Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Will Twilight Beat Harry Potter

Brace yourself, for we just might witness an epic scrum for box office supremacy once Bella and Edward start shagging in November.

If a few factors fall neatly into place, Breaking Dawn, parts I and II, just might earn more blood money than the record-breaking Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2:

“Though its box office haul will be truly magical, it is unlikely that the bespectacled boy wizard will beat the “Twilight” kids. Still, the final “Harry Potter” film is on track to be the No. 2 advance ticket seller of all time behind “The Twilight Saga: New Moon.”

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So far, the second part of Deathly Hallows—in which Bellatrix is finally Lestranged from her mortal coil, and mischief is, once and for all, managed—has enjoyed the biggest bow in Hollywood history, with $168.6 million in a single weekend.

“A senior IMAX executive told The Wrap that Potter pre-sales were “huge.” The theater company reports that all of their midnight screenings are sold out, with only a few seats still available for its 3 a.m. and 7 a.m. shows.

Might the swooning Twi-hards pay just as much to squirm through the birth of Renesmee? It's not a given, box office analyst Jeff Bock of Exhibitor Relations tells me. But it could happen, with a little technological help.

"The Twilight saga is the filmic yin to Harry Potter's yang in terms of rabid fans," Bock muses, "so it's not impossible that Breaking Dawn: Part 1 or Part 2 will have the type of opening [Potter] had this weekend, but it's looking more and more unlikely as the series really hasn't crossed over to include the male demographic."

That's an excellent point. Guys do go to see Twilight films, but not in the numbers that flock to Potter films.

That said, both franchises have huge built-in fan bases, Bock observes, and "that usually translates into massive debuts" regardless.

Also, let's not forget that New Moon had the fourth-biggest debut ever, for $142 million. Therefore, Bock argues, if Breaking Dawn: Part I can match that number, it's not so hard to imagine that Part 2 could compete with the final installment of Deathly Hallows.

What might put Breaking Dawn: Part 2 over the top? A more mundane kind of movie magic, Bock tells me.

"The odds are especially good if Summit decides to go through with retrofitting [the final installment] in 3-D," Bock says. "If that does indeed happen, we may just see Team Twilight toppling Team Potter.

"I think it is a necessary evil that the last chapter of the Twilight saga be in 3-D, as we're talking about a bump of possibly $15 million to $20 million."

And even the wealthy Cullens can't turn away that kind of money.

That said, it does not look like “Deathly Hallows: Part 2″ will unseat “New Moon” as the biggest pre-seller. When the “Twilight” sequel opened in November 2009, it had the box office field more or less to itself, whereas “Deathly Hallows: Part 2″ will have to compete with tentpole fare such as “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” to claim its crown.

The Harry Potter finale is performing better in its midnight and early screenings, but “New Moon” had stronger Saturday and Sunday pre-sales, according to Fandango.”


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