Warner Bros. made a lot of money from the Harry Potter movies. They made billions at the box office and even more from the merchandise. So it's not surprising that another book by J.K. Rowling, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, was turned into a movie series. There's a question rising, "Is Fantastic Beasts dead?"
There have been three Fantastic Beasts movies so far, but there are a number of reasons why the series might be over now, long before the five movies that were planned.
Fantastic Beasts could be another show that doesn't make it through Warner Bros. Discovery's renovations. Variety said last year that the studio has no plans for Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts at the moment, and it looks like actor Eddie Redmayne may have just confirmed that.
The money is the most obvious reason why the franchise is ending. The first movie came out in 2016, and it earned more than $800 million around the world. The Crimes of Grindelwald, a sequel that came out in 2018, made $655 million, which is a drop of about 20%.
The Secrets of Dumbledore, the third movie, came out in 2022 and made $405 million. There were some mitigating factors, like the fact that the world is still recovering from the shutdown. But with a budget of around $200 million and a huge marketing campaign that followed, it was the first wizarding movie to barely break even in theaters.
The most obvious reason why Fantastic Beasts didn't get a green light is that the benefits were getting smaller and smaller. After three movies, "Fantastic Beasts" isn't making as much money as it used to.
This is especially sad for Rowling, who envisioned the prequel story as a five-film franchise, and for Warner Bros., which put a lot of money on the idea that anything related to Hogwarts would still do well at the box office, even if Harry, Ron, and Hermione weren't in the movies.
J.K. Rowling wrote the scripts for all three Fantastic Beasts movies. At first, she wanted the series to have five movies. But since the third movie didn't do very well at the box office, the fourth and fifth movies were put on hold.
That doesn't even take into account the controversy over the fact that Mads Mikkelsen replaced Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald, or the backlash Rowling got for her comments about the transgender community.
Given how many problems Fantastic Beasts has had since the beginning, it's clear that the people who make it have run out of Felix Felicis, or liquid luck.
Even though Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav stressed the importance of focusing on franchises: "What are we doing with a lot of the big franchises that we have? Our main focus is franchises."
At the moment, it looks like the Wizarding World has gone to sleep. Part of the problem seems to be how much creative control J.K. Rowling, who came up with the whole franchise and wrote the screenplays for all three Fantastic Beasts movies, is given.
Rowling has a strong hold on this property, but she isn't the only creative person with a hand in it. Since 2007, David Yates has been in charge of all of the Wizarding World movies (except for a short stint on The Legend of Tarzan).
Rowling and Yates are the only people who are allowed to have any kind of authorship in movies set in this world, so it's not surprising that things have become boring. Even George Lucas couldn't keep making Star Wars forever, and if the Wizarding World is going to be around for a long time, there needs to be room for new creative voices.
In the meantime, it might take a little more than magic and a lot of Liquid Luck to find a magical way to bring the Potterverse back to the big screen. Fans can only wait and see what happens for now. This is why fans are asking if Fantastic Beasts is dead.
Potter is a billion-dollar franchise with a lot of stories that could be turned into spinoffs. Focusing on the main characters of the original books could be a mistake. Star Wars has slowly learned this lesson with the hit show Andor.