HONG KONG -- It's hardly surprising that "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" smashed local boxoffice records in its first weekend, opening with HK$4.5 million and taking HK$23 million ($2.96 million) in five days.The highly anticipated sixth installment of the "Potter" series from Warner Bros. became the highest first-day grossing film of 2009, highest weekend debut of 2009, highest nonholiday opening and the highest non-Chinese five-day weekend debut. It also surpassed the first weekend of last year's highest-grossing film, "The Dark Knight," also from Warner Bros., which raked in HK$16.5 million in its first four days."Potter" did well certainly because of its brand name, but also because it opened on 120 screens, in a city with 183 screens total. Summer blockbusters tend to take over multiplexes, but it has become increasingly evident this year. The previous weekend gross record-holder of 2009, Paramount's "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" -- distributed in Hong Kong by … [Read more...] about ‘Harry Potter’ breaks records in Hong Kong
The film also opened in three domestic locations in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, where it generated $429,000 in gross boxoffice, for a per-screen average of more than $143,000. The film will open in 161 additional domestic locations on July 29, and will ultimately play on 231 Imax screens worldwide."Warner Bros. is thrilled with the opening weekend numbers and setting a new Imax international record," said Veronika Kwan-Rubinek, president of Warner Bros. Pictures International. "These results are a testament to the long and flourishing partnership we have had with Imax, with 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' marking the 19th feature title our companies have released together.""Harry Potter" set Imax opening weekend boxoffice records in many international markets including Russia, Ukraine, France, Hong Kong, India, Brazil, the U.K., Japan and the Philippines.In Imax 3D theatres, the film features about 12 minutes of the movie's opening sequence exclusively in live-action … [Read more...] about ‘Harry Potter’ sets international Imax record
The international boxoffice circuit entered the dog days of summer with "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" remaining on top during its third overseas weekend, grossing $42.7 million from 13,200 locations in 64 markets.The take for the sixth title in Warner Bros.' multibillion-dollar franchise dropped nearly 50% from its second weekend but nonetheless moved "Prince's" foreign boxoffice tally to nearly a half-billion dollars ($492.3 million) and its worldwide total to $747.7 million.The film's weekend action in the U.K. was a mighty $5.1 million from 573 screens, raising its market cume to $66.5 million. Japan produced $5.7 million from 695 sites; "Prince's" cume there is $50.8 million. Germany came up with $4.7 million from 1,373 locations for a $48.2 million cume, and France generated $4.6 million from 750 sites for a $40.3 million cume.Newcomers to the foreign circuit included Universal's No. 1 domestic title "Funny People," from director-writer-producer Judd Apatow and starring … [Read more...] about ‘Harry Potter’ repeats overseas
The biggest winner, by far, was Warner Home Video's "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," which at $302 million also is the highest-grossing of the three. The latest installment in the fantasy series easily topped the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert sales chart its first week in stores, outselling second-ranked "Public Enemies," a fellow newcomer from Universal Studios, by a margin of more than 4 to 1."Public Enemies" ($97.1 million), a drama about celebrated 1930s gangsters -- including John Dillinger, portrayed by Johnny Depp -- did score a win on Home Media Magazine's rental chart for the week ending Dec. 13, debuting at No. 1 while "Harry Potter" finished second, with 74% as much rental activity.Bowing in the third spot on the sales chart and No. 4 on the rental chart was Sony Pictures' "Julie & Julia," an acclaimed biopic about famed celebrity chef Julia Childs that grossed $94.1 million in theaters.The previous week's top seller and renter, 20th Century Fox's "Night at the … [Read more...] about ‘Harry Potter’ tops competitive sales week
Harry Potter's broom was turbo-charged this year, as the schoolboy wizard's latest film adventure helped Warner Bros. fly well north of $2 billion to repeat atop the annual domestic boxoffice rankings.Warners projects a $2.99 billion domestic tally and nearly 20% market share through Dec. 31. But as certain as the picture is at the pinnacle of year-end rankings, other top positions remain cloaked in uncertainty.Headed into the final frame, Paramount sits second with $1.44 billion and a 14% share, while Sony is third with $1.43 billion and a similar share. But Fox, with $1.25 billion (12%), has holiday tentpoles "Avatar" and "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel" still going strong enough to give the it a real shot at one of the medal positions.Warners -- also ringing up lots of loot with recently released "Sherlock Homles" -- used the heftiest slate in Hollywood to nail down its repeat roost atop domestic rankings. Warners had 36 films in the market this year, including 27 new pics … [Read more...] about ‘Harry Potter’ propels Warners to top of ’09 b.o.