How will Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’s PG-13 rating affect its opening weekend? We’ll find out as the fourth Potter film hits theaters this weekend.
Goblet of Fire premieres in 3,858 theaters on Friday, tying Batman Begins as the widest opening of all time. The three previous Harry Potter installments all grossed between $88.4 million and $93.4 million in their first three days. But many of those tickets were for young kids, whose parents may opt to keep them at home, since the new film is the first to carry a PG-13 rating. But the increase in theater count is likely to counteract that effect. Expect Harry to conjure up a debut of around $90 million.
Meanwhile, Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon’s sure-to-be-Oscar-nominated performances in Walk the Line will draw adults who couldn’t care less about the boy wizard. The stars’ high-profile appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show and this week’s CMA telecast certainly boosted awareness for the Johnny Cash biopic, which should result in a debut of about $24 million.
The reigning box office champ, Chicken Little, will see a larger drop of 40 percent to $19 million, while Zathura and Derailed will round out the top five with $7 million and $6 million, respectively.