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More Records Fall as Harry Potter Opens

June 7th, 2004

Just a month ago it was looking as if 2004 would suffer through a disastrous summer as the first two tent-pole releases failed to live up to expectations. However, since then we've had record after record fall. The first weekend in June continued this trend as the top 3 films broke several records between them. Since it was a post holiday weekend, a drop in the overall box office was expected, but with a decline of just 2.8% to $186.7 million it was enough to become the largest ever 3-day weekend. And the increase from last year was an incredible 14.6% there's more and more to celebrate about 2004.

It seems having to wait an extra 6 months for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban made people very anxious to see it right away as the film opened huge, with a revised $38.2 million on Friday. That is the biggest day in June, fourth biggest opening day and sixth biggest single day overall. However, there was a momentous drop Friday to Saturday, which put $100 million weekend out of range. However, the $93.7 million opening is still the biggest for the franchise and easily the biggest June weekend of all time. Normally such a big drop means poor word of mouth, however, this film has the best reviews and on our site the best user ratings out of the Harry Potter franchise so far. So the drop is more likely the result of the Fanboy effect. In fact, given the reported sell-outs for the Thursday night Midnight showings, the Friday to Saturday drop-off could be merely a quirk in the box office reporting. Even so, the darker content may hurt repeat business, however with no real competition for the next few weeks, the film should still show strong legs and reach expectations.

It was almost exactly as predicted as Shrek 2 dropped 47% to $37.9 million this weekend. Given the fact that it was a post holiday weekend and there was direct, not to mention monumental competition this is an awesome performance. Additionally, the film broke the record for fastest movie to reach $300 million, shaving 4 days off the previous record. Will it also break the record for fastest movie to reach $400 million? We'll know in seven weeks, at the very latest.

Our third record breaking film on the top five is The Day After Tomorrow matching expectations almost perfects with $27.9 million. The film is not only has the biggest film to open in second place, it is now the biggest film to ever finish third on the weekend chart, (how's that for an esoteric record.) And to top it all off, it is also quickly climbing the Non Number One chart. And when you add in its international box office the film is well on its way to profitability.

After the top three there's a really big let down. Raising Helen was able to meet expectation with $6.6 million, but Troy only managed $6.0 million.

Super Size Me finished in the top ten for the third and final time with $800,000. It is already one of the highest grossing documentaries of all time and it should climb a few more places before its done. In addition to that film, there were three other limited releases that finished in the top twenty. A Day Without a Mexican jumped up several places to land at 12th, just behind was Saved!, which climbed a couple of places to finish in 13th. And finally, Coffee and Cigarettes re-entered the top twenty in 17th place.

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Filed under: Shrek 2, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, The Day After Tomorrow, Troy, Raising Helen, Super Size Me, Saved!, A Day Without a Mexican, Coffee and Cigarettes