With rumors swirling that Ben Affleck would be stepping down from his role as Batman after Justice League, I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say that Warner Bros. needs to have a big day this weekend at Comic-Con. They need to be prepared to discuss Affleck’s rumors directly - confirming or denying as they see fit - and show off some footage for Justice League that keeps fans excited about the movie, regardless of the rumors circulating around it. Even those who believe that Warner Bros. has charted a new direction for itself with the addition of Joss Whedon and the success of Wonder Woman would admit that the studio has its work cut out for it.
Studio math might be one part proprietary data and one part alchemy, but here’s something I feel pretty confident saying: when your trailer sets the all-time record for most views in a day, you’re about to make some moolah. We all remember that the first teaser trailer for It had 197 million views in its first 24 hours online, shattering the previous (albeit short-lived) record of 139 million set by The Fate of the Furious. Those would be extraordinary numbers for any movie, but for an unapologetic horror film about a demon clown? Not even the most aggressive Warner Bros. projections could have predicted that.
The way I see it, I’m kind of the target audience for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I’ve seen all of the movies but read none of the books, which puts me on a kind of level playing field with everyone else tackling J.K. Rowling’s original screenplay. Granted, a lot of people might know about the history of Newt Scamander or how the events of Fantastic Beasts fits into the Harry Potter universe as a whole, but I don’t mind being left out. I spent years of my adolescence being a Star Wars book snob; as an adult, it’s kind of nice to just be able to show up to a franchise and learn as you go.