Weekend Box Office – HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS – PART 1 Scores a Franchise-Best Opening with $125.1 Million

     November 21, 2010


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows-Part 1 is the Hagrid-sized hit everyone expected it to be; although its three day estimate – at this point – won’t put it into the top five All-Time releases as was previously projected. They really missed the mark and came in sixth instead. Warner Brothers will have to be content in the knowledge that they have topped their previous Harry Potter record and bide their time until Part 2 comes out in July.

Title Weekend Total
1 Harry Potter 7A $125,100,000 $125.1
2 Megamind $16,175,000 $109.4
3 Unstoppable $13,100,000 $41.9
4 Due Date $9,150,000 $72.6
5 The Next Three Days $6,750,000 $6.7
6 Morning Glory $5,430,000 $19.8
7 Skyline $3,430,000 $17.6
8 Red $2,467,000 $83.5
9 For Colored Girls $2,400,000 $34.5
10 Fair Game $1,470,000 $3.7

The estimated $125.1 million from the 4,125 theatres screening Deathly Hallows 1 does put the latest Harry Potter film at number six on that All-Time list (replacing Shrek the Third) which ain’t too shabby. That is on top of scoring the fifth-biggest single-day opening on Friday with $61.2 million and the third-biggest midnight launch with $24 million.

It’s a lot to keep track of but here’s what Warner Brothers would like you to focus on: The weekend take for Deathly Hallows 1 has definitely broken the previous Harry Potter franchise record of $102.6 set by The Goblet of Fire in 2005.  It also easily dispatched the $77.8 million that the Half-Blood Prince conjured in July of 2009. Most important of all, the sum total of Potter has now surpassed the Star Wars films to become the most lucrative franchise in the universe… until Lucas starts making with the 3D re-polish, that is.

The other thing to remember is that the Thanksgiving Holiday does not properly start until next week. Many Potter fans who were unable to catch Deathly Hallows this weekend will turn up during the week (with families in tow) while still others will take advantage of their time off to double and triple-dip – unless the delights of Burlesque lure them into another theatre?  This is one film with staying power, is my point. In fact, from now until Deathly Hallows 2 launches in July the studio will be telling viewers that this is the cinematic event of their lifetime – the end of an era. And, you know what?  For once they won’t be lying.

Here’s a list of how things stand now for All-Time Debut Weekends:

  1. The Dark Knight – $157.4 mil
  2. Spider-Man 3 – $151.1
  3. Twilight Saga: New Moon – $142.8
  4. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest – $135.6
  5. Iron Man 2 – $128.1
  6. Harry Potter 7A – $125.1


And that is where I would like to end but I am obliged to mention that Russell Crowe has a new movie out this week as well.  It is called The Next Three Days and here are its stats: from a launch in 2,564 theatres the thriller brought in an estimated $6.7 million. That is roughly one third of what Unstoppable brought in last weekend. I’m trying to lay off the snark because I heard that someone involved with this film has a bit of a temper…

On a more positive note, you may have noticed that the Bush-era drama Fair Game made it into the top ten this week. The film expanded its platform to 386 locations in its third week and brought in an estimated $1.4 million or $3,800 per-screen.

Next week Thanksgiving arrives with a big, sloppy mess of movies all crowding into theatres on Wednesday the 24th. As I mentioned, I expect Harry Potter to remain strong with its only real competition coming from the Disney-does-Dreamworks release Tangled.

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