Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore got off to a less than magical start in its first weekend in US and Canadian theaters. The third installment in the Harry Potter spinoff opened to $43 million in North America, according to studio estimates Sunday. It was enough to secure the top spot on the box office charts, the AP reports, but it's a low for the franchise. The Secrets of Dumbledore, which Warner Bros. released in 4,208 locations in North America, also carries a $200 million production price tag. It's more common than not for sequels and threequels to come in lower than their predecessors, but Dumbledore follows several franchise titles that defied that logic, including Spider-Man: No Way Home, and Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
Critics were largely not on board with Dumbledore. With a 49% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, most came in on the negative side. Audiences were a little kinder, giving it four stars on PostTrak and an overall B+ CinemaScore. The eight Harry Potter films were responsible for over $7.7 billion in box office, while the first two Fantastic Beasts films made $1.5 billion total. "Recapturing the original Harry Potter magic that began some 20 years ago in cinemas is a tall order," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore. In its second weekend, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 fell 58% and earned an estimated $30 million, according to Paramount. The film has grossed $119.6 million to date.
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