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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 Crosses $1 Billion Worldwide; Joins Top Nine Grossers

by Anthony D'Alessandro
July 31, 2011 9:32 AM
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Thompson on Hollywood

Since it opened 17 days ago, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 has been breaking box office records, but remember--the series finale had a 3-D boost. Anthony D'Alessandro does the global numbers:

In just 17 days, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 flew past the $1-billion mark at the global box office, making it the highest grossing chapter in the franchise as well as the ninth film ever to cross this benchmark (top nine grossers list is below).

Prior to Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone sat as the franchise’s highest-grossing installment for a decade, with $974.8 million.

Thompson on Hollywood
This raises the total for the entire Harry Potter franchise to $7.385 billion. Potter has been the highest-grossing film series since 2009, when Half-Blood Prince assisted in unseating James Bond’s $5.1 billion global tally for the title. After Bond, the two Star Wars trilogies and its feature toon The Clone Wars rank third with a cumulative $4.4 billion.

Even more impressively, Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is the second film this year after Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides to cross the $1 billion milestone-- soon to be followed by Transformers: Dark of the Moon which is currently at $982.9 million. Transformers 3 will round out the $1-billion grosser list as a perfect 10. All three coasted on 3-D premium ticket prices, however.

All of these benchmarks bode well for the longevity the 3-D format, which is a continual B.O. driver abroad, versus its touch-and-go status in the U.S. Since Avatar, 3-D films have populated the top billion-makers list; five 3-D titles already occupy a spot in the top nine. As exhibition turns to digital 3-D overseas in such prime territories as China and Russia, the format’s share of foreign receipts on a particular title easily hits 60% on average. During its opening weekend, 43% of Deathly Hallows: Part 2’s domestic opening was repped by 3-D, while internationally that share was significantly higher at 60%. Through its second frame, 3-D accounted for 56% of Deathly Hallows: Part 2's foreign cume.

Despite these impressive ratios, where international reps 70% of a film's worldwide ticket sales, the irony remains that major studios tend to green light projects based on their potential success in the U.S. versus abroad. Although international saves the asses of many projects, some studios continue to spend more on U.S. audience test marketing than foreign. That because stateside success usually translates abroad. A bomb in North American actually playing abroad is the exception. Annually, this theory is often disproven, as foreign B.O. swells and such anomalies as The Golden Compass ($70.1 million stateside, $302.1 million foreign) and The Tourist ($67.6 million, $210.7 million foreign) prove they are worthwhile.

Top Nine Worldwide Grossers List


1.Avatar ($2.78 billion)
2. Titanic ($1.8 billion)
3. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King ($1.119 billion)
4. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest ($1.066 billion)
5. Toy Story 3 ($1.06 billion)
6. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) ($1.032 billion)
7. Alice in Wonderland ($1.024 billion)
8. Deathly Hallows: Part 2 ($1.009 billion)
9. The Dark Knight ($1.002 billion).

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