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B.O. Analysis July 19: How Much Is in the 'Potter' Bank?

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Jul 19, 2009 | 9:31am EDT

It all started last week with Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince's stunning and record-breaking $22.2 million in midnight showings that culminated in a total of $58,175,412 million on Wednesday. Thursday's gross was $22 million and then the weekend began with a Friday gross of $26.8, a nine percent increase on Saturday to $29.2 million and an expected Sunday gross of $23.4 million. Thus, a total of $79,475,000 was made for the three-day portion alone and a whopping and franchise-topping five-day total of $159,662,000.

The amazing performance of the sixth installment of the Harry Potter is a testament to the continued viability and relevance of the Potter characters and the passion and enthusiasm that the fans continue to have for the film and the books. Having started way back in 2001, it is amazing that eight years on, Warner Bros. has a franchise that has, to date, generated more than $4.6 billion in worldwide box office and is as popular today as it was at the beginning of this journey.

Believe it or not, another film was released this weekend and though it debuted at number 12, it deserves to be talked about here. Fox Searchlight’s latest critical and audience favorite is (500) Days of Summer, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. The film opened in just 27 theaters, but earned a theater-filling $837,588 and found itself in the top 12 at the box office. This charming and off-beat romantic comedy had a per-theater average of $31,022 and looks to perhaps generate Oscar buzz and goodwill with audiences in the coming weeks as it expands into more theaters.

At number two is Fox’s Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, which added another $17.7 million against a small third weekend drop of just 36 percent and a domestic total of $152 million.

Number three belongs to the Autobots of Paramount’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen as another $13.75 million is added to its massive total — this year’s best domestic gross thus far — of $363.9 million just after a month in release.

Universal’s Bruno holds fourth place with $8.4 million and a domestic total of nearly $50 million. After debuting in first place last weekend, the film has already earned back its production costs.

Finally in fifth is the film that will not leave the Top 5: Warner Bros.' The Hangover drinking up $8.3 million for the weekend and is now at a sobering $235.9 million.

Despite the Potter juggernaut, the weekend was down a whopping 39 percent for the top 12 films. That tends to happen when the year-ago comparison is The Dark Knight, which opened with the biggest debut weekend of all time with $158.4 million! That’s bigger than the $153.9 million that entire top 12 generated this weekend! Still this was a great weekend for the industry as year-to-date and summer-to-date revenues remain ahead of last year’s pace.

THREE-DAY ESTIMATES:

1. NEW! Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Warner Bros.) - $79.4M; 4325 theaters; $18,376 PTA; $159.6M cume (five-day gross)

2. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (Fox) - $17.7M; 3817 theaters; $4,637 PTA; -36%; $152M cume

3. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (Paramount/Dreamworks) - $13.7M; 3857 theaters; $3,565 PTA; -43%; $363.8M cume

4. Bruno (Universal) - $8.3M; 2759 theaters; $3,035 PTA; -73%; $49.5M cume

5. The Hangover (Warner Bros.) - $8.3M; 2667 theaters; $3,118 PTA; -16%; $235.8M cume

6. The Proposal (Disney) - $8.2M; 3043 theaters; $2,726 PTA; -22%; $128M cume

7. Public Enemies (Universal) - $7.5M; 3118 theaters; $2,435 PTA; -45%; $79.4M cume

8. Up (Disney) - $3.1M; 1708 theaters; $1,843 PTA; -33%; $279.5M cume

9. My Sister's Keeper (Warner Bros.) - $2.8M; 1967 theaters; $1,436 PTA; -34%; $41.5M cume

10. I Love You, Beth Cooper (Fox) - $2.6M; 1872 theaters; $1,424 PTA; $10.2M cume

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LAST WEEK'S B.O.: Hi, I'm 30-Million-Dollar Bruno!

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