The Dark Knight is Dead; Long Live Prince Harry
So what movie did you see this weekend?
I finally got around to “Midnight in Paris” (fun!) and “Buck” (good!) but everyone else in America apparently went to “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2,” which set a one-day record Friday by grossing $92 million (breaking “New Moon”'s 2009 record of $72 million), then, bien sur, broke the opening weekend mark of $158 million set by “The Dark Knight” in 2008 by pulling in $168 million. It also grossed $157 million overseas. Pretty soon, as the saying goes, we'll be talking real money.
This is the eighth Harry Potter film in 10 years, and, worldwide, the movies have grossed from $795 million (“Azkaban” in 2004) to $974 million (“Sorcerer's/Philosopher's Stone” in 2001), for a total of more than $6.6 billion. One assumes “Hallows 2,” after its jumpstart, will be the one over the $1 billion mark but that depends upon repeat customers and word-of-mouth.
(BTW: I'm sure this has been ridiculed for 10 years now, but how sad is it that in this country we can't bear a title with the word “philosopher” in it?)
Question of the day: How will Warner Bros. revive this lucrative franchise? By rebooting the sucker in three or four years with all-new cast members? Or by wrestling enough copyright away from J.K. Rowling to create its own Harry Potter adventures—a la Ian Fleming and James Bond? That's assuming Harry lives at the end of “Hallows 2.” I don't even know. I haven't read the books and I stopped with the movies about five years ago. Even the ones I've seen run together. There's our threesome, who often go up against the bad guys, including the blonde kid, Malfoy, the Nellie Olsen of wizards. You get to the school magically, where you play a game on broomsticks. Most of the teachers are old-school stoic. Some help, some hurt. Harry, the orphan, is the chosen one. Just because. There's a really really bad guy he's supposed to go up against. That's about it. But the world is taken.
Elsewhere, “Transformers 3” fell off 55% but still finished second, after two weekends at first, with $21 million. It's now passed the $300 million mark.
It was followed by the second weekend of “Horrible Bosses” ($17m), the second weekend of “Zookeepper” ($12m), the fourth weekend of “Cars 2” ($8.3 million) and the first weekend of the reboot of another British import, “Winnie the Pooh” ($8 million).
The magic totals here.
The Harry Potter posters: from “Let the Magic Begin” to “It All Ends.”