Fantastic Beasts Projected for $75 Million Opening Weekend Box Office

The release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is stoking Harry Potter mania all over the world, so it's no surprise that the film is poised to do big business at the box office on its opening weekend. And as its domestic release numbers start to pour in (and we do mean "pour), it's looking like the next cinematic franchise spawned from J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World is going to do just fine for itself.

Variety reports that Fantastic Beasts is currently forecasted to earn $75 million in its domestic opening weekend, with Thursday night/Friday estimates totaling around $30 million.

Fantastic Beasts Where Find Them Box Office Opening Weekend
(Photo: Warner Bros. )

When we saw the Harry Potter movie franchise last, Deathly Hallows - Part 2 was earning $169 million in its opening weekend. No one expects Fantastic Beasts to do that high of a number (it's beginning a franchise, not finishing one); for comparison, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone opened to $90.2 million in 2001 (which, counting for inflation, would be about $122 million today).

However, it's best remembered that even as an untested movie property, The Sorcerer's Stone was backed by the fandom of an immensely popular book series; Fantastic Beasts had the backing of small references in the Harry Potter saga and a textbook that listed magical animals (as opposed to an epic saga).

Harry Potter die-hards will likely give Fantastic Beasts its initial boost - it will be interesting to see how viewer response and word of mouth carry it. The film has earned $23 million in forty-seven overseas markets, with sixteen more to go.

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be in theaters November 18th. It is 133 minutes long and is Rated PG-13 for some fantasy action violence.