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Box office report: 'Harry Potter' remains No. 1 with $50.3 mil, 'Tangled' a close second

deathly-hallows-part-1-002Image Credit: Jaap BuitendijkAlthough the “chosen one” was nearly defeated by a long-haired princess, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1 managed to keep its grip on first place by grossing $50.3 million over the three-day weekend, according to studio estimates. Add in Wednesday and Thursday, and Deathly Hallows collected $76.3 million during the five-day Thanksgiving weekend — the fourth best Thanksgiving weekend ever. The PG-13 fantasy film has now earned $220.4 million in 10 days, which is the tenth-best 10-day tally on record. However, Deathly Hallows is slipping a bit quicker than some of its predecessors. For instance, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the last Potter film to be released a week before Thanksgiving, earned $81.3 million over this five-day holiday weekend. But if it’s any consolation to Potter fans, Deathly Hallows did garner better Thanksgiving numbers than The Twilight Saga: New Moon, which drained $66.3 million during the same five-day frame last year.

The weekend’s real box-office story, however, was Disney’s Tangled, which surpassed the studio’s wildest fairy-tale expectations by grossing $49.1 million during the three-day weekend, and $69 million for the five-day period. Those numbers gave Tangled the second largest Thanksgiving weekend opening ever, behind only Disney’s Toy Story 2. In fact, Disney essentially has a monopoly on the harvest festival — the studio is responsible for nine out of the top 11 Thanksgiving weekend debuts. Tangled earned 56 percent of its gross from 3-D showings, even though the PG movie had to share its 3-D screens with Megamind. And word-of-mouth couldn’t be more favorable, as CinemaScore audiences handed the animated retelling of Rapunzel the first “A+” grade of the year. READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'Harry Potter' ekes out Friday victory with $20.8 mil

deathly-hallows-part-1-004Image Credit: Jaap BuitendijkIn a surprisingly close race, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1 held on to its box-office crown Friday by grossing $20.8 million, according to early estimates. That’s a 66 percent drop from the fantasy film’s opening last Friday, which was inflated due to an enormous turnout at Thursday midnight screenings. If Deathly Hallows follows the Thanksgiving trajectory of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire — the last Potter film to open in November — the PG-13 movie should finish the weekend with about $50 million. That would bring Deathly Hallows‘ 10-day tally to $220 million, making it the 10th greatest 10-day gross in box-office history and the best ever for a Potter flick.

But Friday wasn’t only a celebration for wizards, as Disney’s animated musical Tangled came in close behind with $19.7 million. The PG movie, which debuted Wednesday, has grossed $39.7 million so far, and has a shot at overtaking Deathly Hallows for the three-day weekend. If that happens, it’d be due to one reason: incredible word-of-mouth. CinemaScore audiences rated the fairy-tale film an “A+” — the first movie this year to garner the rare grade. Even more impressive is the fact that while moviegoers under the age of 25 rated Tangled an “A,” those over the age of 25 gave it an “A+.” Clearly this retelling of Rapunzel is delivering for all age groups, and when that happens, watch out. Tangled is on pace to finish second this weekend with about $47 million, but again, it could very well upset Potter for first place. Seems the lesson here is: Never underestimate a woman with ridiculously long hair. READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'Harry Potter' and 'Tangled' top Thanksgiving Day with $11.5 mil and $8.1 mil

deathly-hallows-part-1-003Image Credit: Jaap BuitendijkIt was a Thanksgiving feast for the teenage wizard, as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1 led the box office on Thursday by engulfing $11.5 million, according to early estimates. That result brings the PG-13 fantasy film’s seven-day gross to $170 million. Not far behind on Thanksgiving, and performing stronger than expected, was Disney’s animated musical Tangled, which earned $8.1 million. The PG-rated retelling of Rapunzel should continue to thrive during the weekend thanks to excellent word-of-mouth — CinemaScore audiences rated it a rare “A+”. The two family-friendly movies also dominated the box office on Wednesday, with Deathly Hallows grossing an estimated $14.5 million and Tangled snaring $11.6 million. Thanksgiving Day results are below. Check back tomorrow for a full recap of Friday’s numbers, which should provide a clearer picture of how the weekend will unfold.

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1 — $11.5 mil
2. Tangled — $8.1 mil
3. Unstoppable — $2.53 mil
4. Burlesque — $2.5 mil
5. Megamind — $2.0 mil
6. Love and Other Drugs — $1.93 mil
7. Faster — $1.91 mil

Box office preview: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to lead Thanksgiving weekend

Box office preview: 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' to lead Thanksgiving weekend

deathly-hallows-part-1-001Image Credit: Jaap BuitendijkA cornucopia of new releases will attempt to steal Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows‘ thunder. Fat chance. This holiday weekend, Potter is the ultimate box-office weapon — prepared to handle any adversary. His biggest challenger arrives in the animated form of Disney’s Tangled, but by the end of this weekend, Rapunzel could very well be sporting Emma Watson’s hairdo. As for the extremely revealing romantic comedy Love and Other Drugs, Dwayne Johnson’s R-rated action movie Faster, and the Cher and Christina Aguilera musical Burlesque — well, they should all be happy just to be sitting at the dining table. Harry Potter is mighty hungry, and this Thanksgiving weekend, he’s coming back for seconds. Here are my predictions for the three-day weekend:

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1: $53 million

After consuming $125 million its opening weekend, Deathly Hallows grossed $8.8 million and $10.3 million on Monday and Tuesday, respectively, bringing its five-day domestic total to a staggering $144.1 million. So clearly Muggles are still very interested in the fantasy flick, and that should continue to be the case this weekend. A second-week decline of about 58 percent seems in order. While that may appear to be a steep drop, keep in mind that Deathly Hallows‘ debut weekend was particularly front-loaded. (It made $24 million from Thursday midnight screenings alone). By Sunday night, the movie should be sitting with a belt-bursting cumulative total of at least $220 million. READ FULL STORY

'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' sets global IMAX record

As if you needed any further proof that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1 is a box-office powerhouse, IMAX revealed today that the fantasy film set a global opening-weekend record of $16.1 million from 340 IMAX theaters. Of that figure, $11.8 million came from domestic IMAX screens. The previous record holder, Alice in Wonderland, debuted in March to $15.3 million globally from IMAX locations.

Box Office Report:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows debuts to franchise-best $125.1 mil

'Harry Potter' Villains: Helena Bonham Carter talks Bellatrix Lestrange, wand school, and 'Angry Birds'

In deference to those who’d like to remain spoiler free, let’s just say Helena Bonham Carter certainly leaves her mark as the diabolically dark witch Bellatrix Lestrange in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1. But the actress, who already terrorized young audiences this year as the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland, wasn’t originally supposed to play Bellatrix. Helen McCrory (The Queen) originally had the part for 2007′s Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, but had to bow out after she got pregnant. “So they came to me,” says Bonham Carter. “And I loved it. I love magic, I love witches, I love the whole [Harry Potter] world. I was all too happy to play a witch.” (McCrory was eventually cast as Bellatrix’s sister Narcissa Malfoy for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and the two Deathly Hallows films.)

So how did Bonham Carter bring one of Harry Potter’s biggest enemies on screen? When she first showed up on set for the fifth Harry Potter film, “There wasn’t a huge amount on the page originally,” says the actress, 44. “I think I probably made her a bit more insane and unhinged then she was meant to be. I wanted to be conspicuous. So the [rotten] teeth was my idea, because she had been in prison so long. I wanted her to be quite savage. And I wanted that corset. It was sort of an Amazon thing. Bellatrix means a warrior. I wanted her to be sexy and revolting at the same time. At one point she might have been attractive, but no longer.” Most important of all: Bellatrix’s dense thatch of hair. “Here’s the thing: If you have messy hair, you don’t have to worry all the time about making it all perfect. It was a lot to do with keeping [all the hair and makeup people] away.” READ FULL STORY

'Harry Potter' Villains: Jason Isaacs explains how Alan Rickman and Daniel Radcliffe helped create Lucius Malfoy

For those Potter fans who can still vividly recall Jason Isaacs’ diabolically regal performances as Lucius Malfoy in 2002′s Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, it is truly shocking to see the character so grubby and broken down in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1. And Isaacs could not be happier about it. “One of the great privileges of being in the Harry Potter films for me is I’ve actually got to have a journey,” says the actor, 47. “Lucius has gone from being the most entitled, obnoxious, racist pig to a broken, emasculated shadow of a man — and that’s a fun thing for an actor to do.”

But how did Isaacs first decide to create Lucius’ rather unique bearing and haughty inflection? Blame Alan Rickman. “I got the part, and I thought, ‘I’d better watch what the first one was like,’” says Isaacs. “And then I realized to my horror that Alan Rickman was in the first film, and utterly brilliant. Nobody does sinister like Alan Rickman. I thought, ‘If I’m going to do something, it’d better be unbelievably extreme.’”

First up: Malfoy’s appearance. READ FULL STORY

Box Office Report: 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' debuts to franchise-best $125.1 mil

Image Credit: Jaap Buitendijk

Well done, Potter. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1 posted the franchise’s best opening ever by grossing $125.1 million this weekend, according to studio estimates. That figure smashes the wizarding series’ prior opening-weekend record of $102.7 million, held by 2005′s Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The new Potter flick also registered the sixth largest opening weekend of all time, landing just behind this year’s Iron Man 2, which debuted to $128.1 million in May.

Deathly Hallows launched its weekend spell late Thursday night when 3,700 theaters screened the PG-13 fantasy movie at midnight. (Some theaters arranged showings as late as 3:15 a.m.). The movie gathered $24 million from those screenings en route to a Friday tally of $61.2 million — the fifth best opening day, period. After Friday, Deathly Hallows essentially followed the box-office trajectory of The Twilight Saga: New Moon, which was released on the same November weekend last year. New Moon earned a record $72.7 million its opening day, and then fell 42 and 34 percent on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Deathly Hallows held up a tad better, dropping 38 percent on Saturday (for $38.2 million) and an estimated 33 percent on Sunday (for $25.8 million). While Warner Bros. may have preferred a somewhat steadier ride from Deathly Hallows, no one’s complaining, least of all moviegoers — CinemaScore audiences gave the movie an “A” grade.

The weekend’s other new wide release, the break-my-wife-out-of-prison thriller The Next Three Days, could have used a charm or two. READ FULL STORY

'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. READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' grosses $24 mil from lively midnight shows

Harry Potter fans could very well have been employing a cloning spell last night, as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1 grossed a tremendous $24 million from midnight and early morning showings, according to studio estimates. Deathly Hallows debuted at 3,700 theaters at midnight, with many theaters showing the PG-13 movie on multiple screens and adding showtimes as late as 3:15 a.m. The $24 million midnight figure is the most ever for a Harry Potter film, topping Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince‘s $22.2 million midnight debut from last year. Deathly Hallows, however, fell short of the last two Twilight movies: This year’s The Twilight Saga: Eclipse summoned a record $30 million from midnight screenings, while The Twilight Saga: New Moon earned $26.3 million.

Read more:
Box office preview: ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ would like your attention
‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part I’ at midnight: There’s an adorable little child in every inebriated college student
‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ countdown: Remembering ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’
‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1′ EW review

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