Millions of Muggles Help Potter Film Break Records
LOS ANGELES — And now we know the spell for raining cash.
Harry Potter and his wizarding friends ended their decade-long film career by selling a staggering $476 million in tickets around the world over the weekend, breaking major box office records and leaving Hollywood executives shell-shocked.
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” the first film in the series to be released in premium-priced 3-D, sold $168.6 million in tickets in North America alone — the biggest opening weekend in history, not adjusting for inflation. “The Dark Knight” previously held that record with $158.4 million, according to Hollywood.com.
“Deathly Hallows: Part 2” also set a new high-water mark for the biggest one-day box office haul; this well-reviewed movie took in over $92 million on Friday in North America, including $43.5 million at midnight screenings.
Paul Dergarabedian, president of Hollywood.com’s box office division, said the weekend’s “massive ticket buying frenzy” reflected the end-of-an-era nature of the film. When it comes to the pop culture power of the Potter franchise, including the books and related merchandise, “it is nearly impossible to overstate the enormity.”
“I’m too old for cartwheels, but it’s close,” said Dan Fellman, Warner’s president for domestic distribution, referring to his reaction to the “ridiculously amazing” box office results. “At the same time it’s bittersweet. It’s also the end of a great franchise, and we’ve watched these talented kids grow up.”