Harry Potter Film Series Set to Hit Local Cinema theaters in 2021
Warner Bros. is one of the largest film production companies in the world. It has numerous television channels, feature films, and even theatrical presentations. However, its other products like the DC comic book franchise, the DC Extended Universe (including Batman v Superman: The Dawn of Justice) and the Harry Potter series have been successful enough to keep the company financially stable. So, what can we learn from the recent closure of Leavesden studios UK?
While it’s true that the Harry Potter film franchise was one of the biggest financial successes in the last decade, the sheer popularity of those movies (and the consequent worldwide phenomenon) was not enough to make Warner Bros. Studios financially secure. Its other major franchises, such as the Fast And Furious series, failed to do well at the box office, despite being produced on high budget. The company’s other feature films, The Accountant, failed to attract audiences. Likewise, both The Dark Knight Rises and Gone Girl saw low sales. Consequently, Leavesden closed down its studios and laid off a number of staff. While it does not yet have a replacement for its successful Harry Potter franchise, the company is readying a standalone Harry Potter film for release in the next few years.
In light of these recent developments, it would be safe to predict that Leavesden may lose its status as the home of Harry Potter, and its famous Leavesden studios will no longer be the filming location for some of the studio’s future projects. Meanwhile, according to an interview with Variety, the Leavesden studio “spent substantially more on advertising than it did on the promotion.” The article goes on to say that the company’s new plan “offers significant advantages over its competitors.” The first of these advantages is that The Accountant “will be shown in more theaters and more countries than ever before, creating a large market for its DVDs, which should lead to higher earnings.” Additionally, Variety says that the studio will open two more locations for its Harry Potter spin-off, The Ministry of Magic, later this year.
Meanwhile, Variety says that American viewers “are in hot demand” for the Harry Potter series, especially since the premiere of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince earlier this year. Overseas revenue from the Harry Potter series has reached $1.2 billion, and the UK is now second only to the US in terms of earnings from the franchise. Other recent successes for the studio have seen it securing the distribution rights to more than 60 films, giving it a great deal of exposure in multiple markets. The Harry Potter series has also given the UK its share of top grossing films, with six of its seven films winning the Oscar for Best Picture.
Meanwhile, Variety reports that the company is “putting its money where its mouth is” by hiring Jon Landau as its Managing Director, and Craig Wingfield as its Chief Executive Officer. These moves are said to be meant to strengthen the Warners name at both the local and international levels. “The hiring of Wingfield and Landau signals a bold step for the company, which is undergoing a transition as it seeks to become more agile and focused on delivering exciting new titles,” said Jeff Wachtel, the President of The Walt Disney Studios. “Wachtel and Wingfield will help us accelerate our growth into next gen competition,” added Robert Weiss, President of The Walt Disney Consumer Products division.
However, Variety’s Michael Caine has criticized the decision, saying that it’s “inevitably going to mess up the Harry Potter film series, and screw up the future of entertainment for children everywhere. The loss of David Yates as director can spell disaster for the Potter franchise in the short and long term. And the loss of Tom Cruise as director leaves Universal Pictures scrambling to find an appropriate replacement. Furthermore, Variety’s report claims that the reason for the departure of Potter’s lead actors, Katie Holmes and Lewis Wilson, was that the two stars were not happy with their roles. Universal is still planning to release the Harry Potter film series via its different channels, but there’s no confirmation yet about whether the project will hit theaters in the next few months or years.