NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Time Warner's (TWX) Warner Bros. studio has high hopes for its "Harry Potter" spin-off "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," which opens this weekend. The movie is based on the book by J.K. Rowling and is the first in a five-part movie series about a magical zooologist.
The film cost $180 million to make and is expected to earn up to $200 million in its opening weekend. The eight-part original Harry Potter series grossed about $8 billion worldwide.
Time Warner is "excited" about the movie and expects it to be "a global hit," Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes said during a conference call earlier this month.
"The great thing about these big-tent kind of things like 'Star Wars' is that it almost doesn't even matter if they're good. That's the beauty of it. It's somewhere between it will do well or it will do great," former Wall Street banker and CNBC contributor Evan Newmark said on Friday afternoon's "Closing Bell."
While a number of comic book movies have flopped recently, that's only because the industry goes through cycles, he pointed out. Superhero movies did well 15 years ago, but then the market became oversaturated with them.
The release date of the movie is optimal because it can pick up traffic over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend next week, noted CNBC's Julia Boorstin. In addition, it's coming out about a month before the new "Star Wars" film from Disney's (DIS) Lucas Films, so it can get some attention before that movie takes over the headlines.