Fate Of ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Franchise Depends On ‘The Secrets Of Dumbledore’ Success

When Fantastic Beasts was first announced, Warner Bros. proudly boasted that it would be the start of a five-movie franchise. And at the conclusion of the first film, which earned a healthy $800M worldwide, it looked like that was definitely going to happen. Then there was scandal; from abuse allegations about Johnny Depp leading to his firing, to transphobic comments by author/screenwriter JK Rowling, followed by The Crimes of Grindelwald plummeting to $650M earned. With the recent Ezra Miller situation causing more embarrassment, and little buzz surrounding The Secrets of Dumbledore, WB finds itself in a tough situation.

According to Variety, WB isn’t sure they want to dump more money into the Fantastic Beasts franchise. At $200M a pop pre-marketing, that’s a lot of coin to spend on movies that are increasingly for a niche audience.

WB has tried to correct the apparent lack of interest by bringing in franchise scribe Steve Kloves to co-write the screenplay with Rowling. So far, the response to The Secrets of Dumbledore is considerably better, and that could lead to a box office rebound. That said, it also might not. Of concern is the revelation of a romantic relationship between two male characters that could alienate some audiences not just domestically but internationally. Already, the scene is being removed from theaters in China.

Basically, the fate of the franchise depends on The Secrets of Dumbledore. If it does well, it’s full steam ahead. If not, then we might see the attention turned elsewhere.

Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.