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fantastic beasts dumbledore box office.

The Secrets of Dumbledore earning $6 million in Thursday previews are a little different than those for which Sonic the Hedgehog 2 earned $6.2 million in preview grosses last week.

So if the mood last week was one of overwhelming optimism and the mood this week is of resigned despair, it’s all a matter of context.

Fantastic Beasts 3 opened last night amid mixed-negative reviews (51% rotten and 5.6/10 from Rotten Tomatoes),

Yet more controversy around some of its central players (like JK Rowling and Ezra Miller) and the sense not of a surefire tentpole elevating the box office but of a long-delayed bomb finally going off

Almost everyone knew this was coming, the issues and challenges at play have been set in stone for three years, but Warner Bros. couldn’t do much to prevent it.

I am not unsympathetic, as we’re talking about a franchise whose first entry nabbed good reviews and long legs to the tune of $234 million domestic and $814 million worldwide.

The sequel dove heard in North America amid terrible reviews, to just $155 million, but the drop overseas was just 15% (12% if you remove China) and $655 million on a $200 million budget is “just fine

Yes, schmucks like me have been predicting a Terminator Dark Fate/X-Men: Dark Phoenix/Divergent:

Allegiant-style crash for three years, but A) I might have been wrong and B) WB had little choice but to press on for at least one more installment.

They had promised five films in late 2016, and they couldn’t just cut bait on the second film and its hard cliffhanger.

To be fair, The Secrets of Dumbledore at least gives the franchise a soft finale if we don’t get a fourth and fifth film.

This may not “save” the franchise, but it will allow it a graceful end if that’s how it plays out.

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