Fantastic Beasts 3 Brings In $6 Million From Thursday Night Box Office Previews

The Secrets of Dumbledore opens in theaters on April 15.

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Fantastic Beasts 3 has earned $6 million from stateside Thursday preview screenings, according to Variety. For the wounded franchise, this third sequel could determine whether Fantastic Beasts will complete its ambitions as a five-film franchise.

As was reported earlier this week, there is no screenplay for a fourth installment and Warner Bros. executives are said to be waiting to see how this film performs at the box office to give any further possible green lights. The film was repeatedly delayed by COVID and was also repeatedly tied up in controversies stemming from its principals.

For example, in 2021, Mads Mikkelsen was called in to replace Johnny Depp as Grindelwald for this film--and the latter actor was paid an eight-figure fee ($10 million or more) as part of his exit package after reportedly filming just one scene. Ezra Miller, who has a key role in The Secrets of Dumbledore, was recently arrested for disorderly misconduct and harassment. And has also been widely publicized, Harry Potter author JK Rowling herself has become a problematic figure exhibiting discriminatory behavior, frequently offering public support of anti-transgender rhetoric.

Nevertheless, The Secrets of Dumbledore has been performing well in China, where it opened last weekend. Converted into US dollars, the film there took in roughly $9.7 million--a massive take considering all movies in Chinese theaters combined generated $15.5 million for the weekend. This, also, despite the film being censored--the removal of six seconds of dialogue referring to a gay relationship between Dumbledore (Jude Law) and Grindelwald (Mikkelsen).

According to Variety, The Secrets of Dumbledore is "on track to bring in more than $40 million in its opening weekend, which would be the weakest start for a Potter-adjacent movie." As GameSpot's Chris E. Hayner writes in an essay critical of the film, "it's time to retire this offshoot of Harry Potter's Wizarding World," and notes that the film makes for a proper ending as-is.

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