It seems that “Fantastic Beasts” may be struggling without Johnny Depp after all.
Although the Grindelwald actor was replaced with Mads Mikkelsen for the last installment of the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise, the latest movie in the franchise, “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” failed to bring out the magic.
‘Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore’ Sees New Box Office Low
At the domestic box office, “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” only managed to pull in $43 million dollars, which is a new franchise low that stands in stark contrast to its predecessors.
Entertainment Weekly took a hard look at the weekend numbers from media analytics company Comscore to compare them to the first two films in the “Harry Potter” spin-off franchise. In 2016, the first spin-off movie, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” debuted at $74 million dollars. The second movie, “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” was able to pull in $62 million dollars in 2018.
It seems harder to argue that the franchise is struggling with a post-pandemic box office after the recent success of “Spider-Man: No Way Home” last December, which crushed previous box office records and became the third-highest opening weekend behind “Avengers: Endgame” and “Avengers: Infinity War.”
The third movie, which is still directed by David Yates, follows a young Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) asking magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) to lead a team of witches and wizards to help him stop Gellert Grindelwald (Mikkelsen) from taking control of the wizarding world.
‘Fantastic Beasts’ Struggled At The Box Office… ‘Sonic The Hedgehog’ Sequel Didn’t
Although “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” failed to find its place at the box office, other movies didn’t have such trouble. The “Sonic the Hedgehog” sequel took the number two slot in its second weekend and picked up an extra $30 million on Sunday, rounding out its domestic box office total to $119 million.
“Harry Potter” himself, Daniel Radcliffe, appears in “The Lost City,” which came in at number three this week and earned a domestic box office total of $78 million. “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” now in its second week of release, came in fourth with a domestic total of $17.6 million. Mark Wahlberg’s new drama about a reformed boxer, “Father Stu,” came in fifth with $8 million at the North American box office.
Unfortunately, it’s not just a struggling box office that the film has to contend with.
Criticism Rolls In For Latest ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Movie
According to review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the latest “Fantastic Beasts” film, which is 2 hours and 22 minutes long, currently has a critic rating of 49%. It stands in stark contrast to the audience score, which stands at 85%.
Katherine Monk of Ex-Press.com called the movie, “This movie is a trophy case of shiny, but empty, vessels. We get big performance value, but very little feeling from this ensemble of confused, selfish and frequently arrogant wand-wavers. As a result, it feels busy but not all that suspenseful.” Monk gave the film 3 out of 5 stars.
Joe Morgenstern of the Wall Street Journal wrote, “We’re supposed to be witnessing an epic battle between good and evil, but it’s a contest between energy and entropy, and entropy carries the dreary day.”
Brian Lowry of CNN wrote, “Like The Crimes of Grindelwald, Secrets of Dumbledore is handsomely done but ultimately too much of a dumble-snore. And somehow, its appealing pieces, old and new, again add up to a less-than-magical movie.”
Alison Willmore of Vulture wrote, “No one involved in these movies seems to have any idea what their appeal is supposed to be.”
James Verniere of the Boston Herald wrote, “Why does this film exist? Dull, drab, characters stare at each other. Poor, Newt, you’re such a bore.” He gave the film a score of C+.
However, some critics were entertained by the film. Chris Hewitt of the Minneapolis Star Tribute wrote, “Third time’s a charm for the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ series, which took three tries to — finally — produce something that feels like a complete movie.” Hewitt gave the film 3 out of 4 stars.
Although the movie failed to impress critics, audiences can decide for themselves whether or not “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” lives up to its predecessors. The latest “Harry Potter” spin-off film is currently available in theaters.