I’m still very much at at Comic-Con so I’m going to be keeping this one simple.
As usual, my Thursday preview was wrong, wrong, wrong. “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” only managed an estimated $30 million, somewhat below the $31 million Carl DiOrio suggested as a kind of “floor.”
Meanwhile, the poorly reviewed but family-friendly guinea pigs of “G-Force” showed extra strength and became the highest grossing film with a weekend take of somewhere in the neighborhood of $32.2 million. That marks a new success for producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who certainly has a history of high profitability, medium-to-low quality hits like the “Pirates of the Carribbean” and the “CSI” franchise, to name only two of the more recent examples.
It’s possible that the progression of the Potter story arc makes the films extremely safe bets but somewhat self-limiting to those who are not up to speed on the Potter epic. I hope it isn’t true that stronger than usual reviews somehow damage the sixth Potter film. Still, the news wasn’t all bad for the kid from Hogwarts, as the latest chapter in the story did win the international derby with $84.4 million.
The number 3 spot went to the film that many thought would take second. The R-rated rom-com, “The Ugly Truth,” seduced enough audience members to earn an estimated $27 million, which is not bad at all. “Orphan,” however, turned out to be the red-headed stepchild at the nation’s cinemas with a relatively forlorn $12.8 million, making it a somewhat disappointing weekend for movies involving young people from Warner Brothers.