This weekend’s big release and number one of the top box office was David Yates’ fourth Harry Potter film, and of course the final installment in the eight-movie-long series. The conclusion of the films based on beloved J. K. Rowling’s novels has accumulated $168 million this weekend, a startling achievement to this writer, considering that after a decade these films have generated (please mentally brace yourself to read this number): $6,371,900,000 worldwide already. Should audiences not be exhausted of this series yet? In just its first weekend, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II has generated half of Transformers: Dark of the Moon’s total gross.

As a literature-to-film adaptation, the primary issue should probably be fidelity. The books have always been imaginatively written, and I myself grew up with the stories. However, back in 2001, studios recognized the significance of the phenomena and took advantage quickly. The first film remains the highest grossing worldwide, almost reaching $1 billion on its own. Every consecutive book spawned a sequel which was quite literally a visualized verbatim account of the story. Anything that could have been left to the imagination was destroyed, hardly enhanced. However, it is so much less time-consuming to see a condensed two hour movie than read a book.

The problem with the Harry Potter films has evolved into redundancy. They are ideal children’s films, and with the spectacular feats possible for visual effects artists in the industry today, they can even look glossy and visceral. But after ten years, it’s remarkable to see how many people can even stomach that another Harry Potter film was put into production. We all knew the full series had to be completed, but I’m not so sure everyone thought they would continue to be so successful. The books and films have been equally successful, possibly the only example of it, and a strange one at that. There’s nothing nostalgic about the films, and nothing very special about them—but they are easy going, kid-friendly non-animation movies, and for accompanying adults something a little different may be easier on the eyes. So despite the tedious length of the series, not only the studios will miss these cash crops.

Meanwhile, beloved bear Winnie the Pooh suffers failure. Simply not enough of today’s generation is even aware of the character, and a trip to theatres for an entire film about him may even seem arduous to the children. Of course, in this run of R-rated comedies managing success in the top box office, Horrible Bosses has held its own second only to The Hangover, Part II. The former to me, however, is superior to the latter. The comedy was taut, well-performed (and therefore timed), and the talent was simply more interesting.    

This upcoming week, we can expect Captain America to take number one because today’s audiences don’t go to theatres primarily to watch the movie. They go because it’s a pastime. It’s something to do with friends. Then there’s the comic book fans who actually care about this release. Everything about the film screams greed and redundancy, but that didn’t stop Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Is anyone else even the least bit aggravated by films being broken up into two parts? But all that aside, rom-com Friends with Benefits is a remake, isn’t it? Wasn’t it called No Strings Attached? Should do well.