Tag Archive: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2






Updated: January 26, 2012 6:17PM

He will always be Harry. Daniel Radcliffe makes that fact perfectly clear. You’re playing a game of “what if” with one of the most recognizable faces on the globe, and the good-natured 22-year-old is like an eager puppy.

What if J.K. Rowling wrote another Harry Potter book?

What if it was turned into another film?

What if they wanted him to be the middle-aged Potter someday? He wouldn’t need to have a gut, but still, could he put on the specs again?

“If it was good enough, I would be Harry Potter again. If it was anything short of good enough, I would say no,” Radcliffe says. “I know I wouldn’t be Harry again for nostalgic or dutiful reasons.

“But if I learned one thing in life, it’s that it’s foolish to cut yourself off from anything. My motto is to never say never.”

It’s that motto that’s bringing him into his post-Potter career. After starring in the beloved wizardry franchise with worldwide grosses of over $7.7 billion, he is ready to put down his wand for at least a little while.

“I’ve had a lovely first year away from being Harry,” he says. “I made this movie and did a Broadway show.”

The movie is “The Woman in Black,” opening Friday. Radcliffe plays a widowed lawyer named Arthur Kipps who travels to a remote village to make sense of a recently deceased client’s papers. Instead of staying at some friendly local hotel, he decides to lodge at a creepy old mansion where he encounters a mystery woman dressed in all black. It’s the ghost of a scorned woman who has a yen for vengeance.

It begs the question: Why not run out of there screaming and book yourself at a nice, ghost-free Embassy Suites?

“I was even asking, ‘Why the hell does he stay in the house?’ I want to grab this character, shake him and tell him that he’s not going to do well staying in that haunted dwelling,” Radcliffe says.

“I resolved this question saying to myself, ‘Here is a young man who has lost the wife he loved. He’s almost seeking a guarantee that she is in a better place and they will be reunited someday.’

“He stays in the house because of the power of curiosity,” he says. “Curiosity is what makes us human. The character I play, regardless of what happens, needs to know what happened in this house with this woman in black.

“In the end, the film is about how grief touches people.”

It’s also about those classic horror movie moments that have you dropping your popcorn.

When you’re Harry Potter, however, getting your chills isn’t easy.

“There’s a moment where the ghost sneaks up to me at the window. I didn’t even know how bad it would be until I saw the first cut of the film,” Radcliffe says. “The director simply told me, ‘Just walk to the window and then walk away again.’ He didn’t tell me that there would be any major special effects there.

“When I saw the film I almost lost my lower half. Even on the set, the crew guys were quite protective of me. They knew the ghost effects were going to be chilling. I saw some grown men on the crew mouth the words, ‘Daniel, move!’ People who have seen the film are screaming, ‘Dan, get out of there!’ ”

In the New York apartment where he has lived alone for the last year, Radcliffe says he was turning on a few lights in the middle of the night when the shoot was done and he was on Broadway performing “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”

“The bad news is that my dogs live with my mom and dad now. I’ve moved out,” he says. “I couldn’t take the dogs with me because I’m so busy that they would never eat again.

“You need dogs in your house when you make a horror movie to check out the noises,” he quips.

His parents are Alan Radcliffe, a literary agent, and Marcia Gresham, a casting director, two people who always supported his yen to act. They helped him audition for school plays and supported his decision to take it even further and go pro.

His first major role was in a 1999 TV version of “David Copperfield.” In 2001, he was in “The Tailor of Panama” as the son of Geoffrey Rush and Jamie Lee Curtis.

David Heyman, the producer of the Harry Potter films, attended a play where he met Daniel and his father in the audience.

“At that moment, I looked at Dan and thought, ‘He is Harry Potter,’ ” Heyman says of casting Radcliffe in 2001’s “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”

The Potter franchise, concluding with last year’s “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” (2011), became Radcliffe’s childhood album.

“I’m seriously proud of the last two films,” he says. “They so far surpassed my dreams. It’s great to hear from people who didn’t even see the other films and have no emotional connection loving the last film.”

Some thought he deserved an Oscar nomination for playing Potter. “People asked about my chances and I say I would be more likely to get hit by an Oscar if it came flying at me,” he said.

“I don’t need anything else. I had the role of a lifetime.”

He came away with some Potter souvenirs. “I got two pairs of the glasses. All I had to do was ask,” he says with a laugh. “I have one pair of glasses from the first film and one from the last.”

Radcliffe hopes to wind up behind the camera. “I would love to direct,” he says, fretting, “The problem is I’d employ all of my friends. I wouldn’t have a single unpleasant person around me.

“But I would love to step behind the camera and stay in front of it, too,” he says. “Life is full of possibilities.”

The only thing not possible: Developing a star attitude.

“I’m just a crazy kind of actor who just cares about the work,” Radcliffe says. “The truth is I didn’t get an attitude over the last several years, which was a conscious choice. Why get an attitude when your job is to be a wizard and defeat evil and fly through the air? It’s a good job.

“I’m just a bad movie star!” he cries. “But the truth is I’ve always had an intrinsic dislike of people with attitudes. I never trusted those kinds of people.

“If I ever became that kind of actor, I’d have to sit myself down … and have a talk with myself.”

Big Picture News Inc.



After charming audiences on Broadway and of course in the title role of the Harry Potter films, Daniel Radcliffe is set to scare moviegoers out of their minds in The Woman in Black.

Daniel Radcliffe Named Entertainer of the Year

In the CBS Films picture, Daniel plays Arthur Kipps, a new father in mourning over the loss of his wife who died during childbirth. The story follows the character as he travels to a remote village where he discovers that the vengeful ghost of a scorned woman is terrorizing the locals.

Daniel Radcliffe’s ‘Woman in Black’ Set Tour

While this marks Daniel’s first major venture into horror, the 22-year-old already has attained some words of wisdom concerning the genre.

“If you care about the character, you will be much more scared,” Daniel says simply.

Director James Watkins concurred, saying, “I think it’s important that with every character you see them from the inside out — you know who they are and what they feel.”

“It’s [Daniel’s] journey, and it’s through him the whole story is told,” says co-star Ciaran Hinds, who recalled being impressed by the British actor on the set of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. “There’s not a scene that goes by that he’s not in.”

The Complete ET Harry Potter Movie Guide for Muggles

The Woman in Black opens February 3.

3-D ‘Lion King’ roars to $30.2M opening


LOS ANGELES (AP) — A re-release of an old movie topped several new offerings at the box office, with “The Lion King 3-D” making $30.2 million in its debut.

Monday’s final figure surpassed the Sunday studio estimate of $29.3 million.

The Disney animated musical favorite, now rendered in 3-D, features the voices of Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, James Earl Jones and Jeremy Irons. It was the rare family film in a sea of challenging and R-rated fare this past weekend.

Last week’s top movie, the Warner Bros. thriller “Contagion,” dropped into second place with $14.5 million. It’s now grossed $44.3 million over two weeks.

The top 20 movies at U.S. and Canadian theaters Friday through Sunday, followed by distribution studio, gross, number of theater locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release, as compiled Monday by Hollywood.com are:

1. “The Lion King 3-D,” Disney, $30,151,614, 2330 locations, $12,941 average, $30,151,614, one week.

2. “Contagion,” Warner Bros., $14,548,433, 3222 locations, $4,515 average, $44,260,524, two weeks.

3. “Drive,” FilmDistrict, $11,340,461, 2886 locations, $3,929 average, $11,340,461, one week.

4. “The Help,” Disney, $6,513,039, 3014 locations, $2,161 average, $147,439,793, six weeks.

5. “Straw Dogs,” Sony Screen Gems, $5,123,760, 2408 locations, $2,128 average, $5,123,760, one week.

6. “I Don’t Know How She Does It,” Weinstein Co., $4,402,201, 2476 locations, $1,778 average, $4,402,201, one week.

7. “The Debt,” Focus, $2,942,631, 1831 locations, $1,607 average, $26,564,431, three weeks.

8. “Warrior,” Lionsgate, $2,860,325, 1883 locations, $1,519 average, $10,002,625, two weeks.

9. “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” Fox, $2,658,131, 2340 locations, $1,136 average, $171,651,537, seven weeks.

10. “Colombiana,” Sony Tristar, $2,330,291, 1933 locations, $1,206 average, $33,377,523, four weeks.

11. “Shark Night 3-D,” Relativity Media, $1,801,701, 2082 locations, $865 average, $17,310,402, three weeks.

12. “Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World,” Weinstein Co., $1,590,367, 1650 locations, $964 average, $36,107,734, five weeks.

13. “Crazy Stupid Love,” Warner Bros., $1,566,182, 1145 locations, $1,368 average, $80,736,273, eight weeks.

14. “Our Idiot Brother,” Weinstein Co., $1,2944,791, 1747 locations, $741, $23,672,210, four weeks.

15. “The Smurfs,” Sony Animation Columbia, $1,243,268, 1419 locations, $876 average, $137,593,881, eight weeks.

16. “Kevin Hart: Laugh at My Pain,” Code Black Entertainment, $1,190,756, 230 locations, $5,177 average, $3,598,262, two weeks.

17. “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark,” FilmDistrict, $1,124,591, 1334 locations, $843 average, $22,783,502, four weeks.

18. “Apollo 18,” Weinstein Co., $1,097,433, 1795 locations, $611 average, $16,885,842, three weeks.

19. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” Warner Bros., $700,498, 601 locations, $1,166 average, $378,180,621, 10 weeks.

20. “Captain America: The First Avenger,” Paramount, $563,946, 540 locations, $1,044 average, $174,301,520, nine weeks.





Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by News Corp.; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by Rainbow Media Holdings, a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corp.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.




In this film publicity image released by Warner Bros. Pictures, from left, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe are shown in a scene from "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2." The movie pulled in $21.9 million to become the franchise's top-grossing chapter at $318.5 million domestically. (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures, Jaap Buitendijk)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idE1lsqG2Vc

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Harry Potter has joined the billion-dollar club.

Distributor Warner Bros. said Sunday that “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” crossed the $1 billion mark at the worldwide box office. It’s soon expected to pass “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” which is this year’s top grossing movie at $1.03 billion.

The last of the eight films about the young wizard is the first in the franchise to reach the billion dollar mark. The previous best global haul was $974.8 million for the original film, 2001’s “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”

With $21.9 million domestically this weekend, “Deathly Hallows: Part 2” climbed to a domestic total of $318.5 million. That tops the franchise’s previous best of $317.6 million for “Sorcerer’s Stone.”

But factoring in today’s higher admission prices, “Deathly Hallows: Part 2” has not caught up to “Sorcerer’s Stone” in terms of actual tickets sold.

The 2009 film “Avatar” holds the record for the biggest worldwide box office haul, grossing $2.8 billion. It’s followed by another James Cameron film, “Titanic,” which brought in $1.8 billion.

Harry Potter update


“Captain America: The First Avenger” proved its strength at the box office this weekend, facing off against the powerful force that is “Harry Potter” and coming out on top.

The 3-D film starring Chris Evans, which was the fourth and final big-budget superhero movie to be released this summer, collected a solid $65.8 million this weekend, according to an estimate from distributor Paramount Pictures.

Meanwhile, after grossing more in its worldwide opening last weekend than any film in history, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2” saw its ticket sales tumble quite a bit. The movie made an additional $48.1 million this weekend, meaning receipts fell a sizeable 72% from last weekend. The domestic total for the final “Potter” film now stands at $274.2 million.

The weekend’s other new release, the sexy, R-rated comedy “Friends with Benefits,” started off with a decent $18.5 million.

“Captain America” was produced by the Walt Disney Pictures-owned Marvel  Entertainment for around $140 million but is being distributed by  Paramount Pictures. That means Disney will receive the majority of the  profits or incur any losses from the movie.

The film, about a weak military reject who is transformed into a superhero via a government program, had virtually the same opening weekend as another Paramount/Marvel production out earlier this summer — “Thor.” That movie, also based on a popular comic book hero, opened to $65.7 million in May.

Both films attracted slightly more men than women, as 64% of the audience for “Captain America” was male. But the crowd liked “Captain America” a little more than the film about the Norse god: Audiences assigned this weekend’s release an average grade of A-minus, according to market research firm CinemaScore, compared to Thor’s B-plus grade. Paramount is hoping that means “Captain America” will hold up even better than “Thor,” which saw ticket sales drop only 47% in its second weekend in theaters and has since grossed $445.8 million worldwide.

But audiences were more willing to pay higher ticket prices to see “Thor” in 3-D than they were for “Captain America.” About 60% of the first weekend sales for  “Thor” came from 3-D ticket receipts, compared with 40% for “Captain  America.” However, “Captain America” was not released in Imax theaters,  which accounted for 10% of the 3-D sales for “Thor.”

Overseas, “Captain America” opened only in Italy, where it took in $2.8 million. The film will roll out in 23 additional foreign markets this week.

“Friends With Benefits,” starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis as two buddies who decide to try for a sexual but nonromantic relationship, was produced by Sony’s Screen Gems label for about $35  million. The movie appealed largely to women, as 62% of the crowd was female. Those who saw the film liked it, giving it an average grade of B-plus.

While the movie is off to a good start at the box office, it still had a slightly lower opening than “No Strings Attached,” a movie released in January with an extremely similar premise. That film, in which Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher star as two buddies who sleep together and attempt to maintain their friendship, opened to $19.7 million. The film was also produced for a modest cost and went on to become a sleeper hit, grossing $147.8 million  worldwide by the end of its run in theaters.

In limited release, Fox Searchlight debuted the science fiction love story “Another Earth” in four theaters, where it collected $78,413 for a good per-theater average of $19,600. The film, starring up-and-coming young actress/writer Brit Marling, premiered to positive buzz at the Sundance Film Festival this year. And another film in limited release, “Sarah’s Key,” had an even better opening weekend. The film, based on the bestselling book about a Parisian journalist and distributed by the Weinstein Co., grossed $117,045 from five theaters for a per-theater average of $23,409.

[Updated, 10:32 a.m.: “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” has  officially become Paramount’s highest-grossing film ever overseas, this  weekend passing the half-billion mark abroad. Overseas, the film  collected $62 million from 60 foreign markets, bringing its  international total to $556.6 million. The movie debuted this weekend in China, where it had the biggest opening for an American film ever in the country with $40 million.

Here are the top 10 movies at the domestic  box office, with  international grosses when available, according to  studio estimates and  Hollywood.com:

1. “Captain America: The First Avenger” (Paramount/Marvel): Opened to $65.8 million. $2.8 million overseas in one foreign market.

2. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2” (Warner  Bros.): $48.1 million on its second weekend, down 72%. $121.3 million  overseas in 59 foreign markets. Domestic total: $274.2 million.  International total: $560.4 million.

3. “Friends with Benefits” (Sony): Opened to $18.5 million.

4. “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” (Paramount):    $12 million on its fourth weekend, down 44%. $62 million overseas in 60  foreign markets. Domestic total: $325.8 million. International total:  $556.6 million.

5. “Horrible Bosses” (Warner Bros.): $11.7 million on its third weekend, down 34%. Domestic total: $82.4 million.6. “Zookeeper” (MGM/Sony): $8.7 million on its third  weekend, down 29%. $9 million overseas in 35 foreign markets.  Domestic  total: $59.2 million. International total: $28.8 million.

7. “Cars 2” (Disney/Pixar): $5.7 million on its  fifth  weekend, down 32%. $17.7 million overseas in 31 foreign markets.   Domestic total: $176.4 million. International total: $173.7 million.

8. “Winnie the Pooh” (Disney): $5.1 million on its second weekend, down 35%. Domestic total: $17.6 million.

9. “Bad Teacher” (Sony): $2.6 million on its fifth  weekend,  down 50%. $7.9 million overseas in 32 foreign markets.  Domestic total:  $94.3 million. International total: $70.2 million.

10. “Midnight in Paris” (Sony Pictures Classics): $1.9 million on its tenth weekend, up 1%. Domestic total: $48.9 million.]

— Amy Kaufman


Photos, from top: Chris Evans stars in “Captain America: The First Avenger”; Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake star in “Friends with Benefits.” Credits: Paramount Pictures; Screen Gems

In this film publicity image released by Warner Bros. Pictures, Daniel Radcliffe is shown in a scene from "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2." (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures)In this film publicity image released by Warner Bros. Pictures, from left, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe are shown in a scene from "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2." (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures, Jaap Buitendijk)http://news.yahoo.com/potter-takes-down-batman-168-6m-weekend-154438653.html

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The boy wizard has vanquished the dark knight and a band of pirates with a record-setting magic act at both the domestic and international box office.

Warner Bros. estimates that “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” took in $168.6 million domestically from Friday to Sunday. That beats the previous best opening weekend of $158.4 million, also held by Warner Bros. for 2008’s Batman blockbuster “The Dark Knight.”

Overseas, the film added $307 million in 59 countries since it began rolling out Wednesday, topping the previous best international debut of $260.4 million set in May by Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.”

International results for “Deathly Hallows: Part 2” included record openings in Great Britain at $36.6 million and Australia at $26.7 million, according to Warner Bros.

Worldwide, “Deathly Hallows: Part 2” topped $475 million in a matter of days, putting it on course to become the franchise’s first billion-dollar worldwide hit.

“This will be the biggest ‘Harry Potter’ by far,” said Dan Fellman, head of domestic distribution at Warner Bros. “A billion dollars is definitely going to happen.”

The current franchise high is $974.8 million worldwide for the first film, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” 10 years ago.

“Deathly Hallows: Part 2” does have the advantage of 3-D screenings, which cost a few dollars more than 2-D shows. Because of the higher 3-D price, plus regular inflation, “Deathly Hallows: Part 2” sold fewer tickets but took in more money than “The Dark Knight” over opening weekend.

Overall domestic revenue for the weekend totaled $263 million, a record for a non-holiday weekend, according to box-office tracker Hollywood.com.

The “Harry Potter” finale also set a record for best opening day domestically Friday with $92.1 million, nearly $20 million ahead of the previous high for “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” two years ago.

Other records for “Deathly Hallows: Part 2”: best domestic gross for debut midnight shows at $43.5 million, topping the $30 million for last year’s “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”; best domestic opening in huge-screen IMAX theaters with $15.5 million, surpassing the $12.2 million for last year’s “Alice in Wonderland”; and best worldwide IMAX debut with $23.5 million, beating the $20.4 million for “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” two weeks ago.

“This is just really a monumental event,” said Hollywood.com analyst Paul Dergarabedian. “The 3-D component, plus the IMAX, plus it being the last ‘Harry Potter,’ it was just this convergence of things that created this incredible record.”

Paramount’s third “Transformers” blockbuster, which had been No. 1 the previous two weekends, slipped to second-place with $21.3 million domestically. It remains the year’s top domestic hit with $302.8 million.

The latest “Transformers” added $39 million overseas, bringing its international haul to $460 million and worldwide total to $762.8 million. Among this year’s releases, that’s second only to “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” at $1.03 billion.

The weekend’s other new wide release, Disney’s animated family flick “Winnie the Pooh,” got swamped by “Harry Potter” mania. A return to the hand-drawn animation style of earlier adaptations of A.A. Milne’s beloved storybook characters, “Winnie the Pooh” pulled in just $8 million domestically, finishing at No. 6.

“Deathly Hallows: Part 2” is the eighth and final film adapted from J.K. Rowling’s seven novels about the young wizard’s indoctrination into a secret world of sorcery and his epic battles with evil conjurer Voldemort.

Cast more than a decade ago at ages 10 and 11 as Harry and his pals Hermione and Ron, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint became instant celebrities. They grew up on screen, maturing from inexperienced children to adult actors whose earnest performances contributed to glowing reviews from critics for the finale.

The three now are moving on to adult roles, including Radcliffe’s stint on Broadway in the musical “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”

“It’s just a great way to exit, with the class and style that J.K. Rowling wrote into these stories,” Fellman said. “It comes to an end, as all goods thing do. When you have the opportunity to be a part of that, to work on all eight movies over 10 years, to see the kids, meeting them for the first time when they’re 10 and 11, and just now going to see Daniel Radcliffe at 22 years old in ‘How to Succeed in Business’ on Broadway. There’s a bittersweet part of it.”

The first “Harry Potter” film shown in 3-D, “Deathly Hallows: Part 2” continued a downward trend for domestic revenues derived from the 3-D format.

Some earlier hits took in 70 percent or more of their domestic cash from 3-D shows. But “Deathly Hallows: Part 2” did just 43 percent of its domestic business in 3-D, with most fans choosing cheaper 2-D tickets.

That still means a healthy $72.5 million in domestic revenue from 3-D screenings, but it also shows that American audiences have lost much of their fervor for seeing movies in three dimensions.

Overseas audiences remain eager for it, with 3-D tickets accounting for 61 percent of international income on “Deathly Hallows: Part 2.”

Woody Allen hit a milestone as his romance “Midnight in Paris” pulled in $1.9 million to raise its domestic total to $41.8 million, a personal revenue record for the filmmaker. The Sony Pictures Classics release beat Allen’s previous high of $40.1 million for 1986’s “Hannah and Her Sisters.”

Factoring in today’s higher admission prices, “Hannah and Her Sisters” and other earlier Allen hits such as “Annie Hall” sold far more tickets than “Midnight in Paris.”

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com. Where available, latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” $168.6 million ($307 million international).

2. “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” $21.3 million ($39 million international).

3. “Horrible Bosses,” $17.6 million.

4. “Zookeeper,” $12.3 million.

5. “Cars 2,” $8.3 million ($12.4 million international).

6. “Winnie the Pooh,” $8 million.

7. “Bad Teacher,” $5.2 million.

8. “Larry Crowne,” $2.6 million.

9. “Super 8,” $1.92 million.

10. “Midnight in Paris,” $1.9 million.








In this film publicity image released by Warner Bros. Pictures, from left, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe are shown in a scene from "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2." (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures, Jaap Buitendijk)Moviegoers wait for the midnight showing of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II" in Merrimack, N.H., Thursday, July 14, 2011. The film is expected to put up franchise-record numbers as it debuts just after midnight Friday.(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)http://news.yahoo.com/harry-potter-conjures-first-day-record-92-1m-143600172.html

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Harry Potter has cast his biggest spell yet with a record-breaking first day at the box office.

Distributor Warner Bros. reports that “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” summoned up $92.1 million domestically on opening day Friday.

That’s nearly $20 million more than the previous record-holder, “The Twilight Saga: New Moon,” which took in $72.7 million in its first day two years ago.

The finale of the “Harry Potter” saga also set a record for midnight screenings with $43.5 million. That topped “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,” which pulled in about $30 million in its first midnight shows last year.

Box-office tracker Hollywood.com projected Saturday that “Deathly Hallows: Part 2” also could break the opening-weekend record of $158.4 million domestically held by “The Dark Knight.”





Everything ends. 10 years of build. 10 years for millions and millions of fans around the world to wonder just how the Harry Potter franchise would end. While many of those fans learned exactly how it ended when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows the book released in 2007, seeing the conclusion come to cinematic life is finally upon us. No one, not J.K. Rowling, not the cast, not the director David Yates, have let us down, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, the conclusion to the conclusion, ends up being the most satisfying conclusion that could possibly have been made. Not only that, it comes off as the best Harry Potter film to date and even rivals such notable series enders as Return of the King and Return of the Jedi. With time, it could even find its way to surpassing them both.

The synopsis is about as simple as the Harry Potter films get. With only half a book to deal with in this last film, it all boils down to the third act, the last few chapters, the point where everything comes to a head and the ultimate battle rages on. The setting this time around isn’t a tedious forest, something those who weren’t too fond of Deathly Hallows: Part 1 will be thankful for. Instead, the setting for the final battle is Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The combatants are the forces of good versus the forces of evil, but that goes without saying, too. And at the heart is Harry Potter, played for the last time by Daniel Radcliffe, versus the evil Voldemort, played by Ralph Fiennes.

The series has had ups and downs, bumps in the long and winding road from Harry learning his wizardry powers to finally coming face to face with his archenemy. For the past four or five films, at least since Yates took over directing duties on Order of the Phoenix, the series has spun its wheels a bit, biding its time and building to this seventh story. Plot progressed. Characters grew. Some even died, but knowing you were right in the middle of an overlaying story whose conclusion wouldn’t be seen for two or three more films was always a hindrance to be taken into account. With Deathly Hallows: Part 2, the stakes are at their highest, and every emotion, every painful loss of a notable character is felt. It’s now when everything matters, and the stories and arcs that have come before are allowed to meet their respective finales.

It’s in the battle between Harry and Voldemort. You know at least one of them isn’t going to make it to the end, and everything that has come into play between the two characters, even though they haven’t shared much screen time, comes into play. It’s in the relationships between Harry, Hermione (Emma Watson), and Ron (Rupert Grint). The child actors have grown into adults as have their characters, and the journey we’ve taken with them for the past seven films and ten years pays off as well as it possibly can. When choices are made between any two of them, it sends shockwaves through your memory, forces you to remember the children they were and gaze at the young adults and fine actors they have all become.

The emotional journey is felt in secondary characters, too. Every character, at least every named character, has their moment to shine in Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Yates and screenwriter Steve Kloves allow for this in the film’s run time and pacing so that no character and no event ever fekt short-changed. Deathly Hallows: Part 2 could actually be seen as a study in time management in film. Nothing is rushed. Nothing feels left out. Every character is given their just due. And it’s all in their in a film that runs just over two hours. It really is a wonder to behold all they are able to pack in to a film with a run time of less than three hours.

And then there’s Alan Rickman as Snape, the enigmatic yet oftentimes closefisted teacher who has since become schoolmaster at Hogwarts. In Deathly Hallows: Part 2, every action from this character, every question you may have had about him, is answered, and it’s gloriously and heartbreakingly constructed. And behind it all is Rickman, pillar of serious and genuine performance that he is. In the short time he’s given in this last film, you realize no one could have played this character quite like Rickman, and among the innumerable ways in which this last story makes you want to go back and revisit past ones, his performance throughout this arc is at the top of the list.

But Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is more than just overwhelming emotion. The action staged is impeccably constructed, as well. There’s been a question about Yates’ ability to truly craft decent action, but within the two films that make up Deathly Hallows, the questioning can stop. Much of the film revolves around or has as a backdrop one, large battle around Hogwarts. While we don’t see much of the battle first-hand, we see enough. Much of the true emotion that comes from it, the lost lives being the main source of said emotion, comes in the aftermath when Harry and his friends are seeing the damage Voldemort and his minions are creating. It could be a way of not having to shoot much action, a way for Yates to work around what he himself sees as a weakness in his direction. However, it works better this way. The emotional impact is stronger when the results of this battle are revealed after the fact rather than seeing them first-hand.

Which brings us to the 3-D element, not an element often brought up in reviews, as they don’t generally qualify for every viewer of the film. Unfortunately, when the case is such that the 3-D distracts, when it is so bad that it takes you out of the film, it almost has to be brought up as a warning. Such is the case with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, a post-converted splotch on an otherwise masterful work of cinema. Audiences are given a choice, not always the case, and they should be told that, as has been seen before, the 3-D in Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is not only not good, it’s a diversion.

Yet when that seems to be the only truly bad element of a film, it can hardly be taken into account against the film itself. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is a flawless consummation to 10 years of steady build. At any moment, the series could have lagged to the point of dropping out completely. It could have given up anywhere in any of the previous seven films, but despite finding a few dips, it never sank. It’s gotten us here, and thank Dumbledore for that, because with a capper as masterfully put together as Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is, it makes revisiting the entire journey all the more worthwhile.

Jeremy’s Rating: 9.5 out of 10

July 15, 2011
by Jeremy Kirk



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