First off, early box office tracking is about as reliable as a prediction from Professor Trelawney. But she did get one big one right. So...
The early estimates for "Halloween" were much, much lower. And the "Grindelwald" estimates may be too low as well. (Or not. We'll see.) Because why not, here's my random probably-equally-wrong prediction for the "Fantastic Beasts 2" opening: $82 million.
The second "Fantastic Beasts" movie opens in theaters November 16. Since reviews aren't even out yet, it's way too soon to really say how it will do. Some people will be swayed by critical and early audience reactions. It's very easy and terribly tempting to just stay home and wait for the DVD, rather than head out and spend all that money on something that might disappoint. But if it gets raves, more people might be motivated to head out in the weekend before Thanksgiving.
The first film, which came out in 2016, made $74.4 million in its opening weekend at the domestic box office. Ultimately, it picked up $234 million at the domestic box office, and a whopping $580 million at the international box office for a worldwide total of $814,037,575.
The global numbers are going to lift "Grindelwald," too. But for now, the opening North American projections show it earning anywhere from low $60Ms to mid $70Ms.
This film has Johnny Depp starring as dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, with Jude Law as (hot) younger Albus Dumbledore. That's in addition to the returning "Fantastic Beasts" cast, like Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander. Plus, we get to meet Nagini before she was a snake! Some people have threatened to boycott the film because of Depp's casting, but it remains to be seen if that will really happen and affect the box office take.
"Crimes of Grindelwald" is the second of five planned films in this series, and it's hard to imagine people who watched the first one wouldn't be curious to continue with the series. But that doesn't mean they'll rush out to watch it opening weekend, or in a movie theater at all.
"Fantastic Beasts 2" was picked as the most anticipated fall movie in at least one survey. Plus, "Halloween" just opened waaaaay past its own early estimates -- which were much lower than the eventual $76+ million. If an R-rated "Halloween" sequel can do that well, shouldn't a PG-13 "Harry Potter" prequel sequel top it? Apples to oranges?
"Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" opens Friday, Nov. 16, in the weekend before Thanksgiving. Will you head out that opening weekend, or wait till the next week, or later in the year, or till when it comes out on Digital/DVD/Blu-ray? Or will you skip it entirely?