Monday, July 18, 2011

Harry Potter Makes Movie History

By Brandon Gray

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 soared into the record books with the highest-grossing opening weekend ever. The series finale drew $169.2 million on around 11,100 screens at 4,375 locations, dethroning The Dark Knight's $158.4 million.

Deathly Hallows Part 2's first weekend flew past the previous franchise high of $125 million, posted by Deathly Hallows Part 1 last November, and it topped the franchise in terms of estimated attendance as well. While its opening gross also out-distanced The Dark KnightSpider-Man 3($151.1 million), The Twilight Saga: New Moon ($142.8 million), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest($135.6 million) and the first Spider-Man ($114.8 million), Deathly Hallows Part 2's estimated opening attendance was less than those titles, ranking sixth overall.

After conjuring the opening day record of $91.1 million on Friday (buoyed by a record-shattering $43.5 million midnight launch), Deathly Hallows Part 2 saw the steepest Friday-to-Saturday drop on record for a non-holiday first weekend, falling 53 percent to $42.4 million. Its Saturday slotted ninth among the top-grossing Saturdays of all time. On Sunday, it declined 16 percent to $35.7 million, which ranked fourth on the all-time Sunday grosses chart.

Deathly Hallows Part 2 marked Harry Potter's first foray into 3D, and it made a splash with the broadest 3D launch ever (3,100-plus locations, including 274 in IMAX). However, the majority of moviegoers still opted to see the movie in the standard ("2D") format. 3D accounted for 43 percent of the gross, which was a lower share than Transformers: Dark of the Moon's 60 percent at the same point but in the ballpark of most of this summer's other big movies. Still, at an estimated $72.8 million, that translated to the second biggest-grossing 3D opening yet, behind Alice in Wonderland (2010)'s $81.3 million. In IMAX alone, Deathly Hallows Part 2 delivered the top-grossing start ever, generating $15.2 million versus Alice's second-place $12.2 million.

* All info from 

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