Harry Potter Is Bigger Than Ever

The boy wizard has broom-swooped through multiplexes one last time, and holly hippogriffs did he do well. Other stuff was in theaters too, of course, and it was a busy weekend overall, but Harry reigned hugely.

1) Harry Potter and the Money Explosion, Part 8 — $168.5M
When not adjusted for inflation, the final film in this grand old film series had the best opening weekend in the history of America. In all of America's proud history! Not even Paul Revere's beloved/reviled And the Horse You Rode In On, a thinly veiled erotic roman à clef about a famous horseman's libidinous exploits, did better, and that did pretty good. So yay, Harry. I saw the movie yesterday and I thought it was good, not as good as the first part, but it had a little less stuff to work with, so that's understandable. The Hogwarts battle could have been, I thought, a little grander. (Where were the house elves and the centaurs??) But of course in the end it was sad and sweet and, frankly, I just got a little sad typing the word "hippogriff" because man book three was a long, long time ago and the adventure is really over and now there's nothing. Well, there's Game of Thrones, but there's a lot of nipple-tweaking and seed-spilling in that so it's hard to be, like, nostalgic about it. Ah well. It was a great time, J.K.! Thanks again.

2) Transformers: Stink Factory 3000 — $21.5M
On the complete opposite end of the emotional spectrum comes this unspecial noise machine. I can't for certain say what it is about these movies that repulses me so, but I guess it has to do partly with how they are the complete opposite of the Harry Potter movies. Not that every movie should be whimsical and full of kindness and wonder. But like, it would be nice if there was some ounce of sympathetic humanity in a movie. Like, John McClane, for example. He populates loud, violent action movies and yet you care about him, in some way. Shia LaBeouf's character, on the flipside? If movie number four is called Transformers: Shia LaBeouf's Character Dies In a Fire for Two Hours, I would see a midnight screening. I would order my tickets well in advance. Plus Michael Bay is gross and I hate how all his movies look like commercials and let's just remember that at the end of the day we're talking about alien robots that can turn into automobiles and other things and that's supposed to be cool, except most of us aren't eight-year-old boys with our fingers up our noses. Enough with these movies! Basta! Bring on the Gobots!

3) Horrible Bosses — $17.6
Dropping a small 37% from last week's solid opening, this movie looks to be a modest little hit. I can't tell if this means something good or something bad for my script Terrible Coworkers. I think it means good, right? Which is exciting, because it's a crackerjack script. It's all about a writer whose coworkers are all jerks. But they probably won't even know that they're jerks because they're not reading this, are they, the jerks? Ah well. We'll know, at least. We'll know who the jerks are. Another thing about the success of this movie that intrigues me is if this means Jennifer Aniston is going to go "dirty" now. She tried serious dirty in Derailed and it failed (poetry!), but this is funny dirty and it seems to work. More to come perhaps? The Object of My Sexfection? Friends With Moany? Along Came On Polly? The Bounty Cunter? So many possibilities!

4) Zookeeper — $12.3M
This film also didn't drop much from week one to week two, but when you consider it cost some 80-odd million dollars to make versus Horrible Bosses' $35 million, it's really not that big of a triumph. I mean, ha, I don't think anyone was ever going to associate the word "triumph" with the film Zookeeper, but you know what I mean. I guess some concepts don't play as well as others. Kevin James as bumbling mall guard? Priceless. Kevin James as bumbling zoo guard? Garbage. Kevin James playing a (fake) bear in Chuck and Larry? Correct. Kevin James talking to a (fake) bear in this? Absolutely not. The nuances are subtle and mysterious with this Kevin James person, it seems. Subtle and mysterious.

6) Winnie the Pooh — $8M
This is a nice little debut for this nice little movie. Lots of kids were off seeing Harry Potter, sure, but their younger siblings who aren't quite ready for blood and death and stuff were probably, much to their dismay, shuttled off to this instead. I mean, I'm sure they liked it once they were there, but obviously they wanted to go see the movie their older brother or sister was seeing with their friends, not this baby movie for babies, because they are not a baby, they are five now, and that's getting up there in years if you think about it. But yeah, in the end Tigger was fun to laugh at and Pooh said "Oh bother" in his nice comforting voice and really it wasn't so bad after all to not be at Harry Potter which, if the kids were honest with themselves, did look a little scary. See, it all works out in the end!