J.K. Rowling's 'Fantastic Beasts' Tracking for $75M U.S. Debut

Jaap Buitendijk/Warner Bros.
'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them'

The 'Harry Potter' spinoff hopes to launch a new franchise for Warner Bros., which is plotting a total of five 'Fantastic Beasts' films.

J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is on course to potentially hit at least $75 million in its U.S. debut, according to early tracking.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opens in North American theaters on Nov. 18. The Thanksgiving tentpole hopes to launch a new franchise for Rowling and Warner Bros., home of the blockbuster Harry Potter film series that was based on Rowling's books.

Unlike Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts isn't based on a book but on a script by Rowling. David Yates directed.

Fantastic Beasts came on tracking Thursday morning, with one major service putting forth the $75 million number, according to those with access to the surveys. Some are being more cautious, saying in the $70 million range because it's an untested property.

There's plenty of upside since Warners has three weeks left to make its final marketing assault. Also, the movie hopes to rack up big grosses throughout the Thanksgiving week.

Females of all ages are the most interested in seeing Fantastic Beasts, according to prerelease surveys.

In a surprise announcement earlier this month, Rowling said she has finished plotting five Fantastic Beasts films, versus just a trilogy. She will be the screenwriter for all five installments.

The film stars Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, who finds and documents an extraordinary array of magical creatures. He arrives in New York, where he misplaces the magical case housing his creatures. The escape of some of Newt's fantastic beasts could spell trouble for both the wizarding and muggle worlds. In Potter lore, Scamander's book is eventually used in Harry Potter's studies at Hogwarts.

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