In a surprisingly close race, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1 held on to its box-office crown Friday by grossing $20.8 million, according to early estimates. That’s a 66 percent drop from the fantasy film’s opening last Friday, which was inflated due to an enormous turnout at Thursday midnight screenings. If Deathly Hallows follows the Thanksgiving trajectory of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire — the last Potter film to open in November — the PG-13 movie should finish the weekend with about $50 million. That would bring Deathly Hallows‘ 10-day tally to $220 million, making it the 10th greatest 10-day gross in box-office history and the best ever for a Potter flick.
But Friday wasn’t only a celebration for wizards, as Disney’s animated musical Tangled came in close behind with $19.7 million. The PG movie, which debuted Wednesday, has grossed $39.7 million so far, and has a shot at overtaking Deathly Hallows for the three-day weekend. If that happens, it’d be due to one reason: incredible word-of-mouth. CinemaScore audiences rated the fairy-tale film an “A+” — the first movie this year to garner the rare grade. Even more impressive is the fact that while moviegoers under the age of 25 rated Tangled an “A,” those over the age of 25 gave it an “A+.” Clearly this retelling of Rapunzel is delivering for all age groups, and when that happens, watch out. Tangled is on pace to finish second this weekend with about $47 million, but again, it could very well upset Potter for first place. Seems the lesson here is: Never underestimate a woman with ridiculously long hair.
The next five films are fairly clumped together, and their positions could swap by Sunday night. DreamWorks Animation’s Megamind came in third on Friday, grossing $5.3 million for an actual increase of 41 percent from last week. In fourth place was the action thriller Unstoppable, which gained 13 percent from last week for $4.6 million. After that were this week’s three other new releases. The Cher-Christina Aguilera musical Burlesque fared best, bringing in $4.5 million on Friday. Despite mediocre reviews, audiences liked the PG-13 film — CinemaScore moviegoers graded it an “A-.”. The R-rated romantic comedy Love and Other Drugs, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway, was next in sixth place with $3.8 million. And Faster, Dwayne Johnson’s return to the action genre, rounded out the top seven with $3.2 million. Check back here on Sunday for the complete box office report.
1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1 — $20.8 mil
2. Tangled — $19.7 mil
3. Megamind — $5.3 mil
4. Unstoppable — $4.6 mil
5. Burlesque — $4.5 mil
6. Love and Other Drugs — $3.8 mil
7. Faster — $3.2 mil