Fantastic Beasts 3: The Secrets of Dumbledore Reviews, Opening Day, Harry Potter Spin-Off!

Fantastic Beasts 3: Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, which is currently in theatres, arrives at a moment when the Harry Potter universe may be at its lowest point. The third instalment of the spin-off film series arrives on the heels of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’s critical and financial failures, with a review consensus worse than the dreadful Justice League and the second instalment grossing less than any previous Wizarding World picture.

More crucially, Fantastic Beasts 3: The Secrets of Dumbledore arrives at a time when J.K. Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, is at her lowest point. Rowling has not only made several transphobic remarks, but she has also refused to be taught about her harmful ideas.

Fantastic Beasts 3 Opening

Fantastic Beasts 3

According to box office data provided by Variety, the picture made $58 million in 22 foreign regions. This is a far cry from the previous film in the Fantastic Beasts series, The Crimes of Grindelwald, which debuted in 2018 with a $191 million international opening weekend.

It’s worth mentioning that Fantastic Beasts 3: The Secrets of Dumbledore debuted in fewer countries than its predecessor, so Warner Bros. will be hoping for a boost when the film expands to 44 more countries, including France, Italy, Korea, Brazil, and Mexico.

The Secrets of Dumbledore’s critical acclaim is unlikely to boost its local and international box office receipts. While many critics have praised the film as a step forward from The Crimes of Grindelwald, it has received mixed to unfavourable reviews.

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The latest Fantastic Beasts 3 has been panned by critics due to its inconsistent tone and apparent lack of overarching purpose. The performance of Mads Mikkelsen, who takes over for Johnny Depp as the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, was mainly positive.

Fantastic Beasts 3 Characters

Fantastic Beasts 3

Characters who were important in previous films are forgotten or deleted for the flimsiest of reasons. Furthermore, the Fantastic Beasts films are having a hard time with the hero swap. While Rowling chose Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) as the encyclopedia’s author as the portal into the world, he isn’t crucial to the larger plot.

The two greats, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) and Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen replacing Johnny Depp), whose youthful love story is finally acknowledged – in words — in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, should’ve always been the focus of these films.

However, Fantastic Beasts 3: The Secrets of Dumbledore lacks a protagonist. And its aimless plot feels like a filler as if they need to pass time until the fifth film arrives.

Professor Lally Hicks (Jessica Williams) and Newt’s “indispensable” assistant Bunty Broadacre (Victoria Yeates), both of whom had minor roles in The Crimes of Grindelwald, have much greater roles in this film.

However, the French-Senegalese wizard Yusuf Kama (William Nadylam), who is now working with Newt and Co., as well as their former telepathic teammate, Jacob’s love interest, and Tina’s sister Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudol), who was swayed over to Grindelwald’s side in the previous Fantastic Beasts film, retains this honor for the second time.

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Neither of them is involved in Fantastic Beasts 3: The Secrets of Dumbledore in any way. In the grand scheme of things, Queenie’s treachery means nothing, and Rowling’s decision to do so now appears to be a twist for twist’s sake.

Fantastic Beasts 3 Harry Potter Spin-Off

Fantastic Beasts 3

It’s situations like this that make me wonder if the Harry Potter universe should be put to rest. These films were never specifically requested. They were forged in the weirdest of furnaces, with an in-world encyclopedia serving as the starting point. Seriously, why is the title of these films still “Fantastic Beasts“?

It’s just pointless. Making additional Wizarding World content is purely in the interests of the powers that be — let’s face it, that’s how they perceive it. Warner Bros., millionaire Rowling, and those who profit from the franchise continue to produce new Fantastic Beasts films because it makes them money.

All of this adds up to extra money in the form of tie-in toys, books, merchandising, and other related items. The main issue is that these Harry Potter spin-off films have always struggled to find a reason to exist. Particularly as a five-part series. Each one is like a mini-episode that advances the plot a little, but not too much.

The Secrets of Dumbledore is the best of the bunch, but that’s a bit of a backhand compliment. Though Fantastic Beasts 3: The Secrets of Dumbledore tackles serious subjects, it also makes an effort to be silly in other places. Redmayne and Turner “swivel” their hips to avoid being eaten by animals in a prolonged sequence.

Speaking of action, there isn’t much of it here — only three moments in a 142-minute film. According to my count — The Secrets of Dumbledore attempts to be more about character scenes. That alone makes it far superior to the second, although it isn’t really fascinating from minute to minute.

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However, there is so much baggage – poor starting decisions have gotten us here — that it will be difficult for anyone to get out of this mess. None more so than filmmaker David Yates, who has been involved with the franchise since Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in 2007.


Fantastic Beasts 3: The Secrets of Dumbledore has a better cast of characters. Dumbledore’s homosexuality, which was revealed after the Harry Potter books were completed, is now front and centre for the first time. Law is given the opportunity to explore not only his feelings for Grindelwald.

 His many regrets in life, including believing he has failed Credence, his late sister Ariana Dumbledore, and his brother Aberforth Dumbledore (Richard Coyle). It also helps that he spends more time in front of the television than he did previously. Meanwhile, Mikkelsen’s portrayal of the dark wizard Grindelwald is richer and more realistic than Depp’s ridiculous theatrics and Captain Jack Sparrow-like flair.

Redmayne’s portrayal is nonetheless intriguing, and I’m not sure what to make of his perpetually-head-titled socially-awkward Newt.