"Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix" made a ton of money since its release. It was second among films all-time in presale tickets and had opening weekend U.S. box office sales of $77 million.
That's more than twice what "Transformers" brought in.
What gives? Both films have cult-ish followings (ask any '80s child about Transformers). Both films feature unworldly action and content (robots and wizards, oh my). And both films offer tons of merchandising potential (honestly I still had these sheets in the early '90s). After seeing the latest film and following the past four closely, the answer to Harry Potter's sales supremecy is clear.
It's all about sex. Well, sex appeal.
A Google search reveals it was Texas advertising professor Jef I. Richards who produced the "sex sells," phrase in regards to sales. Whether they want to admit it or not, the HP crew is an active reminder that Richards speaks the truth. HP5 was the first film in the series where the hero engages in an on-screen kiss and the first film featuring a character named Nymphadora. The HP series wants to draw you in with sex appeal. Think it's a coincidence? Consider the following:
Main character Daniel Radcliffe a.k.a Harry Potter: Radcliffe is the most obvious example of the film relying on sex appeal to rake in the viewers. He's hot to the point that young girls e-mail Larry King to tell him he's "freakin' sexy" (it's at the 2:08 mark in this YouTube clip). He's got sultry spreads in Details Magazine where he's sexy to the point that you can't even tell his facial hair is digitally altered (c'mon it has to be digitally altered). Let's not forget his stage debut in Equus either. No one remembers the play but everyone remembers his shirtless shots with a unicorn or prepping for his on-stage nudity with some girl. You can't tell me the HP5 directors didn't know exactly what they were getting when they signed him on for the role. Whatever film gets Radcliffe next is guaranteed at least $20 million opening weekend, $40 million if the preview has him with his shirt unbuttoned.
Female sidekick Emma Watson a.k.a Hermione Granger: She's got at least three non-official Web sites devoted to her. Count them 1..2..3. My personal favorite youth actress Emmy Rossum doesn't even get this type of treatment and she's been around since 1999s Disney Channel movie "Genius". Watson posed for ELLEGirl, Entertainment Weekly and the British magazine Tatler among others. Not to mention she started modeling this summer. People even make flash photo spreads of her on YouTube entitled "hot," -- this one seems to be a far-fetched wish that she'll end up with Harry over Ron. Give her a year or two of seasoning and she can fill the Lindsay Lohan / Paris Hilton void for all men who need to fantasize about someone without a wrap sheet.
Random other characters: You can find people who think the actor playing Ron Weasley is attractive (and he's got his own fan site), but even the lesser characters have masses of devoted suitors. Oliver Wood was only in one HP film and he gets his own fan site. Fleur Delacour only appeared in "The Goblet of Fire" but the actress who played her also has a following (apparently she also boasts an appearance in a French film where she does some naughty things). This is all without going into the whole Bellatrix LeStrange territory that HP5 treads.
So in the end the HP5 versus Transformers box office rankings of summer 2007 show us one thing. Plot, extraordinary special effects, talented actors, imagination with scenery, costuming ... it can only take you so far.
Sometimes in the end, you just need to show a little wand.
Posted by Intern at 02:22 PM | Permalink
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