Okay, the Force isn't dead, exactly, but it's facing the end of its reign, the end of their years-long bragging rights as the most successful cinematic franchise of all time. Though George Lucas' 'Star Wars' has earned a mind-boggling $1.9 billion over the course of six films, spraying the world with the Force and wicked lightsaber battles, there's a franchise primed to beat the record and send Luke and his troubled dad packing.
No, it's not the blunt-teeth world of Stephenie Meyer's 'Twilight.' It's that boy wizard who can fly brooms like the dudes of 'Top Gun' fly planes, and fight evil with great success -- J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter.
USA Today reports (with the help of Box Office Mojo) that the 'Harry Potter' franchise is moments away from becoming the biggest franchise earner in Hollywood history. As Brandon Gray, president of Mojo, says: "This is one of the greatest box office franchises in movie history. It's phenomenal they could maintain this level of business six movies in. That's nearly unheard of."
Averaging $285 million per installment, analysts expect the first half of 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' to beat out 'Star Wars' before the final segment lands next summer. Right now, the franchise rests at $1.7 billion, so it's only one fairly modest hop to the number-one spot. Sources also expect the finale's first segment to beat out 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire' for the best opening weekend. 'Goblet' earned $103 million its first weekend in 2005, and 'Deathly Hallows' is expected to make somewhere between $115 million and $125 million.
That Harry will overtake Luke, Han and the rest of the 'Star Wars' gang is inevitable. The only question is: Will he keep it for long, or will James Cameron's blue aliens take over as he offers up 'Avatar 2' and 'Avatar 3'?