'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' enchants Friday box office with $61.2 mil

Image Credit: Jaap Buitendijk

Harry Potter is one popular bespectacled teenager. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1 bewitched the box office on Friday by grossing $61.2 million, according to early estimates. If the estimate holds, Deathly Hallows will come away with the fifth best opening day ever, behind only the last two Twilight movies, The Dark Knight, and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. The Friday figure, which includes $24 million earned from Thursday midnight showings, also represents the single highest grossing day ever for the franchise, topping Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince‘s $58.2 million debut from last year.

Deathly Hallows‘ final weekend result will depend on whether the PG-13 film’s business was extremely front-loaded or not. If the wizarding movie emulates Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (the last Potter film to open on a Friday), it’ll drop 9 percent and 30 percent on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, giving it a weekend total of around $156 million. But considering the increased popularity of midnight screenings since 2005, Deathly Hallows will likely see a larger Friday-to-Saturday decline than Goblet of Fire.

The other movie Deathly Hallows could follow is The Twilight Saga: New Moon, which debuted on the same November weekend a year ago. After draining a record $72.7 million its opening day, New Moon plunged 42 and 34 percent on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. If Deathly Hallows were to witness the same drops, it’d conclude the weekend with around $121 million. But while Twihards may trump Potter fans in sheer passion, Potter should draw a more varied crowd, including a greater proportion of adults who don’t rush out the millisecond a movie reaches theaters. So, if you’ve followed me this far, this is simply a long way of saying that Deathly Hallows is on track to earn somewhere between $130 million and $140 million this weekend. Which as Ron Weasley would say, is “bloody brilliant.”

Mr. Weasley could not say the same for the Russell Crowe thriller The Next Three Days, which debuted in fifth place with a Friday gross of $2.2 million. The $30 million movie should finish the weekend with just under $7 million — Crowe’s worst opening since 2006’s A Good Year. The rest of the top five consisted of holdovers. The Denzel Washington action thriller Unstoppable fell 49 percent for $4.1 million, while the superhero comedy Megamind slid 52 percent for $3.7 million. Like last time, expect Megamind to overtake Unstoppable by Sunday night. And in fourth place was the Robert Downey Jr. road-trip comedy Due Date, which dropped 47 percent for $2.9 million. Check back here on Sunday for the complete box office report.

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1 — $61.2 mil
2. Unstoppable — $4.1 mil
3. Megamind — $3.7 mil
4. Due Date — $2.9 mil
5. The Next Three Days — $2.2 mil

Box office preview: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows would like your attention

Comments (101 total) Add your comment
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  • Susan

    I saw Harry Potter at midnight Thursday and I am going to go see it again today with friends! It was great!

  • bill

    Deathly Hallows was amazing!

    • AcaseofGeo

      Can ANYONE confirm 2 very IMPORTANT plot points for the finale? Will they definitely have Mrs. Weasley be the one who vanguishes Bellatrix AND will the touching display of family unity by the detestable Malfoys at the end of the battle be in the film? These are two small but CRUCIAL plot points!! Can anyone confirm if they are in the final installment??

      • L_P

        Mrs Weasley will be the one to fight with Bellatrix, as she discussed this point in an interview with Paul O’Grady now long back. As for the other point I do not know, sorry.

      • Sarah

        Odds are that the Malfoy story line will say the same as Jo Rowling was an executive producer on the films, hence the reason this one stayed so close to the original.

      • Laura

        I was pretty annoyed they didn’t show that Dudley actually had concern for where Harry was going, it was like another Snape sort of plotline. I was ready to cry at that part!

        But I really am hoping that they show the Malfoys unity. The thing with the second part is the emotion in it, and if they don’t capture the emotion that most people would have had reading the battle, it won’t be any good. I for one felt unity with the entire of the Hogwarts staff etc while reading the book and I want to feel that again when I see the film. I’ve hated every single Potter film up until this one which I actually really liked, so i’m setting my hopes quite high. Could be a mistake I know.

      • B-ret

        You’re an idiot.

      • AcaseofGeo

        Thanx guys. I also missed the poignant goodby with the Dursleys. Reading Dudley’s goodbye was a cathartic point for that character. Then again, I also was disappointed that the part in “Half Blood Prince” where Dumbledore scolds the Dursleys for their contemptable care of Harry over the years.

      • PK


        The Producer mentioned that Dudley’s goodbye to Harry was shot, but it was cut out.

        Perhaps we’ll see it in the extended cut dvd/bluray.

      • Laura

        @PK Thank you for letting me know that, although I see no reason why they would cut it from the film, I know it’s not a huge part of the story but it was quite important to me when I read the books.

        @AcaseofGeo The Half Blood Prince was my least favourite film I think due to the fact they pretty much dropped everything that was important, including Dumbledore’s funeral, I was raging about that one for days!

  • Luna

    aww d*mn. I was hoping it would beat Twilight. It sure deserved to!

    • Liza

      So was I! I still have high hopes for Part 2 to beat it though!

    • Carla

      I totally and completely agree. I think overall, Harry Potter is bigger WORLDWIDE than Twilight though. And because of this I truly believe that HP will do overall better than Twilight ever will.

      • Meredith

        Yes, the Harry Potter films do signigicantly more business than Twilight oversees. Harry Potter also has more lasting power at the box office than Twilight and thus have a higher domestic totals. The Harry Potter franchise has and always will be bigger than Twilight because of the larger fanbase.

    • Naimy

      It will beat the twilight movies overall! The least highly grossing harry potter movie is still higher than the highest grossing twilight and many are in the top 10 of highest grossing of all time, whereas any of the twilights havent made the top 20

  • Thom

    Yup I called it. Twilight fans are young and crazy and will watch the recent entry all day long.

    Meanwhile, every Potter fan I know have lives and responsibilities and haven’t had a chance to see it yet.

    Save me of course. I freely admit I got no life. Good (half of a) movie.

  • Matt1

    F harry potter and F twilight!! I’m so sick and tired of every EW article comparing HP to the wimpiest vampire series of all time! And if it isn’t boring wizards or gay vampires ew’s talking about, it’s that stupid-ass show Glee!!
    I used to like this site for the insider info on new movies and tv shows being developed and so forth but I swear, if your not into HP, twilight or glee, there’s absolutely nothing worth coming here for anymore.
    EW is dead to me.

    • Ed

      You know the stories are CLICKABLE right?

      No one’s forcing you to click on any of them.

      Unless you’re ARE being forced by some armed psychopath.

      If that’s the case, then please send us a sign, preferably with more rambling about what you hate to read about, that way we can get the authorities on this.

      • LSCH

        Too funny!

    • Will

      Yet you continue to read EW and make comments. Go to Deadline..com for insider information.

    • Paul

      Why are you talking to dead things?

    • Matt1

      @Ed, Will and Paul…
      The comment section is here for people to express their opinions. I in no way am putting anyone else posting here down, I’m simply stating that there’s more going on in the world of entertainment than Harry Potter, twilight and Glee, which dominate about 90% of what EW talks about.
      But hey, if you wanna keep put down everyone whose opinion differs from yours that’s your perogative. Good luck making it through life douchebags.

      • Dave

        I respect your opinion. EW does cover things like Twilight and Glee and Harry Potter a lot. But the things is, you’re making this comment on an article about box office totals on the opening weekend of a Potter film. What do you expect?

      • Jose

        You do realize that EW still continues to make stories about the rest of the entertainment indusrty. You just happen to be reading the stories about Harry Potter, Glee, and Twilight.

      • onlymystory

        Everytime I turn around, someone is complaining about EW coverage. One minute its too much Twilight coverage, then its Bones, or House, or Greys, or Vampire Diaries, or Glee, or…and the list goes on. There is plenty of coverage for everything, but the front pages get the most popular topics. Those currently are Harry Potter, Glee, and vampire related in large part. But rather than comment and piss people off, send an email to EW.

      • Matt1

        hey onlymystory, lick my balls.

  • AcaseofGeo

    Its a great movie but its also obviously a penultimate bridge movie. It definitely left me wanting MORE! I cried when Dobbie died, just as I did in the book. Amazing how a character that almost became the JarJar Binks of the Harry Potter universe when first introduced in the second movie had one of the most poignantly touching and heroic deaths of the entire franchise.

    • Megan

      Agree on all points about Dobby. I went to a midnight showing and the overtly masculine guy in the row behind me was sobbing when Dobby died.

    • chris

      Good point. I cannot wait for July. My friend and I agreed we HAVE to catch a midnight screening next time. Last chance for us… and July cannot come quick enough.

    • Lizi

      I cried through the first 20 minutes, I hate that Hedwig died in both the book and movie and was a total mess in the run up to and immediate aftermath of her death. I cried through the last 20 minutes knowing that Dobby was going to die soon. The little girl sitting next to me was looking at me like I was some kind a psychopath. I know that the second half of the movie will have me curled up in my chair crying my eyes out if it’s anywhere near as emotional as the 2nd half of the book is.

      • helen

        i cried the first and last 20 min. too! when the song started playing & WB little symbol thing came up i started tearing up! and then hedwig, oh my god i was dying! my friend next to me was just eating her food while im sobbing…

      • Malfoy

        l don’t know… l would have been touched by Dobby’s death, but was completely pulled out of the moment when l saw him blink when he was supposed to be dead! l was like, what a bad actor! Who blinks at such a poignant moment?!

      • Denial

        @Malfoy — Dobby is completely CGI. No actor involved. Maybe you blinked? Or you thought his death was a couple seconds before it was …

  • Aishwarya

    Sigh.. bring on the Twilight vs Harry Potter posts… (I am partial towards the HP comments though…lol)

  • Kiki

    I saw HP at a midnight showing Thursday night, and I am seeing it again tonight. Doing my part for HP success! Deathly Hallows is great!!!

  • ninamathers iraw

    I like

  • California

    My class was assigned our final on Thursday night and it is due Monday (14 page paper); everyone I know is waiting until tonight and tomorrow to see the movie as a study break. Sort of leads me to think that maybe there wont be a huge drop off as the weekend continues? Personally, I decided to do midnight showing anyway. I’m also super excited for the Thanksgiving break because I’m going to see it again with my mom and sister (+ Tangled, can’t wait for that either!)

  • simona

    ty debil david yotes comu ma harry potter zomriet voldemort,sneip a draco

    • simona

      simin comentar je superrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • sara

    Eclipse opened in the summer and New Moon’s midnight release was friday night. Since HP7’s was thursday, all the teens couldn’t go on a school night. Thats the only reason it didn’t beat twilight.

  • jaime

    I love that everyone wants to see Mrs Weasley finish Bleitrix. I SO CANT WAIT TO SEE THAT HAPPEN!!!

    Best part of the whole book if you ask me!!!

    • Anna

      Ha ha! I know I hated Bellatrix even more than Voldemort when I was reading the books. Couldn’t wait for her to die haha….kinda wanted it to be Harry at the time for revenge for Sirius but now I love that it was Mrs. Weasley Haha!

      • Chloe

        omg, I cannot wait to see Bellatrix die. She SO deserves it by now!!

      • Shiny

        God so true, Bellatrix is infuriatingly way more evil, grrrr!

  • Laura W

    Oh I’m so excited!! I going to see it next week because first weekend crowds are just crazy!! Thursday is the best day because nobody goes on Thursday morning! Oh POOR DOBBY!

    • Kate*

      I know i cried right after he poped up at the Malfoy’s because I knew he was going to die. it was so sad! He is so addorible!

      • California

        Omg! People cheered when he first appeared (I understood this of course) but then everyone started cheering when he arrived at the Malfoys and I was sitting there already welling up!! I was like why on earth are you cheering when you know he’s now going to face his death. …I’m really glad I managed not to sob though. That part of the book really gets me.

  • LSCH

    Why is it necessary to compare Harry Potter and Twilight? Why does it matter if Twilight made more money at the midnight showing? Neither of the “Twilight” movies have managed to out-sell any one of the Harry Potter movies in total box office recepts and dvd sales.

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