Can ‘Fantastic Beasts 3’ Revive J.K. Rowling’s Troubled Franchise?

”The Secrets of Dumbledore“ is getting better reviews as a more direct Potter prequel, but is it too little, too late?

In 2016, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” showed all the signs of fulfilling J.K. Rowling’s promise of a five-film series, earning positive reviews, a $74 million domestic opening and a theatrical run of $234 million domestic and $814 million worldwide.

But this Friday’s third installment — “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” — reflects a very different reality for Warner Bros.’ once-promising series. The new film must overcome the poor critical and audience reception for the 2018 sequel, “The Crimes of Grindelwald,” as well as the off-camera headlines that have surfaced over creator Rowling’s transphobic remarks and the personal struggles of former series star Johnny Depp and current cast member Ezra Miller.

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Jeremy Fuster

Box Office Reporter • jeremy.fuster@thewrap.com • Twitter: @jeremyfuster