'Harry Potter' Still Drives Tix Pre-sales

Updates at bottom:
By Robert Marich
   July 14, 2009 – Despite the economic recession and mixed reviews, the next Harry Potter films zoomed to the #7 spot on’s list of biggest movies ranked by advanced ticket sales. According to, 2005’s Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith is still tops, though the next Harry Potter still has 12 hours to move up from #7 (see top link below).
   Warner Bros.’ premieres Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on tomorrow July 15 and says it has sold out 2,000 performances, including 1,500 midnight showings that are the first wave. The press release was issued 12 hours before those midnight screenings.
   While the press release offers few other details, BoxOfficeMojo puts its location count at 4,250, which translates to around 9,000 screens considering some locations put the PG-rated film on multiple screens. Given a long running time of 2 hours 33 minutes, this Harry Potter will have probably over 30,000 showings per day.
   The new Harry Potter has received mixed reviews. Chicago-based Roger Ebert – perhaps America’s best known film review – said that just hard core fans will be really impressed. “Ordinary viewers may be excused for feeling baffled some of the time,” Ebert writes.
   What is the sixth Harry Potter film has a more grown up feel because the child actors in the key roles have grown up over the years.
   Other reviews suggest this Harry Potter is just fine.  The New York Post teased its review by Kyle Smith on page 1 and served up praise that the franchise is still “slithering right along.”
   The first five Harry Potter films grossed about $4.5 billion worldwide, and two more are planned, although with some key youth cast members replaced because they no longer are the right ages for their roles.
   July 15, 2009 -- said that pre-sale ticketing of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince rose from #7 to #2 on the all time list, in the final 12 hours before midnight screenings. The Los Angeles Times reported the movie had 4,000 sold-out showings, when including ticketing done by the other big cinema admissions outfit Fandango.

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