July 16, 2011


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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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>Harry Potter is leaving the screen with a bang, setting a new single-day record and a new opening weekend record.  And the film has absolutely ingnited the box office, pushing the weekend up almost 50% versus this weekend last year.   

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (the 8th and final — according to Warner Brothers — Potter movie) opened way above forecast ($92 million Friday for an expected $175 million this weekend versus a $145 million forecast).  Harry Potter 8 now owns the single-day record (besting Twilight Saga: New Moon‘s $73 million on Friday, November 20, 2009) and the opening weekend record (smashing Dark Night‘s $158 million opening July 18-20, 2008).  In case you missed them, click here to see this week’s Weekend Prediction.  Harry Potter is headed for $425 million in North America when it crosses the finish line, according to the ShowBuzzDaily Domestic Final estimate. International numbers will be just even more potent.  Look for an overseas round-up late Sunday.  And see Mitch Salem’s review of Harry Potter’s finale.   

Winnie the Pooh will hit its meager forecast.  The animated Disney film is expected to reach $8.8 million this weekend, almost exactly the $9 million prediction.  The film is headed for a quiet $35 million total in North America. 

Click “Read more” to see the complete box office chart.

Horrible Bosses should drop a very good 37% (more good news for Warner Brothers, as if they needed it this morning), and the film has been upgraded a touch to $109 million.  Zookeeper should decline 43% and is holding steady at a $67 million final domestic.   

Transformers: Dark of the Moon should fall 54% from last weekend, and its domestic gross is locking in on $375 million.  

July 15-17, 2011        Pre-Wknd    Wknd            Showbuzz
(millions)              Showbuzz    Early   Friday  Domestic
                        Forecast    Proj.   Actual   Final*
Harry Potter 8  (WB)     [$145 ]    $175    $92.1     $425
Transformers 3  (Par/DW) [$22.5]    $21.5   $ 6.3     $375
Horrible Bosses (WB)     [$17  ]    $17.8   $ 5.5     $109
Zookeeper (Sony)         [$11  ]    $11.5   $ 3.9     $ 67
Winnie the Pooh (Dis)    [$ 9  ]    $ 8.8   $ 2.9     $ 35
Cars 2
(Dis)             [$ 8  ]    $ 7.8   $ 2.4     $186

Bad Teacher (Sony)       [$ 5  ]    $ 4.7   $ 1.6     $101

Larry Crowne (Uni)       [$ 3.5]    $ 2.6   $ 0.8     $ 37
Super 8 (Par)            [$ 3  ]    $ 1.8   $ 0.5     $129

Note: The table above summarizes an early look at the weekend.  The first column is reminder of each film’s ShowbuzzDaily Forecast for the weekend (in brackets).  The second column, on which the films are sorted, displays the new weekend projection for each film, based on the Friday numbers (the third column).  The final column is a preliminary estimate of the ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Total number for the film’s total run in North America.  A “++” indicates the Domestic number has been upgraded; a “–” indicates a downgrade. 

Limited Releases

More later as data becomes available. 

Total Box Office Volume

The Top 12 Films this weekend are looking like $253 million total, up a whopping 48% from the same calendar weekend last year when Inception and Sorcerer’s Apprentice opened.  

Top 12 Films: Weekend #28

2011  $253  (
+40% vs 2007-10 average; +48% vs 2010) 

Avg   $181  
            Movies Opening That Weekend
2010  $171  Inception $63, Sorcerer’s Apprentice $18    

2009  $152  Harry Potter Half-Blood Prince $78
2008  $254  Dark Knight $158, Mamma Mia! $28, Space Chimps $7
2007  $147  
I Know Pronounce You Chuck & Larry $34, Hairspray $28

Next Weekend

Opening next week are Captain America from Paramount and Friends with Benefits from Sony.  Those movies will be compared to Salt ($36 million opening weekend) and Ramona and Beezus ($8 million), making next weekend a very probable up weekend versus 2010 (the second in as many weeks). 

Look for updates of the weekend box office on Sunday, based on the Saturday actual numbers.

About the Author

Mitch Metcalf
MITCH METCALF has been tracking every US film release of over 500 screens (over 2300 movies and counting) since the storied weekend of May 20, 1994, when Maverick and Beverly Hills Cop 3 inspired countless aficionados to devote their lives to the art of cinema. Prior to that, he studied Politics and Economics at Princeton in order to prepare for his dream of working in television. He has been Head of West Coast Research at ABC, then moved to NBC in 2000 and became Head of Scheduling for 11 years.