Reject Report: Harry-Mania!

The Reject ReportWelcome to The Reject Report’s live, continuing coverage of Harry-mania. What else can we say about the premiere of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix? The box office for this franchise just goes up and up— like a phoenix rising from the ashes. We all knew the Wednesday premiere was going to be huge, what with early-morning midnight screenings going on and so forth. The question was: would this movie topple records the way Transformers did last week?

The answer is yes. The fifth Harry Potter movie starring Daniel Radcliffe brought in $44.8 million for its opening day. It is the biggest Wednesday open in history, topping the $40.4 mil record set by Spider-Man 2. It also topped the $40.1 mil tally of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire from November 2005. The movie was helped by midnight screenings in the wee hours of Wednesday morning in 2,311 theaters. Those brought in approximately $12 million, topping the $8 million tally from midnight screenings of Lord of the Rings.

potter_poster.jpgBased on these figures I think this movie is going to top $150 million for five days. Keep in mind this movie brought in something like $32 million dollars yesterday if the midnight screenings are factored out of the equation. That’s a lot of money in one night, folks. That’s more business than Evan Almighty did for its entire opening week! And keep in mind that Evan Almighty was a Number One movie! The theater count for Harry Potter is huge. It’s playing in 4,181 theaters. If we’re looking at $28 million a day through Sunday, plus this $44.8 million tally from Wednesday, then this latest Harry Potter movie will top $150 million, easily. I think we are looking at an $86 million weekend for this movie.

“Okay, we get it,” you are saying. “This movie is a huge hit.” So much for Transformers and the records it set last week. Harry Potter is going to do much better business than Transformers in the long term if this keeps up. Also, people who were moaning about how this summer’s box office was looking to be worse than 2005 should hold their fire until the summer is over. This is the second week in a row where we are seeing records falling. And there are just too many potential hit movies being released late in the summer. Coming soon, we have the Simpsons movie and the Bourne Ultimatum, Rush Hour 3, and also some other possibilities like I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry which might do considerable business. Things are looking up, so quit whining until all the box office numbers are in.

Other movies opening wide:

Captivity opens on Friday in 1,500 theaters. It’s a horror-thriller from After Dark Films and stars Elisha Cuthbert. The story features a serial killer who kidnaps and tortures a fashion model and her chauffeur, both of whom end up falling in love. This movie looks to do somewhere between 6-10 million at the box office.

So predictions for the weekend coming up:

Release Studio Predicted Gross
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Warner Bros. $86,000,000
Transformers Paramount $38,000,000
Ratatouille Disney / Pixar $18,000,000
Live Free or Die Hard Fox $11,000,000
Captivity After Dark $7,000,000
License to Wed Warner Bros. $5,500,000
Evan Almighty Universal $5,000,000
1408 MGM / Weinstein $4,800,000
Knocked Up Universal $4,000,000
Sicko Lionsgate $3,000,000

One more note about Transformers. While it was initially reported everywhere that the seven-day take was $152 million, Paramount took another look at the box office totals and discovered that the flick did even better than that! Transformers did $155 million in business and $70 million over the three-day weekend. Not bad.

Back Monday to tell you the final numbers from the weekend.

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