Finally here, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, 4125 theaters, over 9000 screens and millions of fans worldwide for the highest grossing series in box office history (over $5.4 billion worldwide so far). How will the 7th epic perform this weekend and where will it stand when all is said and done, well, right after the break.
As mentioned above, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (that we will simply call Harry Potter 7 from this moment on) is the 7th entry in this most successful movie series, so expectations for it are obviously high but first let us take a look back at what previous entries in the series managed to pull at the box office.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (or Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone) opened on November 16th 2001 and from that point on nothing was ever the same. It made $32.3 million day 1, a record at the time and then went on to a $90.2 million opening weekend, also a record back then. It finished in North America with $317.5 million and a total of $974.3 million worldwide, both numbers still ranking as the highest this series has ever got.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets came out in 2002 exactly one year after Sorcerer’s Stone to a weekend of $88.3 million in North America and went on to $261.9 million over there, clearly not on the same level as the first one but still a very impressive number. $878.6 million worldwide and already over $1.8 billion total after just 2 movies, things were just starting to move.
One year and a half later, June 4th 2004 , Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is released with the best critical and fan reception the series got so far (including the movies that came after it). Went on to open with $93.6 million, series best at the time. Unfortunately fantastic critical reception didn’t translate into great holds and The Prisoner of Azkaban finished with a series low of $249.5 million in North America and $795.6 million worldwide. At the time a lot of people blamed the summer opening but soon we will learn that wasn’t true for future chapters in this franchise.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire came back to the old slot of the series, the middle of November in 2005 this time around, opening with $102.6 million, still a series high even to this day. Goblet of Fire finished with $290 million in North America and $895.9 million worldwide. Harry Potter was finally back on the right track at the box office.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix came back to the summer, this time opening on July 11th 2007. It was the first movie for David Yates, the man that went on to direct no less then half of the entries in the series (including Deathly Hallows Part 2). Order of the Phoenix was also the first in the series to open on a Wednesday invalidating the opening weekend basically (since most people already came to see it before said weekend). It made $292 million in North America and $938.2 million worldwide. Harry Potter was getting higher and higher, coming ever so close to the first one.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince took the longest to come out (mostly because of a 6 months delay caused by The Dark Knight), exactly 2 years after Order of the Phoenix, on July 15th 2009, a Wednesday. At $58.1 million it was by far the biggest opening day in the history of this series. Half-Blood Prince became thus the second Potter to pass the $300 million mark with $301.9 million in North America. Unfortunately worldwide the movie didn’t perform as well and finished with $933.9 million, $4.3 million less The Order of the Phoenix.
Now the time has come for Harry Potter 7 to show its fangs and at first glance they are damn huge. This is the first Potter to open on a Friday in 5 years, I’m talking $140 million opening here, stuff you don’t see every day. Midnight shows alone scored $24 million and those will count for the weekend total. This is definitely big so I am going to keep you all updated on how things go over the weekend. Considering such a big opening, Harry Potter 7 is bound to finish with over 300 million in North America and about $960 million worldwide. Deathly Hallows Part 2 is the one that will pass Sorcerer’s Stone both in North America and worldwide with maybe $32o million in North America and over $1 billion worldwide.
By looking at the huge wall of Harry Potter above you might start to believe that it is the only movie opening this weekend, well it isn’t. The Next Three Days is opening alongside in 2564 theaters. This is counter-programming obviously, a different genre for people that just aren’t interested in Potter. It is looking at around $14 million for 3rd place. In 2nd place we should have Megamind with $16 million for a total of $109 million after 3 weekends.
Unstoppable and Due Date will finish the top 5 in 4th and 5th place. Unstoppable with $14 million and Due Date with $8 million.