Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is officially out and theaters. Eddie Redmayne's latest movie is based on the Harry Potter universe, in which the Like Minds actor plays the role of Newt Scamander, a magizoologist who travels to NY with a suitcase containing odd beasts which belong to the magical world.
"'Fantastic Beasts" biggest advantage is brand recognition", said Shawn Robbins, senior box office analyst at Boxoffice.com.
Here's the part where I give you my bona fides as a "Harry Potter" fan: I have none.
We had the esteemed pleasure to sit down with these Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them co-stars, along with David Heyman, who produced this spectacular spinoff as well as all the Harry Potter films.
And the product of that development period is not only a good addition to the franchise, it also breathes entirely new life into the post-Hogwarts, post-Harry Potter era of the Wizarding World franchise. The beasts dreamt up by Rowling truly are fantastic and it's a blast watching Newt and his friends figure out ways to outsmart and capture them.
On the surface, it's pretty obvious that Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, the movie, has that title because that's what the textbook Newt Scamander will go on to publish in the future is called. The problem is that unlike Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts didn't have a legion of teen book lovers lining up for opening night or opening day.
While Fantastic Beasts definitely stands separate to the Harry Potter franchise, the movie still packed full of incredible Easter Eggs and references which tie to both that and the larger Wizarding World in what looks set to be a big new franchise. In the end, we have an interesting weekend, as between Fantastic Beasts' dominance and last weekend's Veterans Day-aided weekend - holdovers got crushed this time around.
The special effects are top-class and director David Yates is well versed in this universe, having taken charge of four Potter films.
You're not going to be left entirely hanging, but Warner Bros. wants five of films, and J.K. Rowling has already written the script for the sequel (set for release in 2018), which will depart rather significantly from this first outing.