Five-Day Record for ‘Harry’ and Pals; ‘Bruno’ Dissolves With 73% Drop

“Half-Blood Prince” launch not close to “Transformers” $200 million start.


Sunday update: 


Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” got off to a franchise record $159.7 million five-day start in North America, according to studio figures, besting 2007’s “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” ($139.7 million).


Universal’s “Bruno,” meanwhile, continued to struggle after poor word-of-mouth, dropping 73% for the three-day weekend period to $8.4 million. The “Borat” follow-up has now grossed $49.6 million domestically.


Finishing in second place in its third week of release was Fox’s first 3D movie, the animated “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs.”


"Ice Age" registered $17.7 million for the three-day period, a 36% week-to-week drop, bringing its North American total to $152 million.


Paramount’s “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” placed third with a $13.8 million weekend, putting its four-week North American total at $363.9 million. 


More to come…


Saturday update:


Taking in $26.8 million in 4,325 North American locations Friday, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" has now reached a domestic box-office total of $107 million, putting it on a pace that would give it nearly $160 million by the end of the weekend, the fastest start ever for Warner Bros’ "Potter" franchise.


However, it’s behind the record $200 million five-day opening established last month by Paramount’s "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen."


The sixth installment of "Potter" — which is set for a box-office-leading $80 million weekend — is tracking ahead of 2007’s version five, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," which took in $139.7 million over its first five days.


For the latest "Potter," the hot start conjures up an opportunity to hit the $1 billion mark globally, a feat that’s been narrowly missed by most of the franchise’s movies. In fact, four out of five of the "Potter" films have exceeded $900 million globally and $600 million internationally. No. 6 got out to a strong $45.9 million foreign box-office start Wednesday.


Fox’s first 3D animated feature, "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs," took in another $5.4 million Friday and is on pace for a $17.6 million weekend, its third in release. Internationally, the film has grossed $332.6 million in its first 10 days. The second "Ice Age," released in 2006, brought in $6519 million globally.


Dropping like a stone in fourth place, Universal’s "Bruno" brought in just $2.9 million Friday, an 80% week-to-week decline that puts it on pace to cume $49.7 million domestically by the end of the weekend.


Universal bought domestic and foreign rights to "Bruno" for $42.5 million from Media Rights Capital in 2007 and paid another $55 million to market the film globally — this included a $73,000 bill to cover a tank with mirror balls so that star Sacha Baron Cohen could drive it into the Los Angeles premiere.


With the film getting off to a strong international start, "Bruno’s" producers say they’re also hoping for a solid DVD and Blu-ray release. A number of scenes were excised from the film so that it would garner an R rating, but they will be included on the disc version.


Friday update:


Things are going wizardly for the kid with the lightning bolt scar.


“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” added another $21.9 million to its domestic box-office tally Thursday. That puts its two-day North American total at  $80.1 million.
This puts “Prince” is on pace to break the franchise’s all-time best mark for a five-day weekend  — $139.7 million — set in 2007 with “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.”


And the magic is happening all over the world. Not only did the sixth of Warner Bros.’ "Potter" installments getting out the gate Wednesday with the biggest midnight showing in history — with $22.2 million– in the U.S., it also passed the century mark at the global box office. The take: $104 million worldwide Wednesday, studio officials announced.

The only question left: How big an audience will there be for the film when the IMAX-, partially-3D version opens? That "Potter" has to wait until July 29, since domestic IMAX screens were contractually tied up with the second “Transformers” movie.


Most likely, it’ll just give another kick to the Hogwarts juggernaut, which exploded out of the gate.


On opening day Wednesday, the film grossed $58.2 million domestically at 4,275 theaters and $45.9 million abroad. It established a record for the biggest midnight opening ever, taking in $58.4 million at 4,275 North American theaters, according to studio figures.


On July 18, 2008, Warner’s “The Dark Knight” established the top mark with a $67.2 million opening. Paramount’s “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” came close to the record last month with a $62 million opener.


The sixth “Potter” installment, “Half-Blood Prince” took in $22.4 million at 3003 midnight engagements Wednesday.

Not that it needed it, but it helped that within the realm of youth-targeted fare, pretty much everything else has scampered out of "Harry’s" way. The two biggest incumbents, Fox’s “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” and Paramount’s “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” entered their third and fourth weeks, respectively.


In fact, the only relevant kids competition in sight going forward is Disney’s Jerry Bruckheimer-produced “G-Force,” which premieres July 24.


The five previous "Potter" installments have grossed almost $4.5 billion worldwide. Domestically, all have taken in between $250 million and $300 million, except for 2001’s “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” which grossed more ($317.6 million).


Four of the releases have opened in the $80-to-$100 million range. The only five-day opener, 2007’s "Order of the Phoenix," opened to $139.7 million.

Meanwhile, from 2001 to 2007, “Potter” movies generated a hefty $2.7 billion in DVD sales, a revenue source that has declined since then.