Stacking Up The


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Stacking Up The

  1. 1. Stacking up the 'Harry Potter' Film Series  by Matt McDaniel April 16th,  2009 The novels of J.K. Rowling were already a global sensation when the movie adaptation of quot;Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stonequot; hit screens in late 2001. Then the enormous success of the film franchise has turned her magical world into a full-fledged institution. Collectively, the five movies so far are the second most successful series worldwide in cinema history, beating quot;Star Warsquot; and quot;Lord of the Rings.quot; Only James Bond has earned more money (just over $5 billion, not adjusted for inflation), and with the upcoming release of quot;Half-Blood Prince,quot; Harry Potter ($4.5 billion) is sure to jump ahead into the top slot. Let's not forget, though, that the Harry Potter films aren't just commercial successes. Every film has scored a quot;Bquot; grade or higher with the critics on Yahoo! Movies along with a quot;Certified Freshquot; rating from Plus, the series has racked up six Academy Award nominations. Here is a breakdown of how each of the five movies performed at the box office, and how they were rated by both critics and fans. And we have a first look at new character banners and the latest theatrical trailer for movie number six, quot;Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.quot; Jump to the Trailer >> Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone Release Date: November 16, 2001 U.S. Opening Weekend: $90,294,621 Final Worldwide Gross: $974,733,550 Naturally, the first movie adaptation of the biggest success in recent literary history generated a huge amount of speculation before its release. After Steven Spielberg passed on the opportunity to direct, many fans wondered if Chris Columbus (quot;Home Alonequot;) could bring Hogwarts to life. But audiences and critics were won over by the movie. Roger Ebert called it quot;a classic, one that will be around for a long time.quot; quot;Sorcerer's Stonequot; was the top-grossing film of 2001 both in the US and worldwide, and it still has the highest total for any of the Potter movies.
  2. 2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Release Date: November 15, 2002 U.S. Opening Weekend: $88,357,488 Final Worldwide Gross: $878,643,482 The second film hit theaters 364 days after the first, and again opened at number one, just slightly behind the original's take. Critics overall were happy with it, though the few detractors expressed themselves in stronger terms. Most complaints were directed at the movie's 2 hour, 41 minute running time, which was nine minutes more than the previous movie and still the longest to date. As the number two movie of the year worldwide, quot;Chamber of Secretsquot; was a bigger hit internationally than in the U.S., where it came in behind quot;Spider-Man,quot; quot;The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towersquot; and quot;Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones.quot; Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Release Date: June 4th, 2004 U.S. Opening Weekend: $93,687,367 Final Worldwide Gross: $795,634,069 The series shook things up for the third movie. Chris Columbus left the director's chair and Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron stepped in, even though he had not read a Potter book before. Michael Gambon was brought in to play Dumbledore after Richard Harris passed away right before the release of the second film. And this was the first movie to open in the summer season. With kids out of school, the June release gave this a bigger opening than the first two, but the increased competition ultimately lead to the lowest final gross of the series. Conversely, quot;Prisonerquot; has been the best-reviewed movie of the series. Stephen Whitty of the Newark Star-Ledger said, quot;The other films had magic brooms, but this is the first picture that flies.quot;
  3. 3. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Release Date: November 18th, 2005 U.S. Opening Weekend: $102,685,961 Final Worldwide Gross: $895,921,036 For the first time, the essentially British quot;Harry Potterquot; film series actually had an English director, Mike Newell. The book of quot;Goblet of Firequot; was nearly twice as long as the previous one, and at one point the filmmakers considered splitting it into two movies. But they reduced the story to a manageable size by trimming down the opening at the Quidditch World Cup and cutting storylines for Ron and Hermione. quot;Goblet of Firequot; was the first film of the series to receive a PG-13 rating due to its darker subject matter and the on-screen death of a character. That didn't hurt the film's reception, though, as it earned the biggest opening of the franchise and went on to be the #1 film of 2005 worldwide. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Release Date: July 11th, 2007 U.S. Opening Weekend (5-day): $139,715,157 Final Worldwide Gross: $938,212,738 One impressive fact about the quot;Harry Potterquot; movies is that, besides the necessity of replacing the late Richard Harris, there have been no major cast changes in the series. There was speculation that this might be the last film with the original leads, but they eventually signed on to finish the series. British director David Yates took the reigns for this film, and even though he had mostly worked in television before this, the producers signed him on to do all the remaining films. quot;Order of the Phoenixquot; divided critics more than the earlier films: The Hollywood Reporter called it quot;the least enjoyable of the lot so far,quot; while New York Magazine said quot;this is the best Harry Potter picture yet.quot; Still, the movie had another massive summer opening, and the IMAX version -- presented for the first time with 20 minutes of the movie in 3D -- broke all previous records. quot;Phoenixquot; was the second highest grossing movie of 2007 worldwide, and the second biggest Potter movie to date.
  4. 4. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Release Date: July 15th, 2009 The sixth movie was originally scheduled to open last November, but was pushed into this summer to fill in the gap left by last year's Writers' Guild strike. That created a two-year space between films that has been the longest of the series. Unlike the books, quot;Half-Blood Princequot; is not the next-to-last movie. For the final installment, quot;Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,quot; the filmmakers are going back to their old idea and splitting the massive book into two movies coming in 2010 and 2011. Interestingly, after two PG-13 movies, quot;Princequot; is rated PG, but from the looks of the new trailer, it stands to be as action-packed and emotional as any of the previous films. Take a look a four exclusive banners showing the pairs of characters at the heart of the story, and then watch the new trailer to see just how epic Harry's next adventure will be.