Secrets of Dumbledore is Not Just a Sad Anomaly, But the Sign of a Franchise Dead

Secrets of Dumbledore is Not Just a Sad Anomaly, But the Sign of a Franchise Dead
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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is obviously floundering as a spin-off, and may even be sunk, as we have mentioned several times before. And the most obvious sign of this was the borderline failure of its third installment, The Secrets of Dumbledore.

The Secrets of Dumbledore had a budget of about $200 million, and with only $405 million at the worldwide box office it became a somewhat of a sad anomaly: the first film in the blockbuster franchise – out of 11 – to barely break even in its theatrical run.

(To remind our readers, theatres take their cut, usually around 50% of the box office, so a film typically needs to make more than twice its budget to start turning a profit for the studio).

By comparison, 2016's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them grossed over $800 million worldwide, and its first sequel, The Crimes of Grindelwald, took in $654 million.

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While The Secrets of Dumbledore didn't exactly crash and burn, the fact of the spin-off's diminishing returns became apparent. This was a stinging blow to both Rowling, who had envisioned the prequel story as a five-picture franchise, and Warner Bros, who were banking on the assumption that all things Hogwarts would continue to deliver big box office returns.

So while the spin-off story was building up to an all-out wizarding war between beloved Hogwarts professor Albus Dumbledore and aspiring magical dictator Gellert Grindelwald, it is now doubtful that we will ever see it.

In fact, it is doubtful whether J.K. Rowling and Steve Kloves, who co-wrote The Secrets of Dumbledore, even have an actual plan for the remaining two films, beyond the general direction of the story that can be turned into a proper screenplay.

One of the criticisms of The Crimes of Grindelwald and The Secrets of Dumbledore was that they were poorly plotted, dragging the supposed protagonist, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), into stories where he did not belong.

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And it is certain that there has been no announcement of a sequel and no indication that another installment will be filmed, which is unusual for Warner Bros. who usually announce sequels within days if they have plans for them, even in the case of films with very dubious performance and lukewarm reception, such as Wonder Woman 1984.

All in all, although it is not yet 100% certain, The Secrets of Dumbledore is likely to be the final film in the spin-off franchise.