“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” has an official Chinese release date, Variety has learned.
The “Harry Potter” spin-off will open in the Middle Kingdom on Nov. 25. That’s seven days after the fantasy adventure lands in the United States. Last week, Variety reported that the picture had been cleared by censors, but a final release date had yet to be determined. “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling announced the date on her Chinese Twitter feed.
The most recent “Harry Potter” film made just north of $60 million when it opened in China five years ago. Since that time, the Chinese box office has grown exponentially, spurred by a massive amount of movie theater construction. However, that film hit theaters five years ago, and China’s box office has continued to grow exponentially since that time. Many blockbusters make more than $100 million exclusively from their Chinese runs.
China is the second biggest market for film and is widely expected to pass the United States as the top source of ticket sales in the coming months. It remains a protectionist market; one that can be difficult to navigate. Chinese authorities have a habit of pitting Hollywood blockbusters against one another and oversee blackout periods when only local productions can screen. There is also a strict quota on the number of foreign film releases that are allowed into the country.
Warner Bros. is planning to release five “Fantastic Beasts” films. The series stars Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, an author of magical textbooks who ventures to 1920’s New York in order to discover supernatural creatures. David Yates, who helmed several previous Potter films, will oversee “Fantastic Beasts.” The “Harry Potter” franchise made $7.7 billion global receipts, making it one of the most successful film series in history.