Fantastic Beasts 3: Flop in China

‘Fantastic Beasts 3’ Opens to $10M Amid Mass Cinema Shutdowns

Approximately 54 percent of Chinese movie theaters are currently closed as the country battles local COVID outbreaks.


Warner’s Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore cruised to an easy win during its opening weekend in China, but the gross was much smaller than usual.

The Harry Potter spinoff sequel earned just $9.7 million, according to data from Artisan Gateway. Thanks to ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks, an estimated 54 percent of China’s cinemas are currently closed.

The first Fantastic Beasts film opened to $40.4 million in China in 2016, and the sequel, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, debuted to $36.6 million in 2018.

Social scores for the Secrets of Dumbledore were solid, if unexceptional: 8.7 on Maoyan, 8.7 from Alibaba’s Taopiaopiao and 6.7 on Douban.

The film performed somewhat better on Imax, earning $1.5 million in the giant screen format, or 15 percent of its nationwide total. Dumbledore played on 360 Imax screens, roughly half of Imax’s usual outlay.

In recent months and years, Hollywood titles have been earning conspicuously less than they once did in China, but the current COVID closures make it difficult to assess whether the general trend of waning local enthusiasm for U.S. movies was also a factor in Dumbledore‘s lackluster opening.

Sony’s animated sequel Hotel Transylvania 4 earned just $1.4 million in its second weekend for a running total of $6.2 million. Hotel Transylvania 3 (2018) earned $32.2 million in China.

Other U.S.-made titles had similarly bad results.

Escape Room 2, in cinemas for its second weekend, added $940,000, taking its total to $5.2 million.

Roland Emmerich’s Moonfall, which was co-financed by Chinese studio Huayi Brothers Media, added $900,000. The film has earned $19.4 million since its local release late last month — slightly better than its $19.1 million North American total.