Harry Potter: Wizarding World Movies Could Be "Reset" After Fantastic Beasts' Box Office Disappointment

After the phenomenal success of Warner Bros.' Harry Potter film franchise, the studio expanded the brand, making way for the current Fantastic Beasts series of tie-ins. Unfortunately, the disappointing box office returns for the last pair of Fantastic Beasts films may call for a reboot, according to sources close to Warner Bros. Discovery. CEO David Zaslav, who has said he will continue his predecessor's plans to launch a Hogwarts-based TV series on HBO Max in the near future, is reportedly mulling a "reset" for the Potter franchise as a whole on the film side.

With the departure of Warner Bros. Pictures chief Toby Emmerich, TheWrap reports that some of the key divisions of the studio will have a hands-on approach from Zaslav. It's in that report that it's suggested Zaslav might be headed to reset the Potter brand. He will also have his hands on DC and Warner Animation, so this may be a sign of things to come for those franchises.

The third Fantastic Beasts movie, titled Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, opened at just $43 million at the box office earlier this year. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them had a $74 million opening weekend in 2015, and 2018's Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald took in a $62 million opening weekend. To make things worse, the box office had a precipitous 67% drop from its first to second weekend.

The movie has the deck stacked against it; in addition to diminishing box office returns between installments, and harsh reviews of the second movie, the Harry Potter franchise as a whole has been struggling with creator J.K. Rowling's steady stream of Twitter controversies. Johnny Depp parted ways with the franchise after a British court ruled against him in a defamation case, which is tangentially related to the U.S. case that just wrapped up this week and is set to be appealed.

David Yates (Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) directs from a screenplay by J.K. Rowling & Steve Kloves, based upon a screenplay by Rowling. 

Starring Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Ezra Miller, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, William Nadylam, Callum Turner, Jessica Williams, Victoria Yeates, Poppy Corby-Tuech, Fiona Glascott, Katherine Waterston, Maria Fernanda Cândido, Richard Coyle, Oliver Masucci, Valerie Pachner, and Mads Mikkelsen, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is now streaming on HBO Max.