Daily Box Office Analysis for July 11, 2007
By David Mumpower
July 12, 2007

Wow, gangs sure are nicely dressed these days.

In yesterday's daily box office analysis, I not-so-casually mentioned the arrival of a post-midnight release called Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. As we discussed yesterday, the movie got off to a relatively decent start, earning $12 million from midnight screenings, a total that would have been good enough to surpass Transformers as the number one movie for July 10th had it technically qualified. I also speculated that as much as a $50 million single day of box office could be possible. Despite the fact that there have been only three movies to ever perform this feat, the fifth Potter entry appeared poised to match it. As it turned out, reality set in just a bit, preventing Order of the Phoenix from quite reaching this landmark number. As it stands, Warner Bros. will have to settle for a measly $44,232,338, making it "only" the ninth largest box office day ever. Suffice it to say that Mr. Potter's new movie is doing okay.

How okay? Now is the time in the column wherein I recite stats to indicate what you already know: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is huge. Massive. Epic, in fact. But I must inform you of exactly how huge it is. Otherwise, I would not be arming you with the type of knowledge through which you may impress (okay, bore) friends and family members with your textbook recitations of obscure box office trivia. It's what we do, after all.

Here are the facts. In addition to having the most successful batch of midnight exhibitions ever with a $12 million gross, Order of the Phoenix has also become the largest Wednesday day of box office ever. This comes on the heels of Transformers becoming the largest Tuesday performer ever followed by the best July 4th holiday title to date. So, that is three daily records in the last eight days, which makes my job as a daily box office analyst much easier. Talking about records is always more fun than talking about what a disappointment Evan Almighty is.

In case you are wondering, the previous record for a Wednesday had been claimed by Spider-Man 2, which managed $40,442,604 on June 30, 2004. In case you are further wondering, in today's dollars Spider-Man 2's total would rise to $44.2 million, but if we are open up the can of worms of inflation adjustment, things get far too complicated for this discussion. Other, much older movies play into the discussion, and I'm unwilling to muddy the waters that much. Let's focus on actual dollars unless I specifically state otherwise, while giving Spidey fanboys their moment of happiness with the above news.

The first point I would like to make involves Order of the Phoenix's venue average of $10,579. I almost commented yesterday that the movie's $12 million from only 2,311 midnight exhibitions is the equivalent of a $15,578 weekend venue average. And that is just from the one batch of shows. Now consider that yesterday's venue average is the equivalent of $31,737 over a weekend and we have yet another "Yowza!" stat. Let's keep that thought process going by comparing the latest Potter release to the previous ones. I incidentally mentioned yesterday that Order of the Phoenix's sneaks made double what Goblet of Fire had managed. Let's now take a look at the individual daily numbers for each one.

November 18, 2005, the first day for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, was $39,767,468. Even if we adjust for inflation, that is a total of $42,124,978, meaning that Phoenix has edged Goblet in terms of actual first day ticket sales despite the fact that the latter movie had a tremendous advantage in opening on a Friday as opposed to Wednesday. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban had a first day total of $38,268,295 on June 4, 2004, and it inflation adjusts to $41,842,457. Again, Order of the Phoenix beats this title despite having the disadvantage of the Wednesday opening. The difference becomes even more dramatic with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. That movie earned $29,631,453 on November 15, 2002. That is an inflation-adjusted debut of $34,689,235. Order of the Phoenix just crushes that.

Similarly, we would expect the first J.K. Rowling adaptation, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone to have the best chance of unseating the fifth outing's performance, but it does not. The first Potter title managed a then-stunning $32,333,203 on November 16, 2001. At that point, it was the single largest day of box office in history (though it surpassed its own record the next day). Even if we give it the 20% bump for inflation adjustment, however, it still winds up with $38,857,071, well short of the mark set by Order of the Phoenix. In fact, if we inflation adjust the first Potter movie's biggest day, which is $33,512,941, we still only wind up with a 2007 value of $40,274,944. So, no matter how we evaluate the latest Harry Potter release, whether that is through actual dollars comparison or with adjustment for inflation, it still stands as the single best performance of the franchise to date. And again, this was done on a Wednesday sans the benefit of any holiday-related vacation boost.

What else do you need to know? Order of the Phoenix's $44,232,338 represents the fourth best day of the summer to date, presuming that we include early May releases Spider-Man 3 and Shrek the Third in summer discussions (and BOP does). It is the second biggest opening day of the summer thus far behind Spider-Man 3's record-setting $59,841,919. Shrek the Third's largest day was its first Saturday of $47,077,497, as it managed "only" $38,426,991 on its opening day. Order of the Phoenix is unlikely to duplicate such behavior. Given the Potter Mania sweeping the world as millions of fans anxiously await the concluding book to the epic series, consumers were in a rush to watch the latest movie at first opportunity. Despite this, I still envision Order of the Phoenix holding up well from now until Sunday, but I do believe its first day of box office will prove to be its largest. If I am wrong, look out. The box office here could be legendary in scope.

The rest of the top ten sees the expected declines from last Wednesday's holiday-inflated numbers. The nine returning titles from the previous week's top ten earned a collective $17,028,635 yesterday as opposed to a whopping $56,732,460 last Wednesday. Folks, that is a drop of 70%. Staggering, innit? Keeping this in mind, the 75.9% drop of Transformers from $29,100,000 last week to $7,003,058 is still precipitous, but given the relevant context, it is also not shocking. The other action titles, Live Free Or Die Hard and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, experienced similar declines. Despite this, the presence of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix means that the top ten had combined receipts of $61,260,973, which is an increase of, well, a factor of three from Tuesday's $20,039,328. Wow, huh? That total also represents an improvement of 5.8% from last Wednesday's record-setting July 4th revenue of $57,887,683. Stating the obvious, 2007 box office is on the right track again.