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Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2 sets US opening weekend record

Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2

Story by Jack Foley

FOLLOWING its highest single opening day gross in American movie history, Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2 has gone on to conjure up the top weekend opening of all time in the US.

The final instalment in the world’s most successful film franchise is estimated to have taken an almighty $168.6 million in America alone, surpassing the previous record set by The Dark Knight of $158.4 million in its first three days.

Both films belong to Warner Bros, which is undoubtedly ecstatic with the figures.

Deathly Hallows 2 started incredibly well by earning $92.1 million on Friday alone, including a record $43.5 million from midnight shows. It took a further $42.8 million on Saturday.

En route, it also notched another record – the largest opening for the franchise, beating the previous best of $125 million for Deathly Hallows Part 1.

The only minor blow was that the film didn’t do as well as expected in 3D, despite being the first film in the franchise to be filmed using that format.

Rather, continuing the trend of American movie-goers moving away from 3D screens, only 43% of the Deathly Hallows Part 2‘s opening gross came from 3D screens.

That didn’t hurt IMAX, though, which added $15.5 million to the overall revenues – a record opening for IMAX.

Elsewhere at the US box office, Paramount’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon took a healthy $21.2 million in its third weekend and slipped to second spot.

But that was enough to ensure that the Michael Bay three-quel became the first film this year to jump the $300 million mark – it has now posted $302.8 million in the US.

Disney’s Winnie the Pooh, meanwhile, opened roughly in line with pre-weekend expectations, grossing $8 million. But it only managed number six in the box office, behind fellow Disney/Pixar release Cars 2, which grossed $8.3 million to take its US total to $165.3 million. Cars 2 opens in UK cinemas this Friday.

Also celebrating its own record this weekend was Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, which has now become the director’s top US earner of all time, grossing $41.8 million to beat the $40.1 million grossed by his previous best, Hannah & Her Sisters.

Related story: Deathly Hallows Part 2 sets global opening record

Read our coverage of the Deathly Hallows Part 2

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