Monday, July 18, 2011

'Harry Potter' levitates to the top of the box office worldwide

By Sarah Sluis

Two out of three moviegoers this weekend bought tickets for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, giving the wizarding finale $168.5 million and the record for biggest opening weekend. Abroad, the movie also broke records, including best international opening weekend: $307 million. The Harry potter group spectacular numbers backed up the general agreement that the final Potter film was more than worthwhile. Critics rated the film 97% positive, and 93% of Rotten Tomatoes audiences liked the franchise's conclusion. Longtime Hogwarts fans made sure they turned out for the final installment. Audience members over 25 comprised 55% of audiences, compared to 45% for the penultimate film. With so many people making it a priority to see Harry Potter its opening weekend, next weekend could see a dramatic fall. However, repeat viewing could bolster the film as it rides out the rest of the summer.

Tyke favorite Winnie the Pooh was no match for Harry Potter, capturing just $8 million of the weekend box office. Even 2000's The Tigger Movie opened slightly better, and that's not counting a decade of inflation. Still, this kind of property will have a long life on DVD and Blu-ray and undoubtedly boost Winnie the pooh group merchandise sales for Disney.

Literary adaptation Snow Flower and the Secret Fan debuted to a soft $5,600 per-screen average on 24 screens. Given the popularity of the book, I expected the marketing and release to approximate Memoirs of a Geisha, at least, but perhaps the marketing mavens at Fox Searchlight anticipated the 14% positive rating garnered by the movie on Rotten Tomatoes.

Documentary Tabloid grabbed a tidy $7,200 per screen at 14 locations. Director Errol Morris' latest garnered up a sizeable amount of press, and the film in turn released in an above-average amount of locations for an indie film.

This Friday, we're back to comic book superheroes with Captain America: The First Avenger. Friends with Benefits, featuring a similar plot to this spring's No Strings Attached, will also release wide.

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