Monday Morning Quarterback Part I

By BOP Staff

July 20, 2009

I might have won, but you still have a lot more hair than me.

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Harry Potter and the Big Buckets of Cash

Kim Hollis: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince earned $77.8 million over the weekend and $158 million over five days. How impressed are you by this result?

Josh Spiegel: I think this is a very impressive result. Considering the fact that, as has been pointed out in many places, Harry Potter, as a film franchise, is incredibly frontloaded, taking in just almost $160 million in five days is worth gloating about. I'm not sure that this sixth installment was ever going to reach $200 million in five days, despite the large midnight numbers we got mid-week. Warner Bros. should be thrilled with this, as it's about $20 million more than Order of the Phoenix got in its first five days; also, the international numbers are likely going to double whatever Half-Blood Prince makes in the States. Though it may not be the best ever, these numbers are great.


David Mumpower: Order of the Phoenix, the fifth Potter film, earned $139.7 million over five days with $77.1 million of it coming from the opening weekend. That puts the $77.8 million tally inside the margin, as it were. The fifth film's inflation-adjusted total is around $81 million, but its five day total is around $147 million. What all of this math means is that Half Blood Prince did better and it did so much quicker. There was definitely a rush factor here. Whether that shortens its legs remains to be seen, but an $11 million improvement in ticket sales over its direct predecessor is a success. A 7% bump is solid, and it's not an artificial one since the title isn't available on IMAX yet. Its third weekend sales will be much stronger due to this, but there were a lot of remorseful IMAX employees this past Wednesday. These poor employees had to keep explaining to customers why they had the third week of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen instead of the Potter debut. That's probably about $12-$15 million Warner Bros. couldn't add to the first week sales, which is frustrating to all involved.

Kim Hollis: I think the WB should be pretty pleased with the results so far. We're seeing a bit of a shifting of the audience behavior where they go to see it at midnight sneaks and then immediately on opening day, and I think that the reason for that is that like the stars of the film, the audience has grown up a bit. The people who wouldn't have been able to go to a midnight showing even two years ago are suddenly old enough to make Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince a record-breaker in that category. And given the solid reviews and the fact that IMAX is still on the horizon - with exclusive additional scenes - it should have decent legs, though it may have a slightly rough second weekend drop. It would just be falling in line with other blockbusters if it shows that sort of behavior.

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