Some early reactions for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald have surfaced with a generally positive response. Warner Bros. brought the Wizarding World of Harry Potter back to the big screen two years ago with a brand new focus. The magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) became the new lead of the franchise with a special interest in the magical creatures that inhabit the fantastical world. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was a huge hit at the box office earning over $800 million worldwide and gave WB the confidence to double down on the franchise by expanding it to five films.
The first of the four sequels is less than two weeks away from hitting theaters and Potter heads have been anxiously waiting to return to the franchise. The trailers have promised even more spectacle, while almost every new detail that is coming out further connects Crimes of Grindelwald to the larger canon. But, there’s also been some concern over Johnny Depp playing Grindelwald, which may have overshadowed the excitement of Jude Law playing a young Dumbledore. So how did the sequel turn out?
It is still too early to tell for certain where critics will fall as a majority on Crimes of Grindelwald, but a few reactions have surfaced already. Warner Bros. held fan screenings around the world today that allowed for select fans to see the movie early. Additionally, some members of the press have also seen the movie in order to do press junkets. While the few reactions don’t unanimously praise what director David Yates delivered, the small sample size is still largely positive.
Fantastic Beasts and The Crimes of Grindelwald is a magical must-see! It builds upon the original & is sure to delight Harry Potter fans. Remarkable visuals, engaging story, & an ending that will leave you speechless. Johnny Depp as Grindelwald is perfection. #CrimesOfGrindewald pic.twitter.com/A0LOjUc6Nn
— Scott Menzel (@TheOtherScottM) November 3, 2018
FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD is an erratic and overstuffed mess. The most egregious "fan service" since Gandalf battled The Nine in THE HOBBIT, this is Rowling's sloppiest and probably worst wizarding story. Few sequences aside, this is one dead hippogriff. pic.twitter.com/e48dl1nY8R
— Brendan Hodges (@themetaplexcom) November 3, 2018
Saw #CrimesOfGrindelwald Thursday. Johnny Depp turns out an outstanding performance in a showstopping turn as Grindelwald. Whether you’re new to the Wizarding World or a hardcore fan, it’s hard to resist the stunning visuals, flawless action and riveting performances. Fantastic. pic.twitter.com/3X9Dml7j3t
— Simon Thompson (@ShowbizSimon) November 3, 2018
The biggest takeaways from Crimes of Grindelwald appear to be the visuals and the action. These have been major selling points from the trailers, so it is great to know that they deliver on the big screen. For a franchise as successful as Harry Potter in the hands of a studio as big as Warner Bros., it shouldn’t be terribly surprising that they can deliver on the blockbuster nature of the film. The criticism that has popped up is in regards to editing and the film possibly being too busy and using too many characters. This could be the result of all the connections Crimes of Grindelwald appears to have. However, long time fans of the franchise appear to be loving all the Easter eggs.
As mentioned prior, this is a limited sample of just a few critics and media members though, so we should gain a better understanding of the actual consensus as more press see the film, reactions are posted, and then when their full reviews arrive. Warner Bros. will continue to screen Crimes of Grindelwald for critics over the next two weeks, but it is currently unclear when exactly the review embargo will be lifted. If the response will be generally positive, then we could see WB lift the embargo several days before the movie actually arrives in theaters to further generate buzz. It is currently on track to match the first film’s opening weekend, but more favorable reviews could push Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald even higher.