Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I absolutely dominated the box office this weekend, as you’d expect. With $125 million, it was the sixth highest opening weekend of all time. It was also the biggest opening weekend for a Potter film, besting Goblet of Fire which opened with $102 million (in terms of audience attendance, however, Deathly Hallows actually fell slightly below the first movie in the series). And now, at $1.84 billion, the Harry Potter franchise is close to surpassing the Star Wars franchise for the biggest all time (it should pass the Star Wars films by next weekend), although again, in terms of actual audience, it’s about half of what Star Wars brought in.
It was an unprecedented move for Warner Brothers, to divide the book into two movies, and obviously it paid off, which also bodes well for the box office prospects of Twilight: Breaking Dawn parts one and two. Given the success, expect the trend to continue, as I’m sure we will soon be seeing a two-part movie for The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and another iteration of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, which will no doubt open during the holiday season of 2012 and conclude over Christmas 2013. What’s better than a $5 per ticket surcharge for 3D movies? Cutting the same movie into half and charging your audience twice, of course. And given the diminished collective attention span of the nation, soon I’m sure all movies will be cut into 25 minute quarters and released every three months.
The other new movie opening this weekend, The Next Three Days didn’t do so well, coming in 5th place with only $6.7 million. If Lionsgate had been smart, they’d have divided each of the three days into separate movies.
Megamind hung on to number two, pushing its three-week total to $109 million; Unstoppable added another $13 million to bring its ten day total to $41 million; and the $65 million Due Date added another $9 million to bring its total to a profitable $72 million and counting.
To return to Harry Potter for a moment, using computer wizardry only available at the Pajiba headquarters, we’ve sample Daniel Radcliffe’s age progression over the last seven movies, from this:
Using advanced computer technology and a sophisticated algorithm designed by Courtney Enlow, we’ve calculated that, in five years, this is what Daniel Radcliffe will look like: