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Monday, July 18, 2011

Harry Potter film breaks UK box office records

Harry Potter film saga ends in a magical blaze of glory, JK Rowling's rich, intoxicating vision is seared into our hearts and minds. What a ride it has been, Pottermania weaving itself into cinema and literature's most important annals.
Disappointingly, that's never been the case for Harry Potter in video games. There has been some success; the lively Hogwarts' playground of Order of the Phoenix offered fans a bustling, interactive facsimile of the school of witchcraft and wizardry. And while this may be stretching the definition of a Potter game, Lego Harry Potter remains the block-headed high point.
Otherwise it's largely been a limp parade of mediocrity, which reached something of a nadir with last year's Deathly Hallows Part 1, which turned Harry Potter into a Gears of War clone. There is some merit in imagining Potter as a pacy third-person action game, but Deathly Hallows Part 1 was buggy, unimaginative and largely incoherent. Part 2 retains the core shooter gameplay but fares marginally better. It's more polished and is, for the most part, competently executed. And the final conflict between Harry and the forces of the Dark Lord is more suited to the combat focus. But Part 2 still lacks any sense of invention, adventure or heart --qualities that the source material has in abundance-- and thus does Potter a disservice.
According to Warner Bros, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 has made $475.6m (£295.6m) worldwide since its release on Wednesday.
The movie has shattered box office records in the US and Canada after taking $168m (£104m) over its opening weekend.
"Harry Potter is truly a cultural phenomenon the world over," said Veronika Kwan-Rubinek, Warner's president of distribution.
"International audiences have embraced the Harry Potter films over the years, with the powerful finale punctuating just how special the property is."
Most cinemas in the UK are showing the film in 3D, resulting in increased ticket prices that will impact on its overall takings.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides had previously enjoyed the UK's most successful opening weekend of 2011, having made £11.6m in its first weekend in May.
The final Harry Potter movie has also broken global box office records for films shown in the large-scale Imax format.
The UK was among a number of countries to post a new benchmark, Deathly Hallows: Part 2 having made £684,000 from the 15 Imax screens on which it screened.
Almost a fifth of that figure was generated by the BFI Imax in London, which shifted £118,000 in tickets between Friday and Sunday.
In the US and Canada, Imax screenings of the final Potter adventure generated $15.5m (£9.63m) during the weekend.

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