Monday, July 18, 2011

Final 'Potter' is brilliant, a gold mine

If you haven't heard of
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, you have most likely been on a 24-month long sail in the middle of nowhere. The final installment of Potter is really great and very important, and in more ways than one.

Hallows Part 2 is definitely one of my favorites from the entire series. I have read through the series numerous times and have listened to the spectacular audiobooks over and over again, too, so believe me when I tell you that this final film is an excellent way to leave Harry and his friends. Everything necessary from the book was included, and no extraneous information was added--I think this might have been one of my favorite films because they had such a little amount of book to put up on the screen. (OK, OK, not little, but not as much as Order or Half-Blood Prince.)

The acting was perfect, as usual, and the timing of everything was excellently executed. You'll most certainly cry during Snape's pensive scene and get your heart-racing every step of the way as Harry gets closer and closer to finally facing his fate. As the credits start rolling, you'll feel that bittersweet tinge of satisfaction at the ending, yet sorrow that the adventure with Harry is all over. (Although, as mentioned by Brandon in the comments, the epilogue wasn't very well done . . . it looked like Daniel and Rupert and Emma were playing dress-up.) This series really is the
Star Wars and Lord of the Rings of this generation, and for good reason. It is an absolutely genius story full of whimsy, humor, courage, suspense, friendship, philosophical dilemmas, and, of course, heart. After reading the six books or seeing the 7 films leading up to the finale, you cannot help but root for Harry and his friends. The universe created by Rowling is so special and unique and just . . . wonderful.

Perhaps it is for all of those reasons that
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is on its way to becoming the biggest movie ever. With $168.55 million on its opening weekend alone, Potter dethroned The Dark Knight as the biggest opening in box office history. It also set a record for midnight showings at north of $40 million, and an opening day gross of $92.1 million.

Potter franchise has grossed $2.177 billion so far, which means that it most certainly has a chance at surpassing Star Wars' record $2.218 billion.

But will Part 2 be able to surpass Avatar as the biggest box office winner of all-time at $2.782 billion? I don't think so. After all, anyone who's into Harry Potter is going to most likely see it opening weekend. Word of mouth won't do much, since you aren't going to see the last movie of an eight-part series without having seen the first seven, which is the same reason that random moviegoers won't decide to see Potter on a whim. A year ago you knew whether or not you were gonna see Part 2, and you knew you were going to see it at the midnight showing, or at least opening day.

Potter just doesn't have that much staying power at the box office. The numbers from Part 1 speak for themselves:

Week 1: $169,969,028
Week 2:
Week 3: $21,687,764
Week 4: $11,512,852

As you can see, opening weekend was the biggest by far, so don't expect Deathly Hallows Part 2 to break anymore records . . .

Still, Harry Potter is a lasting franchise in both the literary and cinematic worlds. The universe that blossomed from J.K. Rowling's writing is one that will last for centuries--I'm sure of that. It is just too perfect and wonderful not to.


Brandon said...

Actually, I found the last movie to be quite average. Going into the theater, I was very expectant to be barraged with gut wrenching after gut wrenching scene due to the fact that so many characters died during the battle. However, I found the battle to lack a lot of substance. For instance, one of my all-time favorite moments in the book was when Ms. Weasley completely obliterated Bellatrix in a duel; and I thought the movie did a terrible job at that. I thought that they could have made the movie much more dark and traumatic. I think they went much too easy on the audience (us).

And although this is more of the book's fault than the movie, I have always hated the ending. I believe Harry Potter should have concluded in a similar fashion to the way Braveheart did, in the sense that it is the death of the ultimate protagonist that provides the inspiration to the minor characters to come out victorious over evil. And I really abhorred the epilogue, I think the movie would have been much better off cutting it out. But, just my opinion :).

Of course, when these movies are compared to the rest of the spectrum, they are certainly in the upper echelon. But I think they should be held to a standard of almost perfection, so it is difficult for me to ignore some of the fallacies.

Bruce said...

DH 2 was monumental and a very satisfying end despite some of my quibbles. Yes, Molly's fight with Bellatrix wasn't set up that well and there was so much potential for more gut wrenching scenes, but for the first time in a Potter movie there is not an overly egregious misstep to be found. A pitch perfect ending for the series. I can't wait to see it again.

Adam said...

I agree that it could have had a more gut-wrenching send-off, but in the scope of the entire series, you have to admit it is one of the best. Snape's reveal was beautifully done and should have made you tear up at least a little bit... Sure, there were some points in the battle that should have been more monumental and less of a gag (such as Mrs. Weasley taking out Bellatrix), but film is different than literature in this respect, I think. They were trying to build up the fight with Harry and Voldemort, and dedicating too much time elsewhere would have lost the momentum they had going for the finale.

Also, good call on the epilogue. I forgot to mention that. I shall update the article...

Adam said...

Yeah! Definitely agree. Could have been better, but you'll be hard pressed to find any glaring problems with it.

I can't wait to see it again, either.