Box Office Predictions: Can Fantastic Beasts Conjure Up Potter-esque Numbers?

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Notable Openings This Weekend: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Edge of Seventeen, Bleed for This

Accio Box Office! Yeah. I went there. Okay Muggles, it’s time once again to be whisked away to the magical world of Harry Potter with no…Harry Potter. The age of spin-offs and franchises continues, as one of the biggest film franchises of all time apparates into theaters once more. I’m going to try and milk every Harry Potter reference I can in this article, so let’s not waste anymore time. LUMOS!

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The Harry Potter series is the third highest grossing film series behind only the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars. That’s a lot of Gringott vaults. I don’t need to sit here and go over the phenomenon that is Harry Potter. It would be a bigger waste of time than locking a door at Hogwarts (Alohomora, anyone?). I’ve been a real Slytherin towards this movie. While I’m a Potter fan, this material never interested me. Magical Beasts? Whatevs. There’s no doubt this is going to make a lot of money, but will it reach Harry Potter levels?

The lowest grossing Potter flick is Prisoner of Azkaban at just under $250 Million domestic. That’s exactly what we’re looking at with Fantastic Beasts, and probably even lower. This is the same exact situation we’re going to have with Rogue One next month. There’s no doubt an anticipation is there, but it’s not at Triwizard Tournament levels. The previews look fine. The reviews are fine. Everything about this is fine. That’s fine, but it probably means it’s not raking in the Potter gold that you might be expecting. With the plan of this being a five film series (Holy Aberforth!), the prospects of the sequels do hinge on this being better than expectations. It will be interesting to see how the true Potter heads react to this. The opening weekend will be big, but I could see a massive drop off over Thanksgiving weekend.

The other two movies in wide release are The Edge of Seventeen and Bleed for This. With these being released in under 2,000 screens, don’t expect either to crack the top five. While neither of these will be in the Best Picture race, acting Oscars are certainly on the table all around.

HOW WILL IT ALL BREAK DOWN…

Fantastic Beasts pulls a massive Reducto spell on the box office. It should fall in between the Potter opening weekend spectrum. We’ll see where we are in a couple weeks.

1. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – $88 Million

2. Doctor Strange – $21 Million

3. Trolls – $18 Million

4. Arrival – $15 Million

5. Almost Christmas – $8 Million

Daniel Cohen is the hard-boiled Film Editor for the Pop Break. Besides reviews, Daniel writes box office predictions, Gotham reviews and Oscar coverage. He can also be found on the Breakcast. If Daniel was sprayed by Scarecrow’s fear toxin, it would be watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on a non-stop loop.