For all intents and purposes, this is the final weekend of the summer blockbuster season. I know there are a good number of weeks left, but none of those releases look like true blockbusters, unlike this weekend's lone wide release. The rest of the summer will surely have some good movies, movies that I want to see, but the likelihood of a $100 million opening is slim to none. This weekend's film is a big time franchise flick and is guaranteed to make a big splash.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. (2009, 153 minutes, PG, fantasy) Welcome to the sixth movie in the long-running franchise. With two films yet to come, will this live up to fans' expectations? Will it do justice to the book? Is there enough juice to sustain continued interest? Without any new books on the horizon, this film, and those to come, may need to be a bit more aggressive in their marketing. Of course, I could just be off my rocker, as the fan base seems to be stronger than ever. This entry has already opened, but I have not yet had the opportunity to see it. What do you think? I am sure there are a few of you who have already had the pleasure.
The Half-Blood Prince is the second time a director has returned for a second go-around (following Chris Columbus who directed the first two films). David Yates made his debut in the franchise with Order of the Phoenix, and so impressed the studio suits that they signed him for this film as well as the series' two-part finale. It is understandable, too — Phoenix was pretty good (at least it was a step up from The Goblet of Fire), and with the big finale just around the corner, consistency of vision is something to be desired.
As for the story, this one centers on Harry learning more about the villainous Lord Voldemort, while also discovering a book that belongs to whoever the "Half-Blood Prince" is. I am sure there is much more to it than that, but I do not wish to read too much prior to seeing the movie.
Also opening this week, but not near me:
- (500) Days of Summer – I really want to see this one.
Box Office Predictions
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen took two weekends and has breezed past $300 million. Could Harry Potter have as easy a time? I am not so sure, but I would not count it out, I mean it did make $22 million in opening night midnight shows alone. However well it does, there can be no doubt that it will take the top spot. Everyone else will probably just slide down for one, as the returning films have been pretty flat over the past couple of weeks, save for Bruno, which I suspect a steep dip from.
Here is how I think it could play out.
|1||Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince||$101 million|
|2||Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs||$17 million|
|3||Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen||$16 million|
|5||Public Enemies||$8 million|
|6||The Proposal||$6 million|
|7||The Hangover||$5.5 million|
|9||I Love You, Beth Cooper||$2.5 million|
|10||My Sister's Keeper||$2 million|