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Despite earning $43 million and topping the domestic box office chart, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore opened not so fantastically, according to box office analysts.

The third installment in Eddie Redmayne’s Fantastic Beasts series continued the downward slope of the J.K. Rowling Wizarding World releases, which are considered part of the Harry Potter franchise.

In the movie written by J.K. and Steve Kloves, and directed by David Yates (who megged four Harry Potter films), Eddie and Jude Law return as Newt Scamander and Arbus Dumbledore, respectively. Katherine Waterston, Ezra Miller, and Dan Fogler are also among the returning cast members.

Mads Mikkelsen, who replaces Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald, leads the new additions to the cast. The lower than expected numbers for Fantastic Beasts 3 are atypical of the Easter weekend box office activity.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2, which debuted strongly at number one, dropped to second place with $30 million. The animation-live action hybrid, powered by Jim Carrey, James Marsden, Ben Schwartz (who voices the title role), and Idris Elba, crossed the $100 million mark and reached $119.6 million.

Channing Tatum and Sandra Bullock’s The Lost City is still going strong after four weeks, landing third. The pairing of the two charismatic stars picked up $6.5 million which increased the domestic tally to $78.5 million.

After two weeks in limited release, Michelle Yeoh’s offbeat Everything Everywhere All at Once opened in more theaters and jumped to fourth place. The well-reviewed sci-fi black comedy, written and directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, and also starring Jamie Lee Curtis, collected $6.1 million.

In time for Easter, Mark Wahlberg released Father Stu, a faith-based drama that he produced and starred in. The true-life story of boxer-turned-priest Stuart Long, portrayed by Mark, and co-starring Mel Gibson and Jacki Weaver, netted $5.7 million and enabled the biographical drama to crack the top five.

Rounding out the top ten, were, in order: Jared Leto’s Morbius, $4.7 million; Michael Bay’s underperforming Ambulance, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, $4.0 million (which could reflect moviegoers’ changing taste); Robert Pattinson’s The Batman, which collected $3.8 million and stayed in the top ten after seven weeks; K.G.F.: Chapter 2, another Indian film that, like RRR (Rise Roar Revolt), cracked the magic ten, $2.87 million; and Tom Holland’s Uncharted, $1.17 million.

Overseas, Fantastic Beasts 3 fared better. On its second week offshore, the fantasy movie reigned and was numero uno in over 50 territories. With a recent haul of $71.7 million, the threequel has now amassed a total of $150.4 million. The franchise still has some solid support in countries like Japan, Germany, Mexico, and Brazil.

The Batman hit the $750 million benchmark globally as it is poised to begin streaming on HBO Max. The acclaimed superhero saga directed by Matt Reeves is this year’s biggest hit domestically and internationally.

India continues to make waves in the world box office race. Following the recent splash of RRR (Rise Roar Revolt), writer-director Prashanth Neel’s K.G.F.: Chapter 2 earned $58.3 million in India alone. Worldwide, the action-crime-drama, top billed by Yash, Sanjay Dutt, and Srinidhi Shetty, grossed $71.4 million.

A couple of Hollywood releases notched international milestones. Sonic the Hedgehog 2, which collected $25 million in over 50 territories, crossed the $100 million mark. The Bad Guys, an animation adventure-comedy released earlier overseas and voiced by Sam Rockwell and Awkwafina, hit the $50 million mark.

Box office experts are noting the robust international earnings of movies despite China closing many movie theaters because of the COVID-19 surge and Hollywood studios freezing the theatrical releases of their movies in Russia.

Walter Nicoletti
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