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Daily Box Office Analysis for July 18, 2007

By David Mumpower

July 19, 2007

This one goes out to the one I love.

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As I had mentioned earlier in the week, today's box office analysis is the day everything goes off the rails. The reason why is because there are several ways to study the box office behavior of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The comparisons we have been using are the prior Harry Potter titles, Transformers, and now we have the opportunity to compare Order of the Phoenix against itself. So, why is any of this a problem? Let me count the ways.

Yesterday, we introduced a new facet to the conversation. It is the remembrance that two of the prior four J.K. Rowling adaptations, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, were released the week before Thanksgiving. That skews their weekday numbers beginning on their first Tuesdays with a dramatic bump on the following Wednesdays.

Don't believe me? Simply consider the first three weekdays of Goblet of Fire. They are (in no particular order) $9.002 million, $14.130 million and $8.055 million. People who have been reading the column all summer would presume that the largest total would represent Monday box office. People who had read yesterday's column, however, would know that Monday's total was $8.055 million with Tuesday seeing an increase to $9.002 million. That 11.8% increase from Monday-to-Tuesday is the first tell-tale sign of holiday-related revenue enhancement. The Tuesday-to-Wednesday spike of 57.0% is a huge neon light straight off the Vegas Strip indicating holiday sales increases. It makes a difference.

Six years ago in November of 2001, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone behaved in eerily similar fashion. Its first Monday was $6.643 million with a Tuesday increase of 15.2% to $7.654 million. On Wednesday, ticket revenue spiked to $12.655 million, an increase of 65.3% from the previous day. As you can see, Sorcerer's Stone as well as Goblet of Fire are no longer accurate models for comparison to Order of the Phoenix.




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That's okay, though. We can just skip back to the basics and compare Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix to itself, right? After all, it was released last Wednesday, so an evaluation of how it did yesterday relative to its first day....won't work. This is the lesson we learned in the July 11th column. Transformers' first Tuesday-to-Tuesday comparison was brutally unfair since it represented a 75.9% decline. Order of the Phoenix is in the same boat, but it faces off against even larger numbers. Obviously, yesterday was not going to be able to keep pace with the ninth largest day of box office in the history of the industry. So, slamming it for an 80.9% decline would be equally unfair to this one as it would have been for Transformers last week.

This means that we are down to only two accurate models for Order of the Phoenix. The first is Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. That title was released two weeks prior to Thanksgiving, which serendipitous for our purposes. Due to this, we may continue to use it as an accurate model. In doing so, we see that Chamber fell from $4.742 million on Tuesday to $4.032 million on Wednesday, a numerically clean revenue drop of $710,000. Percentage-wise, that is depreciation of 15.0% on Wednesday after a 10.9% from Monday-to-Tuesday.


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