July 15, 2009

New Movies and Box Office Predictions: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

For all intents and purposes, this is the final weekend of the summer blockbuster season. I know there are a good number of weeks left, but none of those releases look to be any true blockbuster, not like this weekend's lone wide release. The rest of the summer will surely have some good movies, movies that I want to see, but the likelihood of a $100 million opening is slim to none. This weekend's film is a big time franchise flick and is guaranteed to make a big splash in its opening weekend.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. (2009, 153 minutes, PG, fantasy) Welcome to the sixth movie in the long-running franchise. With two film's yet to come, will this live up to fan's expectations? Will it do justice to the book? Is there enough juice to sustain continued interest? Without any new books on he horizon this film, and those to come, may need to be a bit more aggressive in their marketing. Of course, I could just be off my rocker, as the fan base seems to be stronger than ever. This entry has already opened, but I have not yet had the opportunity to see it. What do you think? I am sure there are a few of you who have already had the pleasure.

The Half-Blood Prince is the second time a director has returned for a second go-around (following Chris Columbus who directed the first two films). David Yates made his debut on the franchise with Order of the Phoenix, and so impressed the studio suits that they signed him for this film as well as the series' two part finale. It is understandable, too, Phoenix was a pretty good (at least it was a step up from The Goblet of Fire), and with the big finale just around the corner, consistency of vision is something to be desired.

As for the story, this one centers on Harry learning more about the villainous Lord Voldemorte, while also discovering a book that belongs to whoever the "Half-Blood Prince" is. I am sure there is much more to it than that, but I do not wish to read too much prior to seeing the movie.

Also opening this week, but not near me:
  • (500) Days of Summer - I really want to see this one.

Box Office Predictions
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen took two weekends and has breezed past $300 million. Could Harry Potter have as easy a time? I am not so sure, but I would not count it out, I mean it did make $22 million in opening night midnight shows alone. However well it does, there can be no doubt that it will take the top spot. Everyone else will probably just slide down for one, as the returning films have been pretty flat over the past couple of weeks, save for Bruno, which I suspect a steep dip from.

Here is how I think it could play out.

RankTitleBox Office
1Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince$101 million
2Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs$17 million
3Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen$16 million
4Bruno$14 million
5Public Enemies$8 million
6The Proposal$6 million
7The Hangover$5.5 million
8Up$3 million
9I Love You, Beth Cooper$2.5 million
10My Sister's Keeper$2 million


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