Final 'Potter' sets midnight box office record

AP News
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Posted: Jul 15, 2011 3:29 PM
Final 'Potter' sets midnight box office record

Harry Potter still has that magic touch _ even before dawn.

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2," the final film in the successful Warner Bros. boy wizard franchise, conjured up $43.5 million from midnight shows Friday, according to studio estimates.

"Part 2" beat the previous midnight record set last summer by "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse," which earned around $30 million for its midnight screenings. It also smashed the midnight opening record for IMAX theaters, making $2 million at 274 theaters with IMAX screens

With the addition of 3-D, "Part 2" could end the franchise's spellbinding 10-year story with a total weekend debut approaching $150 million, according to Hollywood.com analyst Paul Dergarabedian. That would surpass the $125 million opening last November of the first "Deathly Hallows" installment.

The current debut weekend record is $158 million set by "The Dark Knight" in 2008.

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