15th.