No Hollywood, you don’t need 3-D to have a massive opening at the box office these days. With a staggering $125 million, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 1” not only had the second biggest opening of the year behind “Iron Man 2,” but the top debut of any “Harry Potter” film ever.
How big “Deathly Hallows, Pt. 1” will play throughout the holiday season is unclear. The last “Potter” film to open in November was “Goblet of Fire” in 2005. That flick was the previous opening record holder with $102 million and ended up with $290 million when all was said and done. Anything in that range or higher will make the powers that be at Warner Bros. very happy muggles.
Dropping to second place was DreamWorks Animation’s “Megamind.” The animated comedy grossed $16 million in its third weekend which is pretty strong considering the family competition from “Potter.” It’s domestic gross now stands at $109.4 million. It’s probably looking at a $175 million final tally at best.
In third and playing not as well as expected is 20th Century Fox’s “Unstoppable” with another $13.1 million After 10 days the Tony Scott thriller has $41.9 million and will probably end up in the $80-90 million range depending on a Thanksgiving holiday weekend hold. The crowd pleaser was expected to do north of $100 million but that’s gonna be tough to hit at this point. Why it is underperforming will have Fox execs scratching their heads until “Gulliver’s Travels” his theaters next month.
“Due Date” dropped to fourth with another $9.1 million and a new gross of $72.6 million. If the R-rated comedy can somehow squeak past $100 million, Warner Bros. will have caught a very lucky break considering the reviews on this one.
Debuting in fifth was “The Next Three Days” which returned Russell Crowe to the losers column. The Paul Haggis directed thriller found a tepid $6.7 million over the three-day frame and left many wondering why Lionsgate would take a chance trying to counter program against “Potter” with a conventional star vehicle. Crowe went all out to publicize the picture, but it obviously didn’t help much.
Wednesday begins the lucrative Thanksgiving holiday frame with a number of new openings including “Burlesque,” “Faster,” “Love and Other Drugs” and “Tangled.”
Final box office totals are released on Monday.