The 'Harry Potter' spin-off 'Fantastic Beasts' is already making huge money

Fantastic Beasts Warner Bros box office 2 copyWarner Bros.‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.’

The “Harry Potter” spin-off “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” had impressive Thursday preview screenings, taking in $8.7 million.

That puts the film on pace to make $70 to $80 million domestically this weekend, which is what the film’s distributor Warner Bros. is projecting.

The first of five movies that take place before the events in the “Harry Potter” stories, “Fantastic Beasts” follows Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) as the beasts he’s collected for his book escape his suitcase and run wild in New York City.

“Fantastic Beasts” has already opened internationally in numerous regions and has taken in $23.5 million globally so far. The film should have a worldwide gross of over $200 million globally by the end of the weekend.

Though these are big numbers, they don’t come close to what the “Harry Potter” movies made.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” took in $43.5 million in its Thursday preview alone. Numerous others raked in around $20 million in previews.

But if “Fantastic Beasts” performs strong and makes over $77 million in the US over opening weekend, it can beat the debuts of “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” ($77.1 million) and “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” ($77.8 million).

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