Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two hits movie theatres this weekend and will look to set a franchise best in terms of opening weekend gross. The other new release of the weekend will be going after younger audiences as Walt Disney Pictures releases the animated adventure Winnie the Pooh. All the other films in the top five are just hoping that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two does not cut into their box office gross too much. Here’s how I predict the weekend will go down:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two opens this weekend and the anticipation to see the finale of the popular franchise is at an all-time high. The final installment follows Harry, Ron and Hermione battling the Death Eaters one last time with Harry and Voldemort having their long awaited showdown in a battle of good vs. evil. Fans of the books cannot wait to see the pages come to life, fans of the movies are just plain excited and Warner Bros. is ecstatic by the prospect of making a ton of money on this film. Just to take a look back at the franchise, here is how all the films in the series have done on their opening weekend:
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – $90.2 million opening weekend
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – $88.3 million opening weekend
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – $93.6 million opening weekend
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – $102.6 million opening weekend
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – $77.1 million opening weekend
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – $77.8 million opening weekend
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One – $125 million opening weekend
Average Opening Weekend – $93.5 million
I think it is safe to say that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two should shatter the record for highest opening weekend in the franchise. It also has the benefit of being shown in 3-D which will drive up ticket prices. The only other time I can think of a comparable film, where fans were excited to see the final installment in a franchise, is Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith because everyone wanted to see that film to witness Anakin Skywalker become Darth Vader. Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith grossed $108.4 million on its opening weekend back in 2005 and that was by far and away the highest grossing opening weekend in the franchise, surpassing the $64.8 million of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. As mentioned earlier, people want to see the final battle between Harry and Voldemort, so it makes sense that this film will have a massive opening weekend. What is also amazing is that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two is receiving the best reviews of the entire franchise as Rotten Tomatoes has the film listed at 97% positive as of this writing. The glowing reviews are definitely going to help the film out at the box office in the long run. I’m going out on a limb on my prediction, but here it is. Opening in 4,375 theatres (which is the third highest theatre release count of all time), I’m predicting that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two will gross $154 million this weekend, giving it a first place finish at the box office and the 2nd highest opening weekend of all time.
Winnie the Pooh is released as counter-programming by Walt Disney Pictures this weekend for audiences that are a little too young to see wizards do battle. The film is based on three short stories about Winnie the Pooh and mainly follows Pooh, Tigger, Kanga, Little Roo, Rabbit, Piglet and Owl on a quest to save Christopher Robin. When making my prediction for Winnie the Pooh, I took a look at the previous Winnie the Pooh related films and how they did on their opening weekend. They are below:
2000 – The Tigger Movie – $9.4 million opening weekend
2003 – Piglet’s Big Movie – $6 million opening weekend
Average Opening Weekend – $7.7 million
I don’t know how successful Winnie the Pooh will be this weekend because Disney seems to be dumping this film onto audiences as it’s getting a low theatre count of 2,405 theatres. Usually films that are not good get treated like this, but Winnie the Pooh is getting love from the critics as it has an 88% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing. I’m going to play it safe and stick with the average listed above. I’m predicting that Winnie the Pooh will gross $7.5 million and finish in 6th place.
Among last weekends holdovers that will still be in the top five this weekend, here are my predictions:
Transformers: Dark of the Moon held up well in its second week, but I think the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two will cause Transformers: Dark of the Moon to have a bigger drop off this weekend, than it did last weekend. I’m predicting a drop of 55% this weekend, giving Transformers: Dark of the Moon a gross of $21.2 million and a 2nd place finish.
Horrible Bosses had an excellent debut last weekend, surprising a lot of people with its strong performance. I think it has a great chance to have a strong hold this weekend, as this will be the counter-programming film that adults will want to see instead of the film about wizards. I’m predicting that Horrible Bosses drops 41%, giving the film a gross of $19.5 million and a 3rd place finish.
Zookeeper had a disappointing debut last weekend, even though it did gross $20 million. I think the premise of the film turned a lot of people off, as the trailers for the film did look bad. I thought Kevin James had built up enough star power to get the film a higher gross, but I was wrong. I think the word-of-mouth and terrible reviews will definitely hurt Zookeeper this weekend, so I’m predicting a drop of 53%, which will give the film a gross of $9.4 million and a 4th place finish.
Cars 2 will also be hurt by the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two this weekend because audiences will prefer to see the newest big blockbuster instead of one that will be in its fourth weekend of release. It will also be losing some 3-D screens to the wizard film, and that takes away from its box office gross. I’m predicting that Cars 2 will drop 45%, giving the film a gross of $8.4 million and a 5th place finish.
In limited release the following films are opening: Daylight; Life, Above All; Salvation Boulevard; Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and Tabloid.
Daylight, Life, Above All and Tabloid all have ratings above 80% positive at Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing.
So to recap, here are my predictions:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two – $154 million
Transformers: Dark of the Moon – $21.2 million
Horrible Bosses – $19.5 million
Zookeeper – $9.4 million
Cars 2 – $8.4 million
Think you can do better than me in making predictions? Go to http://www.boxofficemojo.com and sign up for “The Box Office Derby”. Make your predictions and see if you can beat the man with the I.D. “ScottyG”.
Remember to check back on Sunday to see how I did!