BURBANK, Calif., Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the latest installment in J.K. Rowling's epic Wizarding World screen saga, surpassed half a billion dollars in receipts at the global box office this week.
The film reached the milestone Tuesday after its second weekend in release. The announcement was made by Sue Kroll, president of worldwide marketing and distribution for Warner Bros. Pictures.
"We are thrilled by the success of this new adventure, which is also the start of an exciting new franchise for the studio. With Fantastic Beasts, the brilliant J.K. Rowling has created an immersive story with timeless themes that are resonating with both critics and audiences in every corner of the world. We congratulate her, our director David Yates, the wonderful cast and everyone involved in the film on this milestone," Kroll said in a statement.
"Anticipation grew exponentially in the weeks leading up to the release of Fantastic Beasts, and now with the film in theaters we are seeing strong word of mouth and repeat attendance, which should carry the film through the holiday season and beyond," added Jeff Goldstein, the studio's president of domestic distribution.
Oscar-winning actor Eddie Redmayne stars at magizoologist Newt Scamander in the movie, which is set in 1926 New York. It was directed by David Yates, who helmed the last four Harry Potter films. Beasts is the first of five planned prequels to the Potter flicks.