SPIN FACTOR®

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Whisper Numbers: Harry Potter casts its final box office spell.

Nearly a decade after making its debut in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Warner Bros.' fantasy franchise ends with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 [HPOT8], the second half adapted from the last book in the series. Deathly Hallows Part 1 opened to a franchise best $125 million last November. The anticipation amongst Potter fans is unprecedented as Part 2 is already on track to break the box office record for midnight showings of $30 million set by The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, which could lead the way to topping the opening day record of $72.7 million set by The Twilight Saga: New Moon. All that remains to be seen is whether Deathly Hallows Part 2 can beat the opening weekend record of $158.4 million held by The Dark Knight. The film’s box office should get a boost from the surcharge for 3D, a first for the series.  Attendance for Harry Potter films have declined since the first one, so Deathly Hallows Part 2 will need to attract moviegoers who have not seen a recent Harry Potter film in theaters.  With rabid fans front-loading Friday’s box office, Saturday and Sunday may see steep fall offs. Opening in 4375 theaters, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 looks to wrap up $145 million.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon [TFRM3] looks to lose most of its 3D screens to Harry Potter. Neverltheless, the giant robots should punch out another $25 million.

Horrible Bosses [HRBOS] will be the top choice for adults not into sci-fi or fantasy. The raunchy comedy could drop 45% in its second weekend to about $15 million.

Zookeeper [ZOOKP] looks to capture the family audience that’s too young for Harry Potter and too old for Winnie the Pooh [WPOOH]. The talking animals comedy may decline 40% to around $12 million.

Much like Cars 2, Disney brings back Winnie the Pooh in order to keep the merchandise sales rolling. The G-rated film is targeted at kindergarteners and their nostalgic parents. The last three installments: The Tigger Movie, Piglet’s Big Movie and Pooh’s Heffalump Movie all failed to crack $10 million, perhaps due to their spin-off sounding titles. Returning the focus to the main character should increase the awareness and interest. Debuting in 2405 theaters, Winnie the Pooh could gather $11 million.

That’s the whisper from the trading floor.



Tag(s): HPOT8, TFRM3, HRBOS, ZOOKP, WPOOH

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By Box Office Whisperer on Thursday, July 14, 2011 @ 04:11 PM 5297 views

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