Potter Overtakes Bond at Box Office
LOS ANGELES (AP) – It was a photo finish between Harry Potter on his broomstick and James Bond in his Aston Martin at the box office over the long American Thanksgiving weekend.
“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” won the regular weekend with $32.2 million from Friday to Sunday, compared to $31 million for the latest Bond flick, “Die Another Day,” according to studio estimates Sunday.
“Die Another Day” led for the full Thanksgiving holiday, taking in $46.3 million Wednesday to Sunday, compared to $45.8 million for “Chamber of Secrets.”
Rankings could change when final numbers are released Monday.
Both films proved much bigger draws than a rush of new movies that opened the day before Thanksgiving.
Disney’s animated sci-fi tale “Treasure Planet” led the newcomers, coming in at No. 4 with $11.9 million Friday to Sunday and $16.5 million for the five-day holiday period. It came in just behind Disney’s “The Santa Clause 2,” with $12.3 million for the three-day weekend and $17.2 million for the five days.
Another animated adventure, “Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy Nights,” opened in fifth place with $10.1 million for the regular weekend and a five-day haul of $15.1 million.
Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney’s brainy sci-fi drama “Solaris” premiered at No. 7 with a three-day gross of $6.8 million and a five-day take of $9.5 million. The horror flick “Wes Craven Presents: They” opened at No. 9 with $5.7 million for the three days and $8 million for five days. The snowboarding caper “Extreme Ops” debuted out of the top 10 with a three-day gross of $2.3 million and a five-day total of $3.1 million.
“Typically, new pictures come roaring out. But there’s no question the stuff that was already out, whether Bond or `Harry Potter’ or `Santa Clause,’ that’s where people wanted to go,” said Disney head of distribution Chuck Viane. “There’s a long Christmas holiday ahead of us, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that in the long run we’ll end up doing the numbers we expected.”
The cerebral “Solaris” “maybe wasn’t quite the holiday fare we thought it was,” said Bruce Snyder, head of distribution for 20th Century Fox, which released the film.
The overall box office was down, with the top 12 movies grossing $196.1 million Wednesday to Sunday, off 1.6 percent from Thanksgiving weekend last year.
“It was still a very solid Thanksgiving weekend,” said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations. “There weren’t any new movies that really generated a lot of interest, and when you have a `Potter’ and Bond movie out there, it’s going to be hard for the new ones to knock those off their perch.”
“Chamber of Secrets” pushed its 17-day total to $200.2 million, becoming the sixth movie released in 2002 to cross the $200 million mark, tying last year’s record. That record should fall after “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” hits theaters.
“Die Another Day,” “The Santa Clause 2” and “8 Mile” all passed the $100 million mark, making 21 movies so far this year to cross that level, one short of the record set in 2000.
Here are the estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at North American theaters, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc. Final figures will be released Monday.
1. “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” $32.2 million.
2. “Die Another Day,” $31 million.
3. “The Santa Clause 2,” $12.3 million.
4. “Treasure Planet,” $11.9 million.
5. “Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy Nights,” $10.1 million.
6. “Friday After Next,” $7.8 million.
7. “Solaris,” $6.8 million.
8. “8 Mile,” $5.9 million.
9. “Wes Craven Presents: They,” $5.7 million.
10. “The Ring,” $5.5 million.
For the first weekend in months I never went to a single movie!
Potter Overtakes Bond at Box Office