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‘Fantastic Beasts’ Tops $500 Million at Worldwide Box Office

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” has passed $500 million at the global box office in less than two weeks of release worldwide.

As of Tuesday, the film had grossed $161 million domestically and $344 million internationally.

The studio’s domestic distribution president, Jeff Goldstein, issued a bullish forecast: “Anticipation grew exponentially in the weeks leading up to the release of ‘Fantastic Beasts,’ and now with the film in theaters we are seeing strong word of mouth and repeat attendance, which should carry the film through the holiday season and beyond.”

Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, president of international distribution and growth initiatives, said, “The enthusiastic global response to ‘Fantastic Beasts’ proves once again that the appeal of the wizarding world transcends language and borders. We, too, foresee strong holds through the holidays and well into the new year.”

The “Harry Potter” spinoff, starring Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, is performing in line with recent forecasts. “Fantastic Beasts,” written by “Potter” author J.K. Rowling, cost $180 million to make and will serve as the springboard for a five-film franchise. The first film follows Scamander as he tries to retrieve magical creatures that have escaped from his valise, and are running wild through 1926 New York City.

The cast boasts Colin Farrell, Dan Fogler, Katherine Waterston, and Samantha Morton. David Yates, who directed the last four “Harry Potter” movies, is helming and is already on board for the second movie. “Fantastic Beasts” has generated decent critical support with a 76% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Warner Bros. launched the last eight “Potter” movies. The latest, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2,” was released five years ago. It was the best box office performer with $1.34 billion worldwide, making it the eight-highest grosser of all time.

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