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Per Theater Chart: Harry Potter and Yet Another Record

July 19th, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow, Part 2 added another record over the weekend earning the highest per theater average for a wide release with $38,672, surpassing the previous record holder, The Dark Knight. However, Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour still holds the record for best per theater average for a number one film at $45,561. That record might not be broken till the $200 million opening weekend milestone is cracked. The only other member of the $10,000 club was Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness, which grew by a few percent to $20,998. Its ability to expand is untested, but growth is always a good sign.

The rest of the new limited releases ranged from okay, to weak, to much worse than that. Tabloid! was the best of the rest with an average of $6,514 in 14 theaters. Its relatively high theater count for a documentary likely hurt its average, so this is a not a bad start, but its chances of expanding significantly are limited. The Undefeated was right behind, $1 behind, with an average of $6,513. The film opened in mostly non-traditional markets, so it has a lot of room to expand, but while it opens in more theaters on Friday, earning a slice of mainstream success will be tough. Despite earning the worst reviews in Wayne Wang's career, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan opened with a respectable average of $5,584 in 24 theaters. Life, Above All and The Tree both struggled with averages of $2,758 and $2,492 respectively. Ranchero's release date had been pushed back, but that didn't help, as it opened under the Mendoza Line with an average of $1,913 in two theaters. Salvation Boulevard was right behind with an average of $1,802 in four. Daylight was the weakest new release we have numbers for with just $959 in its lone theater.

This past week also saw milestones reached for a few Per Theater Charts alumni:

  • The Trip reached $1 million early in the weekend, but that's as far as it will go. On the other hand, that's farther than I thought it would manage, as it is not the type of film one associates with box office success for reasons I mentioned when it was first released.
  • A Better Life also made it to $1 million over the weekend. It has a better shot at $2 million, but its low per theater average suggests sharp declines from now on.
  • Buck continues to top expectations, topping $2 million over the weekend and it has a better than 50 / 50 chance at reaching $3 million before too long.
  • The Tree of Life managed to crack $10 million at the box office, which is a very impressive feat for a limited release. Granted, this particular limited release also had a $35 million production budget, so it will need to continue to do well internationally and become a bigger hit on the home market, if it is to break even any time soon.
  • Midnight in Paris has climbed all the way to $40 million and in the process has become the biggest hit in Woody Allen's career, as long as you don't take into account ticket price inflation. Hannah and Her Sisters was the previous record holder for the auteur, while Annie Hall likely still holds the record for most tickets sold and in today's money made about $125 million. (Manhattan also made about $125 million in today's money, so it too could hold the record for most tickets sold by a Woody Allen movie. The margin of error is high enough that either could claim the crown.)

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Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Theater Averages, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II, Ranchero, Midnight in Paris, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Salvation Boulevard, Life, Above All, The Tree of Life, The Trip, Tabloid!, The Tree, A Better Life, Buck, The Undefeated, Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness, Daylight