Daily Box Office Analysis for July 12, 2007
By David Mumpower
July 13, 2007

No, I really do *not* like older women.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix performed as expected yesterday, falling a stiff 58.5% to $18,374,405. Once we factor out the $12 million it made in midnight sneaks overnight Tuesday, we get a much more accurate evaluation of the title's hold-over appeal. In that scenario, the fifth Potter earned approximately $32.2 million on Wednesday once sneaks are factored out. That gives the title an actual decline of 42.9% from Wednesday-to-Thursday, which is just fine.

We discussed a couple of weeks ago in our Live Free Or Die Hard analysis the causality for this. Titles with strong first day appeal see early adopters rush out to theaters at the first possible moment. This logic certainly explains the record shattering $12 million worth of revenue Order of the Phoenix gained from midnight sneaks. After the first day is over, however, Thursday sees less reason for the consumer to head out to the theaters. They have already missed opening day, so they might as well wait until the weekend where they will be able to take in the new movie at their convenience. I pointed out at the time that knowledge of this allows people who want to avoid the crowd on opening weekend a clever way to see a movie on its second day of release without risking having to sit at the front of the theater.

Order of the Phoenix is a perfect example of this behavior. While I expect some analysts to obsess upon the percentage drop incurred yesterday, we now know it does not mean much. A movie coming off of a record setting Wednesday will naturally see a steep drop the following day. What matters is how well it stands over the weekend. With a running total of $62,606,743, Potter appears poised to match the first week total we saw from Transformers last frame, and I think we would all agree this represents a strong box office performance. Check back tomorrow for Tim Briody's Friday Box Office Analysis in order to see if this proves to be the case.

The top ten as a whole earned $33,633,864; if you were paying attention to yesterday's column, you already know that this is a strong daily drop. In fact, that number alone is $11.6 million less than Order of the Phoenix managed on its own yesterday. Once again, let's not focus upon the 45.9% drop for the combined top ten. Instead, let's exclude the fifth Potter film for now and look at how the rest of the top ten held up. In this scenario, the numbers are $15,259,459 on Thursday versus $17,028,635 on Wednesday. That's a much more reasonable decline of 10.4%.