‘Harry Potter 6’ $58.2 Million Wednesday

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince followed up its record smashing $22.2 million midnight outings with another $36 million during the day on Wednesday for a full opening day tally of $58.2 million. That’s the second largest Wednesday haul on record behind Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen‘s $62 million but, more importantly, well above the $44.2 million tally that Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix debuted with in 2007. It also clocks in as the fourth largest overall opening day behind The Dark Knight, Tranformers 2, and Spider-Man 3.

The midnight showings represented 38% of Wednesday’s overall take, which is by far the highest on record. Order of the Phoenix‘s and Transformers 2‘s midnights represented 27% and 26% of their respective Wednesday debuts. This is not an indication of bad word-of-mouth but instead due to a  combination of a wider and more heavily marketed midnight release and two full years of pent-up demand since Order of the Phoenix, the longest amount of time between Potter films. This will probably result in a very hefty Thursday drop-off. Order of the Phoenix dropped 58% on its first Thursday so look for Half-Blood Prince to drop by more than 60% for around $22 million during its second day of release. This is still a very impressive start and puts Potter in a position to take in as much as $100 million over the weekend.

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Box Office Data Sources: Box Office Mojo and The Numbers


‘Half-Blood Prince’ Shatters Midnight Record

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is off to a dazzling start in North America with a remarkable $22.2 million on 3,003 theaters from Tuesday midnight showings. The figure nearly doubled the $12 million midnight debut from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. More importantly, the Warner Bros. film broke the overall midnight record of $18.5 million set by The Dark Knight, which opened around the same time last year. The Batman Begins sequel went on to post the largest opening day ever at $67.2 million.

Order of the Phoenix also opened on a Wednesday in 2007 and claimed $44.2 million for its opening day. That record held for nearly two years until Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen topped it three weeks ago with a mind-boggling $62 million. If Half-Blood Prince follows the same pattern as the Transformers sequel and Order of the Phoenix, then it’s staring down an opening day north of $80 million, but that number is probably too high given the huge up front demand. The midnight showings will likely represent about a third of the Wednesday gross, which is a very similar composition as another highly anticipated sequel, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. That would yield a tally of around $67 million, which is incredibly close to taking down The Dark Knight‘s record and more than enough to retake the Wednesday crown from Tranformers 2.

Perhaps even more amazing is the fact that this sixth Harry Potter film did this without a massive IMAX release because of a contract with Michael Bay and Paramount to keep Transformers 2 exclusive to the large screen format for five weeks. IMAX sometimes charges more than a $5 premium per ticket. Potter fans will still get to see their favorite wizard in IMAX starting July 29.

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Box Office Data Sources: Box Office Mojo and The Numbers

‘Transformers 2’ Tops $200 Million in 5 Days

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen continued to dominate the market over the weekend after a stellar Wednesday and Thursday. The sci-fi blockbuster attacked 4,234 theaters collecting $109 million domestically from Friday-to-Sunday, which was down a bit from Paramount‘s $112 million estimate on Sunday. Still, that was just enough to become the second film ever to top $200 million in five days, although The Dark Knight wins the tiebreaker since its total was slightly higher after its fifth day with $203.8 million versus $200.1 million for the Michael Bay directed film.

At first glance, the numbers don’t quite add up as they should. After all, the weekend actuals were off by $3 million, yet the five day total is down only $1.1 million. That’s because, in an unorthodox move, Paramount revised the Wednesday and Thursday numbers upwards from $60.6 to $62 million for Wednesday and $28.6 to $29.1 million for Thursday. Unlike the Friday-to-Sunday numbers, the Wednesday and Thursday tallies were already official numbers. One has to wonder where the extra $1.9 million is coming from, which conveniently was just enough to push Transformers 2 above $200 million. Regardless, this debut is extraordinary and rocketed beyond the already lofty industry expectations. This opening significantly built upon the first Transformers‘ launch of $155.4 million over six and a half days after launching on a Monday at 7 pm to take full advantage of the Independence Day holiday. The total eventually reached $319.2 million. This sequel looks to easily top $350 million and possibly even $400 million.

Here is a rundown of the major records and milestones that Transformers 2 has set:

Highest Wednesday gross ($62M) topping Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Highest non-opening Thursday ($29.1M) topping Spider-Man 2
Highest non-opening Friday ($36.7M) topping Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
Largest June opening weekend ($109M) topping Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Largest opening of the year topping X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Largest Wednesday-Sunday tally ($200.1M) topping Spider-Man 2
Second largest 5-day debut ever behind The Dark Knight
Second largest overall opening day behind The Dark Knight
Third largest midnight debut ($16 million)
Largest and widest IMAX debut eclipsing Star Trek

UPDATE: The Numbers is reporting the reasoning behind Paramount’s sudden revisal in Transformers 2’s numbers on Wednesday and Thursday is because of late reports from IMAX and a sizable amount of theaters in Puerto Rico.

Box Office Data Sources: Box Office Mojo and The Numbers

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‘Transformers 2’ $28 Million Thursday

UPDATE: Variety is reporting an official Thursday gross of $28.6 million and $89.3 million including Wednesday. $115 million is looking more likely over the weekend.


Deadline Hollywood Daily is reporting an early estimate of $28 million for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on Thursday. Excluding opening days, that figure stands as the biggest Thursday on record. Even more impressive is that the 54% decline from Wednesday was better than Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix‘s 58% descent on its first Thursday. Order of the Phoenix was the previous record holder for the largest Wednesday opening before the Michael Bay directed film topped it.

After two days, Transformers 2 has captured nearly $89 million in just two days and is in position to take in an additional $110-115 million over the weekend. This is close enough to contend with The Dark Knight for the largest five-day start in history. The Dark Knight opened on a Friday last July and by the end of Tuesday, its fifth day, the comic book sequel racked up $203.8 million.

Box Office Data Sources: Box Office Mojo and The Numbers

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‘Transformers 2’ Smashes Wednesday Record

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is no longer the record holder for the largest Wednesday opening of all time. That’s because Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen racked up a smashing $60.6 million opening day (including $16 million from Tuesday midnights). That’s a full 37% above Order of the Phoenix‘s opening Wednesday.

Paramount Studios picked an excellent release date by taking advantage of a summer market that is currently being dominated by comedies and hasn’t seen an action blockbuster since Terminator Salvation launched over a month ago. Credit also goes to the original Transformers which was generally well-received by moviegoers in 2007 and then expanded its audience with a very lucrative home market run.

Where Transformers 2 goes from here largely depends on its Thursday performance. Looking at other similar Wednesday blockbusters points to a Wed-to-Thurs drop-off of anywhere between 50-65%. Order of the Phoenix, for example, dropped 58% on Thursday after a very similar midnight to opening day ratio as Transformers 2. If the Michael Bay helmed film follows the same pattern, then Thursday would chime in with about $25 million followed by $105 million over the weekend. That would be a five day start of $190 million, which is not far behind The Dark Knight‘s pace. If Thursday is even just a million or two higher, then that record may fall to this sci-fi action film as well.

The Harry Potter franchise does have a chance to swipe the record right back with the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on Wednesday, July 15.

Box Office Data Sources: Box Office Mojo and The Numbers

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‘Transformers 2’ Strikes with $16 Million Midnights

According to a number of sources, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen assaulted about 3,000 theaters on Tuesday night to the tune of $16 million. That’s the third biggest midnight bow in history behind The Dark Knight ($18.5 million) and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith ($16.9 million). The Dark Knight ultimately flew to a record shattering opening day of $67.2 million while Sith rang up $50 million, which was a record at the time. Sith opened on a Thursday in the middle of May when most schools are in session while The Dark Knight opened on a Friday in the middle of summer. The Wednesday opening will prevent Transformers from coming close to taking down the Caped Crusader, but because most kids are out of schools for the summer, the opening day should rocket past Sith. The current champ for the largest Wednesday is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix with $44.2 million, a number which Transformers should easily destroy. $55 million is the target for Optimus Prime and the gang.

Box Office Data Sources: Box Office Mojo and The Numbers

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‘Night at the Museum’ Wins Box Office Battle, No Salvation for ‘Terminator’

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian handily beat Terminator Salvation to lead a decent Memorial Day weekend at the box office. While neither film came close to topping last year’s holiday blockbuster, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the combined haul from the pair of sequels was comparable to Indy‘s fourth outing.

Smithsonian uncovered a healthy $70.1 million from a mega-wide 4,096 theaters over the Friday-to-Monday holiday frame. The $54.2 million figure from the traditional Friday-to-Sunday period was the largest opening for a live-action family film so far this year and the highest ever for its star, Ben Stiller. This number represents a substantial improvement over the original Night at the Museum, which opened to $42.2 million over the Friday-to-Monday Christmas weekend in 2006. The December release date allowed Night at the Museum to display strong legs finishing with $250.9 million. That total will be hard to match, even with a much heftier opening from Smithsonian, in part, because of direct competition in the weeks ahead from Disney/Pixar’s Up on May 29 and the big screen adaptation of Land of the Lost on June 5. Still, 20th Century Fox, the studio behind the family comedy, should be very pleased with the result, which came in above most industry expectations. Smithsonian was able to take advantage of being the first major family film since Monsters Vs. Aliens landed in March.

The news is not quite as rosy for Warner Bros., which continues to see disappointing results from Terminator Salvation. Salvation‘s Friday figure of $14.8 million was a little higher than its Thursday debut, but the sci-fi sequel could not keep its momentum on Saturday as it suffered a 2% drop to $14.5 million. The final figure for the five day extended launch stands at $65.3 million, over $7 million lower than Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines‘ first five days despite six years of inflation. The official Friday-to-Monday tally was $51.9 million and $42.6 million from 3,530 theaters Friday-to-Sunday. Even the casting of Christian “Batman” Bale wasn’t enough to reinvigorate the stagnating franchise.

Star Trek posted an impressive hold during its third outing with $22.9 million over the Fri-to-Sun period, a 47% retreat from last weekend. Monday was strong for the reboot, which boosted the four day figure to $29.4 million. Trek  weathered competition from two different fronts. Moviegoers were given another sci-fi option in the form of Terminator Salvation, and, in addition, Smithsonian swiped most of Trek‘s IMAX screens, which have provided a very significant portion of the grosses for Captain Kirk and company. With $191 million in the bank, the Paramount release should complete its journey in the vicinity of $250 million.

Angels & Demons continues to lag far behind its predecessor with a $27.4 million holiday weekend. The $21.7 million figure from Fri-to-Sun was off 53% from its debut compared to 56% for The Da Vinci Code, which opened much stronger. The 11 day bounty for the adult thriller stands at $87.5 million and should finish with around $130 million.

The latest attempt at spoof, Dance Flick, opened with a passable $12.6 million from 2,450 theaters, which includes $2 million from the Monday holiday. The latest from the Wayans clan did not cost too much to make so profitability will still happen, eventually.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine continues to hold admirably since collapsing in its second weekend. The Friday-to-Sunday figure was off 45% and the weekend total including Monday was $9.9 million upping the haul to $165.2 million. $180 million is the target.

In seventh, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past posted the smallest decline among wide releases with a 42% descent. The total climbed to $46.9 million in 25 days. Obsessed was one spot behind with $2.4 million over the four day period upping the cume to an impressive $66.3 million.

Monsters Vs. Aliens took a direct hit from Smithsonian but still hung on for one more weekend in the top ten. The $193.7 million for the DreamWorks Animation is the heftiest of the year so far, although Star Trek will pass it up shortly. The gross will not climb much higher since Up will be taking away most of its digital 3-D screens on Friday. 17 Again captured the final spot in top ten despite dropping 70%. The total for the Zac Efron fantasy comedy is a solid $60.6 million.

On the limited release front, The Brothers Bloom expanded from 4 to 52 theaters and grossed a decent $495,527 raising the total to $618,195. The indie pic will continue to add theaters in the weeks ahead. The Girlfriend Experience, Steven Soderbergh’s latest arthouse experiment, debuted in 30 specialty theaters and attracted $204,112 from Fri-to-Mon, solid considering it’s already available on pay-per-view. Girlfriend stars adult film star turned Hollywood actress Sasha Grey.

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Box Office Data Source: Box Office Mojo