Weekend US box office report: Harry Potter defeats, well, everthing

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 slays Megamind, Unstoppable, The Next Three Days and more at the weekend box office...


Did you know that people still like Harry Potter? Seriously! After seven books and seven movies, people still aren’t over Harry Potter, and the eighth movie will probably shape up to be even bigger than Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1‘s incredible $125 million weekend. Staggering, isn’t it? Even without the allure of 3D, somehow a well-made movie with a history of impressive showings managed to exceed even my lofty expectations.

To put it another way, Megamind (second place, $16 million) topped the box office for two weekends in a row. It’s been out for three weekends now, and it’s made just under $110 million dollars. Harry Potter exceeded that in three days. It drew over $30,000 per screen! That’s a staggeringly high amount for a movie that played on 4125 different screens.

Unstoppable was a strong second last week, and was a strong third this week as well, sinking to $13 million. So far, so good, for the $100-million-train-action thriller, which has picked up $42 million in the US so far. It’s par for the course for Denzel’s brand.

Dropping to fourth place is Due Date, which still grossed $9.1 million. In its third week, the movie’s already picked up over $72 million, and has an outside shot at breaking $100 million if it continues to hang onto audiences like it has thus far. It’ll probably take a big hit this weekend, but Todd Phillips has become the best brand in R-rated comedy since Judd Apatow tried to grow up.

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The weekend’s only other new release, The Next Three Days, landed in fifth place this weekend and took in a paltry $6.75 million. Unfortunately for Paul Haggis and Russell Crowe, they got thrown under the Harry Potter bus. The lack of build-up and buzz for the movie was telling: Morning Glory (sixth place, $5.2 million) got more attention pre-release.

Dropping to seventh is Skyline (seventh place, $3.4 million), which started off fairly strongly but ran out of stream quickly. That’s the exact opposite of Red (eighth place, $2.4 million), which started off fairly slowly but just kept sticking around for week after week until it ran up well over $83 million in Stateside business.

Tyler Perry just can’t seem to separate himself from Madea. When Perry puts on the fat suit, his movies are wildly successful (Madea Goes To Jail made $90 million dollars!). When he tries to do something other than Madea, not so much (Daddy’s Little Girls made $31 million bucks). While For Colored Girls has more than made a profit for Perry and company, it’s not a runaway hit. After its third weekend, the flick has taken in just under $35 million. It’s a nice profit, but maybe for his next movie Perry might be talked into slapping on the Madea wig again.

Rounding out the top ten is Fair Game, which started out in limited release (and stays in limited release), but muscled into the box office on the strength of star power. Namely, Sean Penn and Naomi Watts. Combine that with a weak pre-holiday box office, and you’ve got a tenth-place, $1.47 million flick released in only 386 theaters.

Out this week, a five-day holiday weekend in the United States, is jam-packed with something for everyone.  There’s a brand-new Disney flick, Tangled. There’s a romantic comedy, Love and Other Drugs. There’s an action flick, Faster, featuring Dwayne Johnson. And, of course, there’s Burlesque, featuring Christina Aguilera and Cher.

If there’s nothing you’d be willing to see, you probably don’t like movies…

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