Potter Hits New Heights With Deathly Hallows
By John Hamann
November 21, 2010
You know it's a great weekend at the box office when you have two statistical "wow" moments before half of the moviegoing weekend is over. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was magical this weekend, as the young wizard broke out, surprising prognosticators with its success. Warner Bros. should be celebrating, as not only is the first part of the final chapter more successful than some thought, it virtually guarantees the second part of Deathly Hallows will open with even more. Theater owners should be happy as well, as we have our second biggest November weekend on record.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One is obviously our number one film of the weekend, and becomes one of the top six biggest openers ever. Deathly Hallows took in an amazing $125.1 million this weekend from a super-sized venue count of 4,125. Potter 7 had a ridiculous venue average of $30,332. It finishes in the box office stratosphere - sixth on the all time opener list, behind only The Dark Knight ($158.4 million), Spider-Man 3 ($151.1 million), The Twilight Saga: New Moon ($142.8 million), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest ($135.6 million) and Iron Man 2 ($128.1 million) . It beat the former biggest Potter opener – Goblet of Fire, which took in $102 million over three days – by $23 million. Production costs for Deathly Hallows are not immediately known – IMDb lists a budget of $250 million (the same as Half-Blood Prince), but those costs might be split between Part One and Part Two. Regardless, Deathly Hallows now has a strong chance at finishing as the highest grossing Potter film. It's looking to beat The Sorcerer's Stone, which took in $317 million stateside, and $976 million worldwide. North American sales for the franchise will cross the $2 billion mark by the time this Harry Potter celebrates Christmas.
The Deathly Hallows had its first box office "wow" moment on Friday morning, when it was announced that muggles bought $24 million worth of tickets for midnight screenings on Thursday night. That was $2 million more than the last entry, Half-Blood Prince, which opened in the summer when kids were out of school and didn't have to go to class Friday morning. It was at that moment that we knew something fairly special was going to happen this weekend. Friday's number cemented the fact that special was in fact happening. The Deathly Hallows earned $61.1 million on Friday (including the $24 million midnight screenings), a record for the Potter series (it was $3 million ahead of Half-Blood Prince, which opened to $58.1 million), and the fifth biggest day overall of all time. The Saturday-Sunday numbers would be the key factor in Deathly Hallows' opening weekend – how would the hold over the next two days compare to that huge Friday number? Goblet of Fire, the last Potter film to open in November and on a Friday, had a weekend multiplier of 2.55. Twilight: New Moon, the film that owns the single day record at $72.7 million, had a weekend multiplier of only 1.96. This latest Potter installment comes in at a 2.0, but with a heavy Friday and massive midnights, that's to be expected. The result is that Warner Bros. now has two films in the top ten biggest opening weekend list, as Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part One joins The Dark Knight.