Following a massive merger, it’s a new day at Warner Bros. Discovery. That new day involves freshly-minted CEO David Zaslav deciding the overall direction of the company, which includes more Harry Potter.
Already, we’ve seen a number of executive departures on the Warner Bros. side and the removal of scripted programming at TBS and TNT.
One thing that’s not changing is a focus on Warner Bros. tentpole franchises. Reports already point to Zaslav looking for a boss for the entire DC brand, akin to the job Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige has at Disney. It also seems that more Harry Potter content is on the company’s priority list.
According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Zaslav is looking to make Harry Potter-related content for HBO Max. The WSJ also states that the CEO has plans to meet with creator J.K. Rowling in the coming weeks in order to discuss this potential content.
That’s interesting, considering the current flagship of the Harry Potter brand at Warner Bros. is floundering. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is still at the box office, with a current take of $379 million worldwide. That’s already a far cry from the $648 million made by Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and the $811 million box office take of the first film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
The Secrets of Dumbledore’s current box office makes it the worst-performing Harry Potter franchise film period, despite a $200 production budget that outstrips some other entries in the franchise.
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore was the sixth highest-grossing film at last weekend’s domestic box office. While that sounds decent, it’s behind two films that were released prior to it, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Everything Everywhere All At Once.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2’s worldwide box office is only $16 million behind The Secret of Dumbledore, despite having a much smaller $90 million production budget. That’s a lot of numbers that point to a franchise in decline.
Still, that’s just the Fantastic Beasts franchise, which is only a spin-off of Harry Potter. There are many different directions the main franchise could go, whether that’s adapting the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child stage play, featuring a new cast of characters at Hogwarts, or moving elsewhere in the Wizarding World.
Of course, for any of that to happen, Rowling has to give Warner Bros. Discovery the greenlight.
While Warner Bros. and Rowling sort that out, The only other major Harry Potter-related media will be the upcoming video game, Hogwarts Legacy. The game, developed by Avalanche Software, is planned for release in Holiday 2022.
Mike Williams is a Freelance Writer for IGN.