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Harry Potter Wizard of All Media vs. Twilight Vampire

2 minute read | July 2009

With millions of copies sold, the Harry Potter book series does more than magically fly off the shelves, it has also been a force at the box office, on television, on the web, and even at the record stores. Similarly, a recent book series and film franchise, Twilight, has shown an ability to not only sell books, but also have an impact on the big screen and iPods as its brooding soundtrack has outsold the movie scores of the young wizard head to head. And while web buzz on Harry Potter still rules, The Nielsen Company has long known the power of the sci-fi and vampire community online.

As the sixth movie in the Harry Potter franchise, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, is released this week, The Nielsen Company has prepared an overview of the impact of the two series across media.

Book Sales*

*Includes all formats of the book (i.e. hardcover, paperback, audio, etc.). Does not include sales prior to BookScan launch Janaury 2001.

Box Office

The first movie in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, opened on 11/16/01 bringing in $90.1 million in its opening weekend, and going on to haul in a total of $317.6 million domestically. The most recent release, 2007’s Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, had the largest opening day total of the series with $44.2 million on Wednesday 7/11/07. With each movie in the series debuting at #1 on its opening weekend and raking in $200+ million in the U.S, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince has some pretty big goblets to fill.

Twilight has also proved popular among moviegoers as the first installment of the series took in $69.9 million and the top spot at the box office in its opening weekend and a domestic total of $191.4 million.


Although both franchises include big-budget theatrical releases, the style of their soundtracks is worlds apart. The Harry Potter soundtracks play more like the movie’s score with noted composer John Williams authoring the first three soundtracks in the series which have combined album sales of over a million copies to-date. Twilight’s soundtrack includes a compilation of songs performed by popular artists – film’s star Robert Pattinson even recorded an original track – and has sold just over 2.1 million copies since its release.


So far this year Harry Potter movies have aired a total of 33 times on cable nets ABC Family, Disney Channel, HBO and Cinemax with ABC Family claiming four out of the five most-watched telecasts.

Online Buzz

Buzz tracking the two franchises shows that Harry Potter still dominates buzz, even amid the week where the Twilight movie is making its debut in the fall of 2008. [click to enlarge buzz graph]

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