Well, here we go again. Another “Harry Potter” flick and already records are being broken. In an almost unprecedented manner, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” casted its box office spell on the rest of the competition on its way to a $169.2 million weekend. That’s impressive and good for number one among the highest grossing weekend’s ever. By comparison, that’s over double what “Avatar,” the current highest grossing film of all time, earned its first weekend and $11 million more than the previous weekend record holder “The Dark Knight.” So, make no mistake about it, this type of success is quite impressive and should not be taken lightly as its not everyday a film comes out and does that kind of business in 3 days. And that’s only looking at the domestic numbers, as this final installment within the same time frame has earned $312.3 million overseas. For those counting at home, that’s a cool $481.4 million in merely 3 days time.
Numbers like that is no mirage; they are a reality and strong indication why the rest of the box office suffered this past weekend. Sure, our previous number one film, “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” was able to earn an estimated $21.3 million, but that’s a 54 percent drop from the week prior. So, lets just say when “Harry Potter” is around, nothing else matters at the box office. If you don’t believe me, just ask the producers of “Winnie the Pooh” who watched their animated feature debut with just $7.8 million, which was good for sixth this past week. That’s a good $600,000 less than the fifth place Pixar disappointment, “Cars 2,” which managed just $8.4 million in its fourth week. Yeah, believe it or not, for only the second or third time in its history, one of Pixar’s own is on a major decline as its 24-day total is trailing only “Ratatouille” in gross and attendance within the same period of time. That might be a bigger story than what the young wizard is doing right now as its rare Pixar has anything out of this conversation.
But, facts are facts and even after 25 years of great work, Pixar still can make poor decisions and while I felt “Cars 2” was overall a good movie, it did have its faults. Now, whether that equates to box numbers this bad is still yet to be answered, but maybe the fans are telling Pixar something with the lack of love. That, or Disney and Pixar got too consumed with merchandising for this series that they failed to put together a better product that would rival most of their other recent hits. Either way, it’s shocking to see any Pixar film at just $286.9 million worldwide when it’s been out nearly a month. Having said that, at least it can save some face knowing it has some morals attached to it whereas “Zookeeper” has less than none. How this film got made is beyond me and no matter what anyone tells me, I cannot and will not get on board for something this ridiculous. Yes, it may only be a little over $30 million short of its estimated budget of $80 million, but if I were to lay money on it, I would bet Kevin James and his furry ‘friends’ never get there.
As for the rest of the best, believe it or not, our third place film from this past weekend was none other than “Horrible Bosses.” That’s right, for all those thinking Jason Bateman didn’t have it in him for all this success, think again as his new comedy has just surpassed $60 million in a 2-week span. For any R-rated comedy not named “The Hangover,” that’s good work and for Bateman and Co., another indication this newfound comedic fad with a capital R is not going away. How could it when these comedies have turned over $800 million in the first half of this year? “The Hangover Part II,” “Bridesmaids” and “Bad Teacher” alone have managed around $900 million together, so whatever “Horrible Bosses” is able to do the next few weeks is a bonus when its budget was only $35 million according to Box Office Mojo.com. So anyone that says comedy is lost in Hollywood hasn’t seen or met this year’s crop of flicks making waves across our nation.
Checking history, though, this weekend was like very few before it after what “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” just did. It’s one thing to meet expectations and go over $100 million domestically. It’s another to blow past $500 million on your way to $542.2 million worldwide. That’s insane for a series that before this past weekend had earned a stout $6.3 billion in less than 10 years. And when it’s all said and done, all eight films to this iconic series will be ranked in the top 30 all time highest grossing films. If that’s doesn’t confirm how big “Harry Potter” has been, I don’t what does as virtually no series can claim that kind of greatness. Not even the great “James Bond” series, who even at 22 films does not match those kinds of numbers. Few can, which is why at the end of day, “Harry Potter” will stand beside the likes of “Star Wars,” “Indiana Jones,” “James Bond” and “Pirates of the Caribbean” as one of Hollywood’s best when it comes to major franchises.
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