‘Fantastic Beasts 3’ Falls to Franchise-Low $43 Million Opening at Easter Box Office

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Warner Bros.’ “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” couldn’t stop the Wizarding World franchise’s downward slide at the box office, earning a franchise-low $43 million opening weekend from 4,208 locations.

Though that result is on par with the $41 million opening of fellow Warner release “Dune” last October — a film released day-and-date on HBO Max — and the $44 million opening of Sony’s “Uncharted” in February, “Fantastic Beasts 3” is down 31% from the $62 million opening of the last “Fantastic Beasts” film, the ill-received “Crimes of Grindelwald” in 2018.

“The Secrets of Dumbledore” has taken in a worldwide launch of $191 million, down from the $253 million start for “The Crimes of Grindelwald,” which went on to earn $654 million.

Audience metrics for “Secrets of Dumbledore” have been somewhat better than for “Grindelwald” with a B+ on CinemaScore to go with a 4/5 from general audiences on Comscore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak and an 85% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. But with only three weeks before “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” arrives and multiple films like “The Bad Guys” coming to compete for families and general audiences, the legs on this film may be cut short.

In second on the charts is Paramount’s “Sonic the Hedgehog 2,” which had a decent second weekend hold of $30 million for a 58% drop from a $72 million opening weekend. The sequel now has a domestic total of $119.6 million, which is 12% ahead of the 10-day total of $106.4 million that was earned in 2020 by the first “Sonic the Hedgehog.” Fellow Paramount film “The Lost City” is No. 3 with $6.5 million and a domestic total of $78.5 million after four weekends.

In fourth is A24’s “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” which bumps up into the top five in its fourth weekend in theaters as it expands to 2,220 locations and earns $6.1 million, slightly above what it made last weekend from 1,000 fewer theaters. The acclaimed sci-fi film starring Michelle Yeoh now has a total of $17.6 million.

Completing the top 5 is Sony/Columbia’s “Father Stu” with $5.6 million grossed from 2,705 theaters. The true story inspirational film starring Mark Wahlberg is a rare faith-based film produced directly by a major Hollywood studio rather than a studio specializing in the genre, and was released on Wednesday ahead of the Easter weekend. It has matched pre-weekend projections with an extended five-day opening of $8 million.

Finally, Warner Bros. did have some good news despite the glum numbers for “Fantastic Beasts 3” as its DC blockbuster “The Batman” crossed $750 million at the global box office. Matt Reeves’ take on the Dark Knight is only the fifth film since the pandemic began to reach this milestone, joining “Spider-Man: No Way Home” and “No Time to Die” along with Chinese films “The Battle at Lake Changjin” and “Hi, Mom.”

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