The producers must’ve downed some Liquid Luck before they tallied the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince budget, as the sixth Harry Potter movie ended up with a budget of a $25o million. To put that into context, this means the film cost a quarter of a billion dollars to make, and it’s not even a contender for the best fantasy movies ever.
This figure means that the family movie stands as the 23rd most expensive movie of all time — a ranking it shares with Furious 7, The Fate of the Furious, No Time To Die, Thor 4, Black Panther 2, and even some of this year’s new movies like Guardians of the Galaxy 3 and The Little Mermaid.
Commercially, the ‘2000s movie succeeded in making that money back. It’s global gross of $934.5 meant it became one of the highest-grossing movies of 2009. But it’s fan reception was another issue entirely. Among the Harry Potter fanbase, Half-Blood Prince is known to be the weakest of the seven books — and unfortunately, many of the weaknesses identified in the novel ended up also coming across on on-screen, with the movie also presenting some issues of its own.
For a start, it’s two and a half hour runtime felt even more bloated than it already was on account of a confusing, elongated middle portion and baffling plot choices that will leave you feeling whiplash. Although the film scored 85% on Rotten Tomatoes, critics identified similar flaws with the Half-Blood Prince, honing in on the film’s length and the fact that, to be honest, it was actually just a bit boring.
Anthony Quinn of The Independent compared the film to a “summer cold,” remarking that “you just have to sit there while it runs its course.” The New Yorker’s Anthony Lane described it as “a film toiling overtime to convince itself of its own solemnity.” Over at the Financial Times, Nigel Andrews confessed that he “feared slipping into a persistent vegetative state” while watching the film.
Nevertheless, if an IP is as huge as Harry Potter, it doesn’t matter if it’s the best movie or worst movie of the bunch. It’ll still make a hell of a lot of money. If you’re hoping for a further movie in the Harry Potter universe, you’ll be waiting a long time — but here’s everything we know about the Harry Potter TV series release date.
Or, if you fancy stepping deeper into Hogwarts, check out our articles on the best Harry Potter characters, the Harry Potter cast, and why we won’t forgive the Harry Potter finale’s worst book change.