As was widely expected, the latest Harry Potter film was off to a terrific start this weekend.

$125.0M Debut for ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I”

on November 22, 2010 by Daniel Garris
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Coming as no surprise Warner's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I was off to a massive start this weekend. The seventh installment of the long-running fantasy franchise debuted with $125.02 million. That represented a new opening weekend record for the franchise as it easily topped the $102.69 million start of 2005's Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Deathly Hallows: Part I also topped the $107.01 million that last year's Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince grossed in its first three days (it opened on a Wednesday). It should be noted that when adjusting for ticket price inflation, Deathly Hallows: Part I opened nearly on par with Goblet of Fire as well as 2001's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I registered the sixth largest opening weekend of all time (without adjusting for ticket price inflation). The film's opening weekend also ranked as the second largest of 2010 (behind only the $128.12 million start of Iron Man 2) and as the second largest ever for the month of November (behind only the $142.84 million start of last year's The Twilight Saga: New Moon). Much like New Moon, Deathly Hallows: Part I was incredibly front-loaded towards its opening day performance (due in part to tremendous Midnight grosses on opening day). Deathly Hallows: Part I grossed $61.68 million on Friday alone, giving it an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.03 to 1. In comparison, New Moon had a ratio of 1.96 to 1. The Harry Potter franchise has become increasingly front-loaded over the years, due in part to the simple fact that franchise's original younger fanbase has grown older over the past decade.

As has always been the case with the franchise, Deathly Hallows: Part I is doing even bigger business internationally. The film grossed $205 million from 54 countries, giving it a worldwide start of $330 million. Deathly Hallows: Part I was off to a $29.4 million record breaking debut in the United Kingdom (topping the previous record holder, 2008's Quantum of Solace). Other foreign highlights included $22.6 million in Germany, $14.8 million in Australia, $14.0 million in Japan, $12.9 million in Russia, $11.0 million in Italy, $10.6 million in China and $10.2 million in Mexico.

After topping the box office each of the past two weekends, Paramount's Megamind slid to a distant second place with $16.01 million. Despite the new competition from the Harry Potter juggernaut, Megamind held up fairly well this weekend as it fell a very reasonable 45 percent from the previous frame. Megamind cleared the $100 million mark this weekend and currently boasts a 17-day total of $109.31 million. Megamind will face even more competition for family audiences later this week when Disney's computer animated Tangled hits theatres on Wednesday.

Also holding up fairly well this weekend was Fox's Unstoppable. The Tony Scott directed film starring Denzel Washington grossed $13.01 million to finish in third. Unstoppable fell 43 percent from last weekend, which represented a stronger second weekend hold than many of Washington's recent films have experienced. Unstoppable is being helped by strong word of mouth as well as a lack of films in the current marketplace that skew heavily male. Unstoppable has grossed $41.87 million in ten days and should hold up very well over the Thanksgiving holiday frame.

Internationally, Unstoppable grossed $7.5 million this weekend. That brings the film's international total to $32.0 million and worldwide total to $73.9 million. Unstoppable will open in a number of new foreign markets next weekend, including the United Kingdom and Russia.

Continuing the trend set by Megamind and Unstoppable, Warner's Due Date also held up fairly well this weekend. The R-rated comedy grossed $8.91 million, which was down 42 percent. This weekend's larger holdovers all appear to have been helped out slightly from the lack of a clear alternative to Harry Potter on the release schedule. Due Date has grossed $72.43 million through 17 days of release, but will need to hold up extremely well over Thanksgiving if it is to reach the $100 million domestic milestone.

Internationally, Due Date grossed $9.4 million over the weekend. That places the film's international total at $62.2 million and worldwide total at $134.6 million.

Rounding out the weekend's top five was Lionsgate's The Next Three Days. The Paul Haggis directed film starring Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks opened with a disappointing $6.54 million. The Next Three Days represented the smallest debut for a Russell Crowe film since the $3.72 million start of 2006's A Good Year. The Next Three Days did skew very heavily towards moviegoers over the age of 25, so it does have a good chance of holding up well over the Thanksgiving holiday frame.

On the limited front Summit's Fair Game and Fox Searchlight's 127 Hours continued their expansions this weekend. Fair Game remained ahead with $1.46 million (good enough for tenth place overall this weekend), compared to $0.92 million for 127 Hours. However, 127 Hours continued to register the larger per-location average of the two by averaging $8,486 from 108 locations. Fair Game averaged $3,772 from 386 locations. The respective 17-day starts for Fair Game and 127 Hours stand at $3.72 million and $1.90 million. The Weinstein Company's The King's Speech will enter the platform race on Friday.

Tags: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I, Megamind, Unstoppable, Due Date, The Next Three Days, Fair Game, 127 Hours
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