2010 Preview: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part One)
by Ray Subers
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part One)
February 10, 2010
Release Date: Nov. 19 (in conventional theaters and IMAX) Studio: Warner Brothers Genre: Fantasy Director: David Yates Writer:Steve Kloves (based on the novel by J.K. Rowling) Cast:Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Brendan Gleeson, Richard Griffiths, Maggie Smith, David Thewlis, Julie Walters, Miranda Richardson, Bill Nighy, Ciaran Hinds, Robbie Coltrane, John Hurt, Imelda Stauton Studio Description: The final chapter of the Harry Potter film series begins as Harry, Ron, and Hermione leave Hogwarts behind and set out to find a destroy the Horcruxes, the secret to Voldemort's power and immortality. Analysis: In six movies released since 2001, the Harry Potter series has been a dominant force at the box office, grossing $1.7 billion (and an additional, whopping $3.7 billion overseas). Warner Bros., in an effort to include as much of the story as possible and, no doubt, to wring out more money from the series, decided to split the final Harry Potter book in to two movies, setting Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part One) for release this November, followed by Part Two in July 2011.
With the release of Deathly Hallows: Part One marking the beginning of the end for the series, anticipation will likely reach fever pitch by the fall. This will be the first Harry Potter to open the weekend before Thanksgiving since Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in 2005. The franchise made history on the same weekend in 2001, when the first movie, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, delivered a then record $90.3 million opening weekend gross.
There's a chance that some potential audience members feel cheated that the studio has split Deathly Hallows in to two parts, skip out on Part One in theaters, catch it on DVD and then show up for the action-packed, climactic Part Two. Based on the strong brand recognition and high levels of anticipation, though, it's unlikely this happens in any noticeable way. The last movie, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince saw little audience attrition, despite its delay. Instead, look for Deathly Hallows: Part One to be as successful as the recent entries in the series, putting it in line to be one of the top-grossing pictures of 2010.