Sunday, July 17, 2011

Harry Potter 7.2

It made $92 million on its first day. That sounds like a big jump from the previous record of $72 million for New Moon but here's a few reasons not to care:

1. Teenagers really have nothing better to do in the summer than see midnight and Friday showings. The trend toward increasing frontloading showed no signs of abatement coming into this year so its not shocking to see another new record.

2. This is the first teen movie available in 3D, giving about a 25% price premium to tickets. A lot of people realized 3D movies suck, but at least half the midnight audience and probably more bought 3D or IMAX tickets. Factoring that in and Deathly Hallows 2 might have sold fewer tickets than New Moon.

3. Harry Potter films always make about $300 million. It doesn't matter when they are released, how the economy is doing, whether the movie is any good--the same people go, plus or minus a small rounding error. This time the same people will show up and it will make < $400 mil (Update: I've changed my projection to over $400 million after a strong second weekend) but a lot more than $300 mil because of the expensive 3D tickets.

Look at this Box Office Mojo chart to see how no matter when the movies are release--Wednesday, Friday, summer, winter, booming economy, slugging, "recovering" all the differences in openings wash out by the 2nd week.

The overseas numbers, which aren't in yet, could be more interesting. People overseas love franchises and love 3D movies. Pirates 4 flopped in the U.S. but was the most popular one overseas, and there is an upward trend is in Potter ticket sales abroad--Deathly Hallows was the most popular one.

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