Monday, June 22, 2009

Harry Potter aim to rock box office and Transformers

The pair are this year's surefire blockbusters "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," opening Wednesday, and "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," coming in mid-July.

If history holds true, the combination of "Transformers" and "Harry Potter" should more than match the whopping $533.3 million haul of "The Dark Knight" and keep the movie business on track to beat last year's summer record revenue of $4.2 billion.
While ticket sales have been brisk this season, Hollywood fell into a bit of a slump this month, when receipts three weekends in a row fell short of business over the same periods last year.
But at this point a year ago, the debut of "The Dark Knight" was still a month away. The film was a phenomenon, giving Hollywood a stellar second wind at a point in summer when the box office often starts to trickle off.
"June gloom definitely hit the box office, but I think things are going to turn around," Dergarabedian said. "We've got that one-two punch of `Transformers' and `Harry Potter."'
Anticipation for Paramount's "Transformers" is so high that it could lift that sequel into the $400 million realm, while Warner Bros. is opening "Half-Blood Prince" the same weekend it debuted "The Dark Knight," hoping lightning strikes again. "Harry Potter" fever is growing, with "Half-Blood Prince" the lead-in to the two-part big-screen adaptation of the final book in J.K. Rowling's fantasy series.
While other studios did not want to tread too closely to the release date of "Transformers," Hollywood may have stuffed too many action flicks into May, when "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," "Star Trek" and "Terminator Salvation" all opened within a few weeks. Meantime, June swooned, loaded with comedies and light on action until "Transformers."

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