For many, literally hundreds of millions of people, just glancing a Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 movie poster is enough to make your heart beat faster, your blood grow warmer, and your belly fill with that warm, tingling sensation that is excitement and anticipation. And after two full weeks of play, the movie is still top at the box office beating out rivals like Tangled, the new Disney animated feature. As the seventh and most successful midnight opening in the franchise, what is the magic (so to speak) behind the Wizarding success? And can other fantasy flicks like Twilight: Breaking Dawn and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader compete?
My answer? No, they cannot compete with the success of the Harry Potter movies for 3 reasons:
1.) The fantastic marketing. Ever since the first book exploded, fans were waiting for the movie version. That was 9 years ago, when Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone came out in 2001. It made $33.3 million on its opening day, breaking the single day record previously held by Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. The films continued along on this trend throughout the decade. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets made $88.4 million opening weekend in the U.S. alone. And so it went, up until present day where Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1 can be considered the most highly anticipated film yet. So why do these films see so much success after 6 movies when other franchises are barely scraping by (Narnia may not continue making films if this third one doesn’t perform)? Besides the books being a huge success, there are plenty of movie goers who have never read a page of J.K. Rowling’s masterpiece, it has to do with some extremely creative and intriguing marketing that has matured and darkened over the past 9 years.
The creative has maintained the same basic image, but as the characters (and fans) have grown older, the images have grown more mature as well. The marketing has evolved along with the production of the films, and now as we approach the final chapter in the series, Harry Potter has made its imprint on the world and will no doubt have a lasting impression.
2.) The quality of the content. While the story of Harry Potter is by no means a new one (good vs. evil, the underdog story, the coming of age story, etc.) the detail and the characters in this 7-book phenom is what makes it a hit. The quality of the books is replicated in the movies and also in the entire brand that is Harry Potter. I mean, he has is own amusement park. This is another reason why the magic of Harry Potter will trump the short-term hype of say…Twilight.
3.) The longevity of the brand. All of this adds up to longevity. While Twilight is popular right now, will girls still be swooning over Edward Cullen in 50 years? And while The Chronicles of Narnia has been a popular children’s book series for decades, the movie versions don’t seem to translate. The magic behind Harry Potter lies in the management of it’s entire brand. It’s quality is consistent, from the books, to the movies, to the board games to J.K. Rowling’s personal website. It’s marketing is reflective of this quality. It is smart, creative, intriguing, and lasting. As a brand, Harry Potter has it all. In 50 years, this series will be more comparable to The Lord of the Rings where as other fantasy flick adaptations will fade away.Share