Weekend Box Office – HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS – PART 1 Holds Off TANGLED For First Place Over Five Day Holiday

     November 28, 2010


For the second weekend in a row Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 heads the weekend box office, taking in an estimated $76.3 million over five days and bringing its ten day domestic total to $220.4 million.  Potter was not the only family film that enchanted over the Thanksgiving holiday: Disney’s Tangled pulled in an estimated $69 million in its five day start, besting many predictions.  Meanwhile, debuts aimed at the adult audience gave new meaning to the term ‘turkey trot.’ Burlesque, Love & Other Drugs and Faster all failed to pass $20 million after five days. Nevertheless, this was the second-highest grossing Thanksgiving on record after Twilight Saga: New Moon and The Blind Side took 2009.

Title Weekend 5-day Total
1 Harry Potter 7A $50.4 $76.3 $220.4
2 Tangled $49 $69 $69
3 Megamind $12.8 $17.3 $130.4
4 Burlesque $11.8 $17.2 $17.2
5 Unstoppable $11.7 $16 $60.7
6 Love & Other Drugs $9.8 $14 $14
7 Faster $8.7 $12.2 $12.2
8 Due Date $7.3 $10.2 $85
9 The Next Three Days $4.8 $7.8 $14.5
10 Morning Glory $4 $5.9 $26.4

tangled_movie_posterHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 saw a big Friday-to-Friday dip of 66% but still had enough magic left to win the holiday weekend. The seventh installment in the Potter series has also become the highest-grossing film of the franchise at the ten day point.  Both The Goblet of Fire and The Half-Blood Prince had made $201 million at the same point.  Expect that record to fall, of course, when Deathly Hallows Part 2 is released next July. Not only will it have the benefit of a summer release date, it will also be the first in the series to have 3D pricing on its side.

The fact that Warner Brothers did not give Deathly Hallows 1 that third dimension helped Disney outperform many expectations with its holiday offering, Tangled.  The erstwhile Rapunzel was projected to be completely overpowered by Potter, but instead the PG toon looked strong in second place, earning an estimated $69 million over the five-day holiday from its 3,603 locations – 2,413 of those in 3D.  It even managed to outdo Enchanted, Disney’s live-action Thanksgiving winner which took in $49 million over five-days in 2007.

Just like last year, when all other films paled in comparison to the grosses generated by New Moon and The Blind Side, the rest of the Thanksgiving top ten is not nearly as noteworthy.  Megamind managed to place a distant third after relinquishing many of its 3D screens to Tangled; though its percentage loss of just over 23% is fairly impressive for a fourth weekend.

In fourth place with an estimated $17.2 million from 3,037 runs was the Screen Gems/Sony musical Burlesque.  I have to say I expected the humiliation for this picture to be a little more complete… Cher must have got it up to that $17 million mark by the force of her will alone.

Star-driven will-power could not save the romantic dramedy Love & Other Drugs, however. Despite heavy promotion by stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway, the film placed sixth over the holiday weekend with just $14 million over five days from its 2,455 locations. The film was even outpaced by Unstoppable which, after a disappointing debut two weeks ago, has gone on to do steady box-office business.

Finally, CBS could find no traction for its R-rated action flick Faster. The film starring the Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson made an estimated $12.2 million from its 2,454 locations. That is lower than the $13 million Hitman earned during Thanksgiving 2007, and we all know that can’t be good. UPDATE: I have been reminded that comparing Hitman to Faster – despite their similar release date and intended audience – is not exactly fair. Faster has a reported budget of $24 million with CBS Films in for $12. Hitman, in contrast, cost somewhere between $30 and $45 million and grossed just $39.6 million domestically. As for CBS, they are “happy to have exceeded our $12 investment in production in the first 5 days and see the day-to-day increases as an indisputable sign of playability in the days ahead.”

Next weekend will give Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 1 and Tangled another chance to do, er, tangle.  A slew of interesting limited releases are scheduled to make their entrances, including Black Swan and (finally) I Love You, Phillip Morris, but only the western The Warrior’s Way is slated for entry in 1,500 theatres or more.

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