Harry Potter finished his Hogwarts school days with box-office highs around the world. The question is whether the young wizard can continue to work his charms on audiences now that so many fans already have seen his big-screen finale.
When a film opens to colossal numbers such as the record $169.2 million weekend domestically for Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2, it usually has nowhere to go but down — and sharply — in its second weekend. “Conventional wisdom is the bigger they open, the harder they fall,” said Paul Dergarabedian, an analyst for box-office tracker Hollywood.com. “There’s no way they can sustain it.”
Still, distributor Warner Bros predicts the finale will easily top $1 billion worldwide, joining only a handful of films that have reached that level.
The film is almost halfway there already. Adding in its record international income of $312.3 million, Deathly Hallows: Part 2 was closing in on $500 million after just days in release. Domestic revenues for the last three of the seven earlier Harry Potter films fell about 60 per cent in their second weekends, a steep drop but typical of many blockbusters that count on opening weekend for a huge portion of their total income. Because of its record launch, the finale could drop even further, down as much as 65-70 per cent next weekend, said Dan Fellman, head of domestic distribution at Warner Bros. After that, Fellman expects it to settle in for a long run, drawing repeat business from fans and even luring those who have not come out for earlier Harry Potter flicks.