Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the second movie in Warner Bros.' Harry Potter-prequel series, has taken in an impressive $9.1 million during North American Thursday night previews.
That bests the $8.8 million the first movie in the series, 2016's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, took in during its first Thursday. Yet it should be noted that the sequel's Thursday night total also includes the approximately $1.8 million the film earned during Tuesday night sneak previews as well, so it isn't a perfect comparison.
Now that The Crimes of Grindelwald has gone into wide release, it is projected to take in between $65 million and $75 million this weekend. Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them debuted with $74.4 million domestically over its first weekend.
Meanwhile, internationally, Fantastic Beasts 2 has already earned a respectable $31 million at the overseas box office after opening Wednesday in several markets. It will hit several additional markets today, including writer J.K. Rowling's home country of the United Kingdom.
The Crimes of Grindelwald, helmed by long-time Harry Potter-series director David Yates, features much of the main cast of the original movie reprising their roles, including Eddie Redmayne as magizoologist Newt Scamander. However, the sequel may be especially tantalizing for Potter fans as it features a young Albus Dulbledore, played by Jude Law, who recruits Scamander in the fight to take down Johnny Depp's Gellert Grindelwald.
The movie is expected to be number one at the worldwide box office this weekend due to the series' popularity and limited competition.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is directed by David Yates and written by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. Rowling, David Heyman, Steve Kloves and Lionel Wigram serve as producers. The film stars Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Johnny Depp, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Ezra Miller, Zoë Kravitz, Fiona Glascott and Callum Turner.
(via The Hollywood Reporter)