The end is really and truly here.
It's hard to believe that after 10 years and eight movies, the "Harry Potter" series will actually come to an end this weekend when the final film opens in 4,375 theaters across the country.
To commemorate the event, I thought I'd look at the series in the most Forbesian way possible -- by the numbers. The series has given us a plethora of big numbers. So far the franchise has earned $6.4 billion at the global box office. It could easily end up earning a total $7.4 billion once the final film has run its course, according to Exhibitor Relation's Jeff Bock.
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"Expect this one to be the first in the franchise to gross $1 billion on a worldwide basis," says Bock.
And while 3-D hasn't performed as well as expected this summer, Bock expects the technology will contribute a hefty portion of the $150 million the film is expected to earn its opening weekend. That would give "Harry Potter" the best opening weekend of any film of 2011.
Along the way the film has made millionaires of its three young stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson. While Radcliffe and Grint might struggle to ever reach their "Harry Potter" earning power again (both seem to have a taste for independent films after the monumental undertaking of "Harry Potter"), Emma Watson should continue to rake in the big buck through endorsements like her recent deal to be one of the faces of Lancome. Stars can earn upwards of $3 million per year for such deals.
The series has also been a boon to author J.K. Rowling. We estimate Rowling is worth $1 billion ranking her 1140th on our list of the world's billionaires.
Although she may be officially done writing "Harry Potter" books, Rowling isn't done earning money from the franchise. She'll get a cut of the money Universal (owned by Comcast) brings in from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando. In 2010 1.7 million additional people visited Universal's Florida theme park, according to the Themed Entertainment Association.
Rowling will also profit from Pottermore, her new website which comes online in October. The site will sell e-book versions of the "Harry Potter" book for the first time and will offer interactive features like allowing readers to be sorted into houses and to upload stories and drawing.
The site will also feature 18,000 words of new background information about characters, places and things in the books including details on Professor McGonagall's past love life.
So while the films and books are coming to an end, it seems like the franchise has a good chance to live on as younger generations discover Harry and the magical world of Hogwarts. Just look at my 7-year-old daughter's room for proof. She's only read the first three books and seen the first three movies so far. (Strict Harry Potter rule in our house: You don't see the movie until you've read the book.) But I bet I've spent more money on Harry Potter merchandise than on any other toys for her. She's got years to go before she's read all the books and seen all the movies. Good new for Warner Bros and J.K. Rowling.
'Harry Potter' By The Numbers
Amount the first seven Harry Potter films have already earned at the global box office.
What Exhibitor Relations expects Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II will earn its first weekend in theaters.
Current Rotten Tomatoes rating for the final Harry Potter movie. That means 95% of critics recommend the movie.
Number of shows sold out two days before the film opened, according to Fandango.
Number of words of new material that will be revealed on J.K. Rowling's new website, Pottermore, in October.
- Harry Potter