‘Fantastic Beasts’ Opens With A Not-Quite-Fantastic $43 Million Domestically, But Finds More Magic Overseas
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore could have used a little more magic on its opening weekend. Strike that, make that a lot more magic. The third chapter in Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter spin-off saga debuted to a less-than-fantastic $43 million in North America over the long Easter frame—the lowest roll-out in the series to date. However, some good news came from overseas, where the wizarding tale has been able to conjure significantly more enchantment, taking in $150.4 million in its first two weekends of release. Bereft of any magic all together was Sony’s fifth-place finisher Father Stu,, the inspirational story of a boxer-turned-priest starring Mark Wahlberg. Despite the religious-themed film’s Easter arrival, it laid an egg with a $5.7 million bow.

While the latest Fantastic Beasts is only the third chapter in a planned series of five, the Potter prequel franchise seems to already be showing signs of diminishing box-office returns. Unspooling in 4,208 theaters, the PG-13-rated Secrets of Dumbledore scored a $10,218 per-screen average. While audiences gave the movie a solid ‘B+’ CinemaScore grade, critics were less charitable, handing it an un-fresh 48% splat. What the weekend’s numbers seem to tell us is that the latest Fantastic Beasts, which carries a hefty $200 million price tag and stars Eddie Redmayne and Jude Law as Dumbledore, will now need to shift its gaze overseas if it intends to turn a profit. Fortunately, things look a lot rosier there. In its first two weeks, Dumbledore has raked in $150.4 million abroad, bringing its current global box-office cume to $193.4 million. Still, no matter how you look at it, this is the softest domestic opening in the series: franchise-starter Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opened to $74.4 million in 2016 (on its way to $234 million), and its sequel, The Crimes of Grindelwald, debuted to $62.1 million in 2018 (before topping out at $159 million). Looks like it’s time to put some fresh juju in that magic wand.

Finishing in second place was last weekend’s champ, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, with $30 million. Paramount’s kid-friendly sequel dropped off -58.4% in its sophomore frame, earning a $7,045 per-screen average at 4,255 locations. The PG-rated follow-up to the 2020 videogame-inspired hit featuring Jim Carrey, James Marsden, and the voice of Ben Schwartz as its eponymous blue cartoon critter, has collected $119.6 million in its first two weeks of domestic release. Outside of North America, where Sonic 2 opened a week earlier, the film has pulled in $112.2 million so far, bringing its current worldwide cumulative box office to $231.8 million.

In third place was Paramount’s The Lost City with $6.5 million. The rom-com jungle adventure starring Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum fell -28% from the previous week. The PG-13-rated crowd-pleaser managed a $1,895 per-screen average in 3,430 theaters in its fourth frame, putting its total domestic box-office haul to date at $78.6 million. In foreign markets, The Lost City has racked up in $9.7 million so far, putting its four-week global tally at $88.3 million.

Landing in fourth place was one of the spring’s biggest box-office surprises—A24’s weird and wacky Everything Everywhere All at Once. A week after expanding nationwide from a more bespoke limited release, the R-rated indie about a woman (Michelle Yeoh) who enters a visually daffy multiverse, added $6.2 million. In its fourth weekend, the ‘little-movie-that-could’’s business got a +2.1% boost over the previous frame and scored a $2,786 per-screen average in 2,220 theaters. Its total domestic haul is now $17.7 million—far more than anyone had predicted for such an idiosyncratic film. It has only brought in a negligible $370,466 from overseas so far.

Rounding out the top five was the weekend’s only other major debut, Sony’s Father Stu, with an anemic $5.7 million. The R-rated inspirational drama about a boxer-turned-priest stars Mark Wahlberg, Mel Gibson, Jacki Weaver, and Teresa Ruiz. Father Stu opened on Wednesday and has taken in $8 million in its first five days. Bowing at 2,705 locations, the movie had a $2,107 per-screen average. It has not opened internationally yet.

Last but not least, there was one milestone of note buried below the top five. Warner Bros.’ The Batman (which dropped down to eighth place this weekend due to its roll-out on HBO Max) finally soared past the $750 million mark. To date, the latest Caped Crusader chapter has collared $365 million domestically to date and $386.1 million from overseas, putting its current global gross at an impressive $751.1 million.