Not so ‘Fantastic Beasts’ draws lowest domestic box office debut of the franchise

A group of people in old-fashioned clothing looking upward in a scene from “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore."
Jessica Williams plays Eulalie “Lally” Hicks, left, in “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore,” along with Callum Turner as Theseus Scamander, Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore, Fiona Glascott as Minerva McGonagall, Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski and Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander.
(Jaap Buitendijk / Warner Bros. Pictures)

Warner Bros.’ “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” failed to repeat the magic of its predecessors at the domestic box office this weekend.

According to estimates from measurement firm Comscore, the third installment in the Wizarding World franchise opened to $43 million — the highest total of the weekend, albeit the lowest North American debut of any “Fantastic Beasts” film.

The first in the series, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” started strong with $75 million in 2016, while “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” launched at $62.2 million in 2018. Internationally, “The Secrets of Dumbledore” earned $71.7 million this weekend for a global cumulative of $193.4 million.


‘Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore,” the latest entry in J.K. Rowling’s Potterverse, stars Jude Law, Eddie Redmayne and Mads Mikkelsen.

Also new to theaters this week was Sony Pictures’ “Father Stu,” which nabbed fifth place at the domestic box office with $5.7 million.

Directed by David Yates, “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” stars Eddie Redmayne, Ezra Miller, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Callum Turner, Jessica Williams, Katherine Waterston, Mads Mikkelsen and Jude Law as the titular Albus Dumbledore, who becomes the beloved headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The “Harry Potter” spinoff film received a lackluster 48% rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes and a B-plus grade from audiences polled by CinemaScore.

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Helmed by director Rosalind Ross, “Father Stu” tells the true story of a boxer who becomes a priest after experiencing a medical setback. The religious sports drama — starring Mark Wahlberg, Jacki Weaver and Mel Gibson — posted a subpar 42% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Notably, A24’s “Everything Everywhere All at Once” ascended by 2% during its second weekend in wide release to claim fourth place at the domestic box office. After drawing rave reviews, the wacky sci-fi epic starring Michelle Yeoh added $6.2 million for a North American cumulative of $17.7 million.

Rounding out the top five this weekend are Paramount Pictures’ “Sonic the Hedgehog 2,” which collected $30 million in its sophomore weekend for a North American cumulative of $119.6 million; and Paramount’s “The Lost City,” which made $6.5 million in its fourth weekend for a North American cumulative of $78.6 million.

Opening in wide release next weekend is Universal Pictures’ animated comedy “The Bad Guys” and Lionsgate’s crime comedy “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.”