“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” Has Helped Save Cable TV
Let’s admit it: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets wasn’t the most successful film of the entire series. No doubt it was a pretty thrilling film on its own, and it might not have deviated from its source material as much as Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, but there are many more astounding alternatives that fared way better at the box office. Interestingly, however, a recent Variety article has uncovered that Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the only Potter movie to make the list of “100 Movies That Saved Cable” for the 2019–2020 season (between September 23, 2019, and July 3, 2020).
The survival of cable channels relies heavily upon advertising revenue – that is to say, viewers watching their programs and sticking around to watch the commercials in between segments. The most cost-effective way of increasing ad revenue is to screen blockbuster movies since passionate fans are likely to watch the entirety of their beloved films and therefore, sit through multiple commercial breaks. However, this business model can only be successful if viewers at home are sufficiently enticed to turn on the television, watch their programs, and not switch to another channel. Hence, they often show reruns of old popular films that are guaranteed to bring in thousands of faithful viewers no matter what time of the day it is.
Variety has compiled a list of the top 100 films that are screened on cable TV, sorted by genre. In the science fiction/fantasy category, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the only Potter film to make the cut. Syfy screened it the most often at 28 times, followed by 9 times on USA and 6 times on E! Other iconic films include Deep Impact (1998), I Am Legend (2007), Independence Day (1996), Jumanji (1995), Jurassic Park (1993), The Princess Bride (1987), Spider-Man (2002), Star Trek (2009), Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and The Terminator (1984).
Of all the Potter films, Chamber of Secrets is indeed an intriguing choice, and we can only hazard guesses as to why cable channels continually turn to it. That being said, it is still admirable that Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets can play its part in keeping these cable channels alive.
Are you a fan of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets? Have you caught the film on cable recently?