(image via guardian)
In: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The PG rating, the great advance ticket sales as well as the felt need for some escapist fantasy with cool special effects (see: Transformers) all but guarantees Harry Potter the weekend. From Variety:
"After two recent PG-13 outings, the latest "Harry Potter" film is back to PG territory -- so is that good news for Warner Bros.?
Success is virtually guaranteed for 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,' which bows day and date globally July 15; the only question is how much success. And despite conventional wisdom that PG is a more family-friendly rating, the last PG film -- 2004's 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,' the third in the series -- was the lowest grossing of the five domestically with $249 million.
"B.O. numbers climbed for the fourth and fifth editions, which were rated PG-13: The 2005 "Goblet of Fire" scored $290 million, and the 2007 'Order of the Phoenix' tallied $292 million domestically.
"There's little question that some parents would feel more comfortable OK'ing a trip to see a film rated PG rather than PG-13."
Fams have been waiting for a new Harry Potter installment since Order of the Phoenix in 2007. That film earns $938 million worldwide. The global felt need for escapist fantasy may propel a PG Harry Potter film past $1 billion global.
Out: Wall Street. The G8 Summit is this week, and it doesn't come a moment too soon. From the New York Times:
"At the close, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 161.27 points or 1.9 percent while the broader Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index slipped about 2 percent or 17.69 points. The technology-focused Nasdaq fell about 2.3 percent or 41.23 points. Markets in Asia closed slightly lower, and fell in Europe.
"'It’s an overall reality check,' said Doreen Mogavero, president of the floor-brokerage firm Mogavero, Lee & Company. 'People are starting to worry there may have been a disconnect between the market and reality. I kept thinking we were way due for a correction a month ago or more, and it wasn’t coming.'
"But now, she said, it may be.
"Underscoring concerns about an economic recovery, the American Bankers Association said that delinquency rates on home equity loans, auto loans and others rose slightly in the first three months of the year as people lost their jobs and fell behind on their debts. In all, 3.23 percent of loans were 30 days behind or more through the end of March, up from 3.22 percent a quarter earlier, the group reported."
Confusion surrounding the possibility of a second stimulus package roiled markets.