The Wall Street Journal: ‘Fantastic Beasts’ sequel stumbles at U.S. box office, but shines overseas

LOS ANGELES — Harry Potter’s spell on moviegoers is proving more effective overseas.

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” the latest installment in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World series, opened to a franchise low in the U.S. and Canada this weekend while posting robust returns in international markets.

The movie from AT&T Inc.’s T, +0.56% Warner Bros., starring Eddie Redmayne and Ezra Miller, collected an estimated $62.2 million stateside, about 16% below the 2016 debut of the original “Fantastic Beasts.” Overseas returns, however, added $191 million for a worldwide tally of $253 million.

The Harry Potter series has always generated international returns exceeding domestic grosses, one of several major franchises across Hollywood with such a lopsided dynamic.

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