Fantasy films are adored by movie audiences across the globe. They have exceptionally wide appeal, attracting fans of all ages and from all walks of life. Some of the most successful fantasy films are part of large franchises that simply run and run. Two such examples are Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 and Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part 2. Each of these brilliant films is the final installment in a long-running story that has developed and grown alongside the very people watching them.
Released in 2011, the last Harry Potter film completed a series of eight that began in 2001. In the film, Daniel Radcliffe and friends tell the story of Lord Voldemort’s (Ralph Fiennes) final defeat. Harry, Hermione and Ron achieved his downfall by searching for the Horcruxes that give the dastardly villain his power of immortality before battling to the death with him at Hogwarts itself. A year later, in 2012, Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 came out. This film concludes the Twilight series. In it, Kristen Stewart reprises the character of Bella to lead a tale of new birth, family loyalties, and defeating the forces of the evil Volturi.
Both of these films represent epic ends to their respective franchises, but which could be said to be the most successful? Well, while the last Harry Potter film beat the other films in the franchise, the same can’t be said of Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2, despite a $141.1 million opening weekend. Let’s take a look at the box office figures. Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (which had a budget of $125 million) took $51.3 million in Australian box offices and $1.34 billion worldwide. By any measure, these are astounding numbers. By contrast, Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 underperformed. This film had a similar budget at $120 million but, in Australia’s box offices, it grossed only $7.3 million. Globally, it didn’t even reach the billion mark; its takings were $829.7 million.
However, to the big bosses it is the company share price that matters. How did the two films impact on their studios’ market value? For its studio, Warner Bros, Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows pt2 performed exceptionally well. In the first week following the film’s release, Warner Bros saw its share price rise by 0.9% and its overall share performance improved by 11.9%. By comparison, the last Twilight series film did even better for its studio, Lionsgate. Its seven-day share price increased by 4% and its share price performance improved by an outstanding 95.6%.
However, these figures don’t give us our overall victor. To decide this, we need to look at pure profit. In this area, Harry Potter is triumphant. As well as a market cap of $35.8 billion to Lionsgate’s $5.37 billion, Warner Bros’s profits left the competition in the shade. While Lionsgate walked away with some $179 million, the Harry Potter creators netted a mind-boggling $5.8 billion. When it comes to this fantasy face-off, Harry Potter conquered Twilight as thoroughly as he conquered Lord Voldemort.