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'Harry Potter': Can 'Deathly Hallows -- Part 2' snag a Best Picture nomination?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 is the talk of Hollywood right now. But will Oscar voters remember it in six months when they’re filling out their nomination ballots? The seven previous Potter films earned a total of only nine Oscar nods — four fewer than the first Lord of the Rings movie scored all on its own. My hunch is that’s because in the eyes of the Academy, Potter has mostly been seen as a kids’ franchise. But that could certainly change with the final film, which has earned fantastic reviews. It had its official Academy screening yesterday, and one voter who was in attendance tells me, “They loved it, as did I. Almost everyone stayed until the end of the credits. I do think it has a shot. How high on the ballot will depend on what else is out there, but it’s a really good movie.” How high are the operative words here — the Academy’s new rules dictate that a film must receive five percent of the overall No. 1 votes in order to qualify for a Best Picture nod. The cast does boast seven previous acting winners or nominees, and although Alan Rickman and Ralph Fiennes were impressive as always, I’m not sure either one has that undeniable “Oscar scene” here. While nominations for visual effects and art direction seem likely, in the Best Picture race, it may be tough for Deathly Hallows to compete with the onslaught of Oscar bait coming at the end of the year. But if there ever was a Potter film that could make the cut, it’s this one.

Follow Dave on Twitter @davekarger.

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Box office report: 'Harry Potter' scores biggest opening weekend ever with $168.6 mil

Hello, trifecta. After scoring the largest midnight debut and opening day, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 also landed the big one: best opening weekend.

According to studio estimates, the PG-13 wizarding movie collected $168.6 million this weekend, surpassing The Dark Knight‘s record $158.4 million and giving Warner Bros. the two best opening weekends ever. However, when adjusted for inflation, Knight would still be king with approximately $173 million in today’s ticket prices. Nevertheless, everyone involved with the eighth and final Potter film should be mighty proud. Not only did the movie bring in record-breaking amounts of moolah, but it’s currently the best-reviewed wide release of the year, according to both Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes. And it received an overall “A” rating from CinemaScore audiences. READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'Harry Potter' conjures the largest opening day ever with $92.1 mil

Sorry, Twihards. In one fell magical-broomstick swoop, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 shattered the records for best midnight debut and largest opening day, both of which were previously held by Twilight films.

According to early estimates, Potter grossed a staggering $92.1 million on Friday, crushing The Twilight Saga: New Moon‘s record of $72.7 million. And midnight screenings accounted for $43.5 million of Potter‘s opening day, surpassing The Twilight Saga: Eclipse‘s $30 million midnight tally. To convey how enormous Potter‘s opening day was, consider this: The film collected more money in a single day than the first Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, made its entire first weekend ($90.3 million).

It’s now certain that Potter will also capture the opening weekend record, currently held by The Dark Knight with $158.4 million. But by how much? READ FULL STORY

Box office preview: 'Harry Potter' aims its wand at 'Twilight' and 'The Dark Knight'

Here we go. For box-office prognosticators, it doesn’t get more exciting than this. A little movie named Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 hits theaters at midnight tonight, and it’s about to make such a large amount of money that you’d need two of Hermione’s bottomless bags to carry it all. But just how much dough are we talking about here? And how many box-office records will fall as Muggles bid farewell to the highest grossing film series of all time? After consulting with Professor Trelawney, here’s what my box-office tealeaves had to say:

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows–Part 2: $152 million

Going into the weekend, there is a trio of records that Potter will attempt to break: midnight debut, opening day, and opening weekend. Let’s look at each individually. READ FULL STORY

'Harry Potter' to debut in a record number of 3-D and IMAX theaters

Now there’s no excuse for Muggles to not see the final Harry Potter movie. Warner Bros. announced Wednesday that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows–Part 2 will debut Friday on more than 11,000 screens at 4,375 locations. Both of those figures are records for the Potter series, and the location count represents the third-widest opening ever, behind only The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and Iron Man 2. Of those 4,375 theaters, more than 3,000 will show Deathly Hallows in 3-D — the biggest 3-D rollout ever. And IMAX will play the film in a record 275 theaters domestically.

The wizarding movie has some other pre-release milestones up its sleeves, too. READ FULL STORY

'Harry Potter': Watch the dark and ambiguous 'Story of Snape' here!

The widely sold-out midnight showings of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 are only a day away, and with Potter-mania at an all-time high, Warner Bros. decided it was due time to further explore the story of the series’ most ambiguously motivated character. As director David Yates says, the line between good and bad is often more complex than it appears, and no one straddles this line better than the seemingly sinister Professor-turned-Headmaster Severus Snape. Before you stand in line for the sure to be tearful goodbye, be sure to check out this three minute look into the background of this seriously haunting character. Warning: SPOILERS ABOUND!  READ FULL STORY

Final 'Harry Potter' movie has already earned $25 mil from advance sales

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows–Part 2 has already collected $25 million domestically from advance ticket sales, according to Warner Bros. (Variety first reported the news.) The majority of the sales have reportedly been for midnight screenings, giving Deathly Hallows a legitimate shot at beating the $30 million midnight record set last year by The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. The final Harry Potter film will also be aiming its wand at some other box-office milestones, such as the largest opening day (currently The Twilight Saga: New Moon with $72.7 million) and the biggest opening weekend (The Dark Knight with $158.4 million).

Deathly Hallows opens early Friday morning with midnight showings. The 3-D movie also debuts this week in every major foreign market except China (where it premieres Aug. 4), meaning the worldwide-opening record of $394 million (set by Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) could also be in danger. Check back with EW.com throughout the weekend for more box-office updates.

Read more:
‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2′: EW’s review
‘Harry Potter’ New York premiere: Exclusive video of the stars!
‘Harry Potter’: 19 unseen pics

Six tantalizing minutes of 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2': Watch here!

Thousands of lucky Brits are celebrating the world premiere of the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 in London on Thursday, but stateside fans of the boy wizard still have over a week to go before the big release. Luckily, Warner Bros. has come to the rescue with six full minutes of juicy teaser clips from the final installment of the Potter franchise. Warning: SPOILERS ABOUND!  READ FULL STORY

Fans camp out in London for the last 'Harry Potter' premiere

The final chapter of the Harry Potter journey arrives in theaters July 15, but dedicated fans of the franchise are already lining up in London’s Trafalgar Square for this Thursday’s British premiere. Dozens are already camped out, prepared to do whatever it takes in order to get a glimpse of the movie and its stars. Wristbands will be handed out Wednesday morning.

Don’t feel too bad, North Americans (or Brits with jobs). You can catch every moment of the London premiere from the comfort of your own couch, as EW.com will live-stream the entire event. Be sure to check back with us on Thursday at 11 a.m. ET for total access.

Until then, here’s the film’s trailer… which you’ve only watched 264 times already. READ FULL STORY

'Harry Potter': Sneak peek at Harry's Gringotts Bank break-in -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Are you one of the many Muggles who can’t wait to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2, the final installment in the series that apparates into theaters July 15? Well, you can get a sneak peek of the new movie right now in this exclusive clip — a behind-the-scenes look at a key scene from early in the film in which Harry, Ron, and Hermione sneak into Gringotts Bank in search of one of the final Horcruxes containing a piece of Voldemort’s soul. (Warning: For those who want to see the film spoiler-free, this clip is not for you.) READ FULL STORY

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