Harry Potter conjures up a Golden Tomato

Fri Jan 6, 2012 8:11am EST
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By Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - It's no Oscar, not even a Golden Globe. But in some circles in Hollywood, it's just as good, and on Friday British boy wizard Harry Potter pulled one out of his sorcerer's hat -- a Golden Tomato.

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2," the top box office draw of 2011, also earned the title best-reviewed, wide-release movie of 2011. Thus, it took the year's Golden Tomato from movie review website Rotten Tomatoes.

While the thought of winning a Golden Tomato might bring a smile to faces, winning one is no joke in Hollywood. It is a point of pride for filmmakers and signals studio bosses and producers as to which directors are hot among critics.

Matt Atchity, editor in chief of Rotten Tomatoes, notes that animated movie kingpin Disney/Pixar keeps its Golden Tomatoes in the same glass case as it does its Oscars.

Indeed, "Potter" producer David Heyman said in a statement that the filmmaking team was "especially appreciative that this award honors the final film in the series."

"Deathly Hallows - Part 2" earned $1.3 billion at worldwide box offices and scored a 96 percent "fresh," or positive, rating from 273 reviews compiled by Rotten Tomatoes.

"It is the best reviewed 'Harry Potter' of all. The other ones have had a Golden Tomato for best sci-fi film, but this is the first to win the wide release award," Atchity said.

Following it among major movies released broadly around the world were Brad Pitt-starring baseball film "Moneyball" at No. 2 with a 95 percent positive rating, and family comedy "The Muppets" at No. 3, which also scored 96 percent fresh but among a far fewer number of reviews, 160.   Continued...