April 30, 2009 / 10:30 AM / in 9 years

"Harry Potter" tops summer movie favorites

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Movie fans expect boy wizard Harry Potter will magically rule box offices in the upcoming summer blockbuster season that will see familiar faces like Sandra Bullock and breakout roles for a pair of “Star Trek” stars.

Jim Broadbent and Daniel Radcliffe in a scene from the Warner Bros Pictures film "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince". REUTERS/Handout

Thirty-nine percent of respondents in an online poll released on Thursday by AOL website Moviefone.com named “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” the summer movie they most want to see.

Sixty percent of the 280,000 respondents said they expect the new “Harry Potter” movie, which opens on July 15, to be the top box office draw of the upcoming blockbuster season.

“It’s going to be a big summer for ‘Harry Potter,’ people absolutely love that franchise, and for the most part the films seem to get better each time out,” said Scott Robson, editor-in-chief of Moviefone.

Among the most anticipated movies, the sixth installment in the “Harry Potter” saga was followed by: 29 percent for “Star Trek”; 12 percent each for “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”; 7 percent for “Terminator Salvation” and 2 percent for comedy “Bruno.”

The Moviefone poll did not include expected blockbuster “Angels & Demons,” an adaptation of Dan Brown’s novel that debuts May 15 and follows on 2006’s “The Da Vinci Code,” which made $758 million at worldwide box offices.

In another category, 43 percent of those polled named magazine pinup Megan Fox, 22, as the actress they most want to see this summer. She starred in blockbuster “Transformers” two years ago, and returns in “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” for its June 24 opening.

Second after Fox in the list is “America’s Sweetheart” Sandra Bullock, 44, whom 22 percent of respondents said they most want to see. She shot to fame commanding a hurtling bus in 1994 action movie “Speed,” and comes rolling back with romantic comedy “The Proposal,” which opens on June 19.

“Summer tends to run toward the younger, fresher faces, but it’s good to see a veteran hanging in there,” Robson said of Bullock’s second-place standing in the poll.

The breakout stars, according to the Moviefone poll, are Chris Pine and Zoe Saldana, who both appear in “Star Trek,” which hits theatres May 8.

Thirty-nine percent of Moviefone respondents named “Wolverine” star Hugh Jackman the actor they most want to see, followed by 24 percent for Johnny Depp, who stars in the crime drama “Public Enemies” opening July 1.

In a separate summer movie poll, online ticket-seller Fandango said audiences are unfazed by Jackman’s turn this year hosting the Academy Awards, when he gave a song-and-dance routine so unlike the scowling tough guy Wolverine.

Less than half of “Wolverine” online ticket buyers had seen the Oscars, and only 2 percent reported it made them less excited to see the film, Fandango said.

Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Bob Tourtellotte

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