“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” got off to a roaring start at the international box office, taking in $143.3 million.
The Harry Potter spinoff debuted on over 24,000 screens in 63 markets. Combined with its $75 million North American bow, the film has earned $218.3 million.
Of course, re-entering the world of Hogwarts and wizardry didn’t come cheap. Warner Bros. spent $180 million to produce the film and tens of millions more to market it. The hope is it will kick off a new film franchise. Five films are planned in the series.
“Fantastic Beasts” stars Eddie Redmayne as a collector of mythical creatures who unwittingly releases the critters in 1920s New York City. J.K. Rowling, the writer of the Harry Potter books, contributed the screenplay, with David Yates, who oversaw several previous boy wizard adventures, returning as director. Reviews have been solid.
Among top performing markets, the U.K. contributed $18.3 million, South Korea racked up $14.1 million, Germany was responsible for $9.9 million, Russia tossed in $9.8 million, and France injected $9.7 million into the pie. Imax contributed $15 million in global ticket sales.
“Fantastic Beasts” opens in China and Japan next week, the world’s second- and third-biggest markets for ticket sales. It could also get a boost stateside as schools are out for the Thanksgiving holiday.