The “end” is just beginning for “Harry Potter” fans and the second to last installment of the series is looking ready to dominate November’s box office, but is it really the “end”? Conveniently timed before the premiere of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” this week, Warner Bros. announced today it was acquiring Leavesden Studios outside London, the franchise’s primary sound stages. Beyond the fact this will give the studio a permanent and more economical home to shoot pictures overseas, WB is planning to set up a “Harry Potter” museum and studio tour. That’s a lot to invest for a franchise that is supposedly over.
“Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling recently revealed she’s open to writing new books in the series and after the astonishing success of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, this hardly feels like a franchise on the wane. Could spin-offs or new adventures be in the works in a few years? If George Lucas can give us more “Star Wars” films, why can’t Rowling dip her wand back into the long life of Harry Potter? Expect the scuttlebutt to only increase over the next few weeks.
As for this week’s other major players…
Nov. 9, 2011
1. “Harry Potter” (not ranked)
Aren’t you just relieved they decided not to do the 3-D conversion?
2. “Spider-Man” (not ranked)
Sally Field and Martin Sheen appear set to play Aunt May and Uncle Ben. Why do we think director Marc Webb is in a little bit over his head?
3. “James Bond” (not ranked)
Bond is returning in 2012. The question is who will direct and how many more will Daniel Craig star in?
4. “The Twilight Saga” (last week no. 11)
“Breaking Dawn” is shooting in Rio. Tons of paparazzi and amateur photos hit the net. Wait until they get to Baton Rouge…
5. “Dark Shadows” (not ranked)
Tim Burton and Johnny Depp are officially going forward with the big screen adaptation of the ’60s genre soap opera. What’s the over under on the number of collaborations between the duo when all is said and done? We say 14. Halfway there.
6. “127 Hours” (not ranked)
Second best limited opening of the year and to date no reports of anyone fainting or having attacks in LA or NY theaters. Imagine that.
7. “Tron Legacy” (last week no. 10)
The movie isn’t even in theaters, but Disney XD is already lining up a spin-off TV series. That’s synergy folks.
8. “For Colored Girls” (not ranked)
Considering “Perry’s” name wasn’t highlighted in the title, Lionsgate is thrilled with the impressive $19 million opening and select raves from the LA Times and NY Times.
9. “The Dilemma” (not ranked)
GLAAD responds to Ron Howard’s response about the never ending controversy over the film’s now infamous gay joke. Howard should just remove the joke. It’s a January release. How good can it be anyway?
10. “Apollo 18” (not ranked)
Timur Bekmambetov is going to begin shooting his new conspiracy movie in December in time for a March 2011 release. Um, that’s fast.
11. AFM (not ranked)
Nothing like the American Film Market to start a slew of casting and filmmaker rumors which are completely untrue. Thankfully it’s only once a year.
12. “The Hobbit” (last week no. 5)
Guillermo Del Toro says he is heartbroken over leaving “The Hobbit.” Well, considering you would have only had to hold out another 10 months for a green light, we don’t blame you.
13. “Men In Black III” (not ranked)
Dear God. Betty White will not appear in the time traveling sequel as previously reported. There goes the franchise…
15. “Megamind” (last week no. 7)
OK, so it didn’t open past the $50 million mark, but a $47, er $46 million debut ain’t shabby.
Last week’s rankings:
Movie Power Rankings appear on HitFix every Tuesday. Share your thoughts on this week’s list below.