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Harry Potter: The Goblet of Ratings

NEW YORK: The power of fantasy is nary as evident as with the cross-platform success of wizardry and blood-sucking. Nielsen took a look at metrics for the Harry Potter and Twilight series, both blockbusters in print, film, music, online and for Potter, on TV. So far this year, Harry Potter movies have appeared 33 times across ABC Family, Disney Channel and Cinemax. (Nielsen didn’t include the ABC broadcast network’s May sweeps Potterage.) Of the top five most-watched telecasts among the three cable nets, ABC Family took four. Its March 8 showing of “Goblet of Fire” drew more than 2.9 million viewers. The rebroadcast on May 31 brought in more than 2.2 million.

Potter has thus far pounded Twilight in print, selling nearly 54 million copies to date versus 25 million for the vampire series. There are seven Potter books plus boxed sets versus four Twilights-plus-boxed. Twilight in turn killed Potter during 2008, selling nearly 23 million books versus 1.8 million for Harry Potter and Co.

The boy wizard has a solid lead in the box office. The first movie in the Harry Potter series, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” debuted in November 2001 with a $90.1 million opening weekend, eventually netting $317.6 million domestically. The most recent release, 2007’s “Harry Potter and the Order of thePhoenix,” had the largest opening day total of the series with $44.2 million on a Wednesday in July. All five Potter films debuted at No. 1 during their respective opening weekends.

Tickets for last night’s midnight debut of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” quickly racked up $22.2 million at more than 3,000 locations, exceeding the previous $18.5 million record set by last summer’s midnight showing of “The Dark Knight.”

“Twilight” the movie grossed $69.3 million on opening weekend and $191.4 million total. The feature is killing Harry Potter aurally. The single Twilight soundtrack has outsold the five Potter albums by about 40 percent.

Online, Harry the bespectacled magician completely dominates the vampires, according to Nielsen’s “Buzz” tracker. (See “Trended Buzz” graph.)
-- Deborah D. McAdams