It all ends here – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 came to theaters last Friday with box office records estimated at $168.8 million in the U.S. and Canada, and $307 million overseas from 59 different countries. The last installment of the famous series by J.K. Rowling even passed The Dark Knight, which previously held the box office record at $158.4 million.
It’s no surprise that the enchanting series cast a spell over audiences everywhere, but what seems to have helped push the final film to new heights was it’s vast social media presence.
In addition to the main Warner Bros. site, the movie generated a substaintial following on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. With 30,102,153 Facebook fans, 360,514 Twitter followers and 1,101,828 YouTube channel views, fans everywhere were fed sneak peeks of the much anticipated last movie. With special trailers, behind the scenes insights, and even micro-sites like the Muggle Hub and Parseltongue Translator, the hype alone drove record numbers of fans to theaters opening weekend.
The loyal web presence and fan bases congregating on sites like The Leaky Cauldron, MuggleNet and Pottermore continue to fuel the social media fire, bringing the love of Harry Potter to increasing numbers of fans all over the world. There have even been Harry Potter spoofs that have gone viral, helping the cause, including my favorite, 7 Harry Potter movies in 7 minutes.
Whether or not we’ll ever see a story with a larger, or even comprable, following is not likely, in my opinion, but entertainment companies everywhere should take notes on the proven impact social media has shown in contributing to box office hits and growing fan bases around the world.
As a huge Harry Potter geek, and proud of it, I was dissapointed not to have attended the midnight showing on opening night, which broke even more records, but am anxiously awaiting my IMAX 3D experience this weekend! In the meantime, I challenge readers to a trivia contest. Just leave your questions in the comment section below and bring it on!