Beating out The Dark Knight, Star Wars Episode III, and this years Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince has set the new record for midnight openings, based on early estimates. The latest film in the “Harry Potter” franchise grossed an estimated $22.2 million in an opening of 3,003 theatres.
The earnings for Half-Blood Prince eclipsed the previous record of $18 million set in 2008 by The Dark Knight and the second place $17 million set in 2005 by Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. It also nearly doubled the previous Potter midnight showing record held by 2007’s Order of the Phoenix, which brough in $12 million dollars on its midnight Wednesday opening on its way to a $139.7 million five day debut.
This Potter is going to shatter previous Box Office records from the franchise, for many reasons. Ticket prices are higher, more theatres are playing the film than ever before, but mainly because the boy wizard is more popular than ever. This film works better as a segue film than a stand-alone effort, but its still fantastic. The film will find its audience with young viewers (its got a PG rating to boot), high school and college age students, and moms and dads. At the midnight showing last night there were people of all ages. Me and my 22-23 year old friends were probably about the mean age group (unlike the Transformers 2 midnight showing where I probably brought up the average age by 7 years).
Speaking of Transformers 2, it’s $16 million midnight opening was destroyed by Half-Blood Prince. Let’s hope the trend continues and the Michael Bay crapfest becomes second fiddle.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is a fantastic film and I would recommend it to pretty much everyone. My review will be posted later today.