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‘Potter’ conjures up $159.7 million in 5 days

July 19th, 2009 Posted in Entertainment | No Comments »

By DAVID GERMAIN

Harry Potter continues to work box-office alchemy, turning his latest movie adventure into an overnight blockbuster.

The sixth installment, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” took in $79.5 million domestically over opening weekend and $159.7 million since debuting last Wednesday, according to estimates from distributor Warner Bros. on Sunday.

The movie also took in $237 million overseas since Wednesday in 54 countries, bringing its worldwide total to $396.7 million.

With some of the best reviews of any “Harry Potter” movie, “Half-Blood Prince” was off to the fastest overall start in franchise history.

The sixth movie about the young wizard came in $20 million ahead of the last movie, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” which grossed $139.7 million domestically in its first five days two years ago.

The new film had the second-highest start ever for a movie premiering on Wednesday, trailing the $200 million five-day opening for last month’s “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.”

“Half-Blood Prince” already has surpassed the $157.3 million “Order of the Phoenix” pulled in during its entire first week. By the end of its seventh day Tuesday, “Half-Blood Prince” will be in the $180 million range on its way to becoming the franchise’s first $300 million domestic smash since the original movie, 2001’s “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”, said Dan Fellman, Warner head of distribution.

Sandra Bullock’s ‘Proposal’ woos date crowds with $34.1M

June 21st, 2009 Posted in Entertainment | No Comments »

Movie audiences accepted a proposal from Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds, who scored the summer’s first big romantic comedy hit.

Bullock and Reynolds’ “The Proposal” took in $34.1 million to open as the weekend’s No. 1 movie, according to studio estimates Sunday. The Disney flick delivered the biggest opening ever for Bullock, nearly double that of her previous best of $17.6 million for the 2007 paranormal thriller “Premonition.”

Bullock stars as a ruthless publishing executive who coerces her put-upon assistant (Reynolds) into a fake marriage so she can avoid deportation back to her native Canada.

“The Proposal” took over the top spot from the Warner Bros. bachelor-party comedy “The Hangover,” which slipped to second place with $26.9 million. A surprise smash hit, “The Hangover” raised its total to $152.9 million.

Disney’s animated adventure “Up” was No. 3 with $21.3 million, lifting its total to $224.1 million and following Paramount’s “Star Trek” as the second movie of 2009 to cross the $200 million mark.

Debuting in the fourth spot with $20.2 million was Sony’s caveman comedy “Year One,” starring Jack Black and Michael Cera as Neanderthals on a road trip after they are banished from their village.

Revenues this weekend were up slightly compared to the same period a year ago, but that followed three straight weekends of declining box-office receipts.

`Hangover’ hangs on as No. 1 movie with $33.4M

June 14th, 2009 Posted in Entertainment | No Comments »

Hollywood is nursing another big hangover.

The Warner Bros. comedy “The Hangover” hauled in $33.4 million to remain the top box-office draw for a second-straight weekend. The tale of a Vegas bachelor party gone to extremes raised its total to $105.4 million after 10 days in theaters.

The action comedy “Up” from Disney and Pixar Animation came in a close second again with $30.5 million. That lifts its total to $187.2 million.

Debuting at No. 3 with $25 million was Sony’s action remake “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3.” The subway-hijacking thriller stars Denzel Washington and John Travolta.

Eddie Murphy delivered a dud with the Paramount family comedy “Imagine That,” which opened with a lackluster $5.7 million.