Film CHUD Pred Weekend Per Total
1 Harry Potter 7.2
$160 (-8.5m) $168,550,000 $38,526 $168,550,000
2 Transformers 3
$21 (-.3m) $21,250,000 (-55%) $5,425 $302,800,252
3 Horrible Bosses
$17 (-.6m) $17,630,000 (-38%) $5,625 $60,002,139
4 Zookeeper
$10.5 (-1.8m) $12,300,000 (-39%) $3,532 $42,352,466
5 Cars 2 $8,344,000 (-45%) $2,568 $165,326,225
6 Winnie the Pooh
$10 (+2m) $8,000,000 $3,326 $8,000,000
7 Bad Teacher
$5,200,000 (-42%) $1,956 $88,505,192
8 Larry Crowne
$2,572,875 (-57%) $1,125 $31,627,885
9 Super 8
$1,925,000 (60%) $1,319 $122,241,982
10 Midnight in Paris $1,890,585 (-28%) $2,678 $41,792,695

Avg. CHUD Prediction Difference: +/- $2.64m

I said I might be undershooting Potter, even while predicting the biggest opening of all time. Turns out that with 3D premiums and a mere three years of inflation, WB was able to parlay the rabidness of the fanbase into a record-breaking opening weekend that topped The Dark Knight by almost exactly $10m, along with countless pre-sale, IMAX, 3D, international, and opening day records being set by a triumphant release across 20k global screens that put nearly half-a-billion in the bank, all in three days. This guarantees that Potter will be the unadjusted highest-grossing film franchise of all time here in the states (it has long been the most profitable global franchise, by a wide margin), and since the Star Wars 3D re-releases are unlikely to make up the difference (and Potter may enjoy re-releases of its own), that is likely a record it will hold for some time. It’s not overnight successes that top that list, so it could quite literally be a decade or two before we see another contender. Good job Warner Brothers. Potter has pretty much done everything a media property can do in terms of setting records and even if you start adjusting for inflation and comparing ticket prices, when you factor in the source material and the achievement of over a decade of nearly-real time storytelling… there’s no real angle from which you can diminish this phenomenon.

All of that said, I’m still skeptical that Potter will escape with a total domestic gross that is that much higher than the series’ average, which is just shy of $290 or so. Pretty much every fan the franchise has ever had will turn out, and there are even some last-minute additions (I’m partly responsible for one, having taken my roommate through the franchise over the course of last week, starting with Azkaban and ending with an IMAX showing of Part 2), but there’s still a degree of crossover that’s hard to pull off with the 8th piece of a linear story. I’m thinking maybe $350 or so in the states, though internationally it will kick all of the ass that’s out there to kick. We’ll see next weekend’s hold, but I still expect Transformers to be the highest grossing film of the year.

Speaking of the bots, they held as well as could ever be expected amidst all the magical insanity, and Bay’s flick has crossed $300m in its third weekend. It’s the first film this year to do that, and suggests the improved word-of-mouth will carry it well. It will have to demonstrate some fucking stellar holds over the next month for it to make it to the $400m total of TF2 (won’t happen), but I’m still betting it ends up on top for 2011.

It would have been silly to expect Winnie the Pooh to do much better than it did, but even still you have to cross your fingers that such an exceptionally delightful film would top Pixar’s leavings. Oh well, the Pooh abides.

Fuck that Zookeeper hold though- that’s the kind of shit that made Paul Blart a +$100m hit.

Really it was a great week for everyone (except Larry Crowne, of course) as the hold were pretty great for everyone. Horrible Bosses stuck out for another $18m or so, and could stick around for $100m if it continues that pattern.

Next we have our fourth superhero movie of the season. There’s a healthy buzz out there to combat fatigue, but the fact remains that Cap has a tough fight ahead of him. We’ll take a look Friday…

Cheers till then.

The thread in which you talk about this stuff.