Monday Morning Quarterback Part I

By BOP Staff

November 22, 2010

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Walking around in the woods=$$$$

Kim Hollis: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows opened to $125 million, easily the best of the franchise to date. How impressed are you by this result? Why do you think this Potter film did so much better than prior iterations?

Josh Spiegel: I'm pretty impressed, if only because I figured the highest figures would materialize for the second part, as it's actually the last film in the Harry Potter series. There are a lot of reasons why this film did better than prior films. For whatever reason (though Part 2 could change this pattern), it feels like these movies do better in November than in the summer. Also, it's been a while since there's been a truly must-see, four-quadrant film, possibly dating all the way back to Inception and Toy Story 3 in the summer. Harry Potter--even though it might have stranded some people who haven't read the books--capitalized on the market being wide open.

Bruce Hall: I simply think this installment did so well for the same reason the last episode of MASH did - because this is the end, and everyone wants a piece of it, to be able to say that they were there and experienced it. Even people who lost interest after the first two or three (like me) seem to be coming out for this one. I realize I don't have the benefit of a prediction on record, but this is about what I expected, performance wise. It's been ages since a franchise was so universally and intensely loved. You could point to Star Wars, but the Potter franchise has eclipsed that franchise both in number (and quality) of films, and looks poised to surpass it financially. You could mention Cameron's Avatar, but that's just one movie that despite its unprecedented success still can't hold a candle to the decade of domination that has been the Harry Potter era.

You could put "Harry Potter" on spoiled meat and the Dalai Lama would fight you for a pound of it. It's just that hot right now.

I fully expect the last installment to perform even better. And this time, I am on record.




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Brett Beach: For the film before the final film, it is an impressive opening. For besting Harry Potter personal records, it should be recognized. What I do notice is that this and Twilight capture how fervently fans will show up at midnight and opening weekend to see the film before everyone else (even if it seems like "everyone else" is now doing this.) The Harry Potter saga has shown remarkable consistency over the last decade and though consistency is never all that sexy to talk about, it shouldn't be underappreciated either.

David Mumpower: The one aspect I want to point out is that Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone has an opening weekend that inflation-adjusts to right at $120 million in terms of 2010 ticket pricing. So, the franchise has reached roughly this level once before. Both performances are exemplary. The common theme between that initial Potter release and the latest one is importance. As has been referenced already in the discussion and will be repeated by others, the beginning and the end of stories are what engage most consumers. There are those who prefer the journey; those are in the minority, though. The majority of people wanted to see the first Harry Potter film for the reason Ash Wakeman noted in his original review in 2001. What does Hogwarts look like? How does Quidditch appear through the magic of CGI? There was more curiosity because of the newness of the tale. Fast forward to now and people have invested billions of dollars to watch the first six movies. What they want to know is how it ends and that prioritization led to this explosive opening weekend. It will also create further demand as well as even more frontloading for the eighth and final Potter movie. We the movie-going public have gone through what is the equivalent of a movie marathon with the Harry Potter team and we can finally see the finish line.


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