Daily Box Office Analysis for July 23, 2007

By David Mumpower

July 24, 2007

Wait, Book 7 ends how?

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The start of a new week means new movies to evaluate. We will spend the next few days studying the behavior of both openers from this past weekend. In today's brief update, however, the spotlight will continue to shine on the number two movie from this past weekend as well as yesterday, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

The latest cinematic adaptation of a J.K. Rowling novel was the subject of much debate last week. People were wildly divided upon the subject of whether the arrival of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the final novel in the seven story series, would impact the box office of Order of the Phoenix. As I stated in the latest edition of Monday Morning Quarterback, I expected any negative effects to occur on Saturday and Sunday, the first two days of release for the novel. Many readers had stated a desire to finish the latest literary work as quickly as possible in order to avoid spoilers. Speaking for myself, I had turned off the Internet and refused to watch live television Friday and Saturday. I was that paranoid about being spoiled on the matter, and I was aware of many others like me with similar behavior. The end result should have been that Order of the Phoenix saw a remarkable decline on Saturday/Sunday had this been consistent behavior among all consumers.

Did this happen? Nope. Order of the Phoenix had box office of $12,281,132 on Saturday, an increase of 20.2% from its Friday total of $10,215,440. Its Sunday total of $10,014,778 is a decline of 18.5% from Saturday and represents nearly identical business to Friday, the day prior to Deathly Hallows' release. For comparison, let's examine the behavior of the movie we established as the best model for the fifth Potter book - that title being Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. As the only prior Potter movie to be released in the summer, its behavior should be the blueprint for Order of the Phoenix.

Prisoner of Azkaban earned $11.00 million on its second Friday then increased 23.1% to $13.54 million on Saturday. Its Sunday decline was 26.0% to $10.03 million. As we can see, Order of the Phoenix's Saturday increase was not quite as strong as the one for Prisoner of Azkaban; however, its Sunday hold-over was much better. Also, Order of the Phoenix's Friday-Sunday holdover of 98.0% is quite a bit better than Prisoner of Azkaban's 91.1%.

Perhaps most impressivel is when we take a step back and look at the big picture. The third Harry Potter movie opened to $93,687,367, 21.5% better than the fifth movie's $77,108,414. That's an average of $31.23 million a day for Prisoner of Azkaban as opposed to $25.70 million a day for Order of the Phoenix in their respective first weekends. Now compare the second weekends. Prisoner of Azkaban earned $34,910,393 while Order of the Phoenix managed a stellar $32,511,350. You already know from these numbers that the fifth title's decline, 57.8%, is much better than the third film's, 62.7%. What is most surprising, however, is how quickly the gap has closed in terms of actual dollars. The percentage difference is down from 21.5% to 1.2% after another seven days.


I am certain you are wondering what the size of the gap would be if we adjusted for inflation, but keep in mind that we would need to go back and adjust the first set of numbers as well. Instead, it is fine to use the numbers we already have in front of us and what they show is emphatic. Order of the Phoenix is holding up very, very well relative to Prisoner of Azkaban. More importantly for the purposes of our discussion, it incontrovertibly indicates that the appearance of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows had no perceivable impact upon the box office performance of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. We were all worried over nothing.

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