Potter Obliterates Dark Knight Record
By John Hamann
July 17, 2011
The Saturday figure for Deathly Hallows Part 2 came in at $42.9 million, and the Sunday at $33.6 million, giving the final chapter of Rowling's masterwork a massive weekend total of $168.6 million. The final weekend multiplier came in at 2.56, lower than the last Harry Potter film had. It had a huge venue average of $38,526 from 4,375 venues. Part 1 opened at 4,125 venues and carried a venue average of $30,307. The Deathly Hallows Part 2 joined The Dark Knight, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Spider-Man 3 and Twilight: New Moon as the only films to earn $100 million in two days. The Dark Knight and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen are the only films to earn $200 million in five days - Deathly Hallows Part 2 could do it in four days, but it will be close.
Not only is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 a ridiculously successful movie, it is also a very good product. Up until this film, Harry Potter movies had averaged a fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes of 83%. Order of the Phoenix at 78% and surprisingly Deathly Hallows Part 1 at 79% fresh had brought the average for the series down, but with a 97% fresh rating for this outing, director David Yates provides a film that many will go back to over and over again. Only six reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes found something not to like (including my favourite sour puss, Armond White, who didn't like Bridesmaids, Thor, or Midnight in Paris either) but 214 did, and those that did like Part 2, really liked it. The common theme amongst reviewers is that this is a positive end to an always good series, ending on a high note. (Reviews were like love letters, really, much like this column.)
Is the huge uptick here only because Deathly Hallows Part 2 was the only Potter film released in 3D? It would have helped, however there is certainly more to it than that. Potter has been successful for so long that children who grew up reading the books are now adults who have probably introduced younger siblings and other friends to the series, not to mention that fact that it has strong adult appeal as well. Usually, a film franchise loses fans as the series plugs along. Harry Potter is the opposite, and provides what may be the best box office story ever. Thank you, Harry.
The rest of the top ten has to deal with riptide caused by Harry Potter, and regardless of target demographic, all films were affected this weekend. Transformers: Dark of the Moon is second, and it earns $21.3 million, down a woeful 55% from last weekend. Despite the solid audience reaction and what is really a rebound from Revenge of the Fallen, Dark of the Moon still takes big weekend plunges as the target audience turns to Harry Potter. Regardless, Dark of the Moon has now earned $302.8 million, getting to $300 million on its 19th day, five days longer than it took Revenge of the Fallen to meet that mark. Dark of the Moon is still trekking toward that billion dollar worldwide mark, and should meet it by the end of the run.