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'Harry Potter' passes 'Star Wars' to become the highest grossing franchise of all time

Thanks to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2‘s phenomenal box-office start, the Harry Potter franchise officially became the top-grossing franchise in domestic box office history on Wednesday.

The magical finale has already grossed $214.9 million in six days, pushing the cumulative total for all eight Potter films to a truly impressive $2.223 billion. That figure just edges out the cume for the Star Wars franchise, which earned $2.217 billion from its releases. Currently, these are the only two film franchises to surpass $2 billion at the box office. READ FULL STORY

'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2' breaks IMAX box office records


Alright, Harry, now it’s just getting ridiculous. Don’t you have enough records already?!

In case you haven’t heard (but let’s be honest, you have), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 has been breaking box office records left and right. The final film in the magical series now holds the title for highest midnight gross ($43.5 million), highest single day gross ($92 million, on Friday), highest domestic opening weekend ($169.2 million), and highest global opening weekend ($478.2 million). All told, the film has earned a remarkable $542.5 million worldwide in just four days.

But the superlatives aren’t stopping there. Now, Deathly Hallows — Part 2 can add one more record to its already impressive list: highest IMAX opening weekend. According to the giant screen distributor, the Potter film grossed a tremendous $15.2 million from domestic IMAX showings this weekend for a sizzling $55,000 per theater average. Internationally, the film picked up another $8 million on IMAX screens, giving it $23.2 million worldwide. That puts it just ahead of fellow 3-D blockbuster Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which pulled in $23.1 million from IMAX screenings around the world over its five-day launch.

Further reading:
Box office report: ‘Harry Potter’ scores biggest opening weekend ever with $168.6 mil
‘Harry Potter’ scores the largest opening day ever with $92.1 mil
‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2′ conjures up a record-breaking $43.5 million at midnight showings

Follow Grady on Twitter: @BoxOfficeJunkie

'Harry Potter' withdrawal: Will fans feel post-'Potter' pain?


Image Credit: Peter Mountain

Anyone who attended any of the
record-breaking screenings of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2 this past weekend can attest that the echoes of weeping fans often rivaled the theaters' booming sound systems. And while there's no doubt that the tears flowed early and often because of hanky-worthy moments -- such as (SPOILER ALERT!) Harry accepting his fate to die and Ron mourning the loss of Fred after the gruesome battle at Hogwarts -- it's also fair to say that many Potter fanatics found themselves crying for an entirely different reason: This was the moment in which they were letting go of Harry, and his beloved series, for good. "I don't think I've fully come to terms with the fact that the series is now officially over," says 19-year-old Evan Dalton, an avid West Virginia-based Harry Potter fan who has plans to see Deathly Hallows -- Part 2 for a third time. "It couldn't have ended in any other more perfect way, but it is just hard to think that there won't be any more [movies]

. It means so much to all of us fans because it has been a part of our lives for so long.”

Indeed, the boy who lived had existed in fans’ hearts for 10 years — 13 if you include the U.S. publication of J.K. Rowling’s beloved books. And for the better part of the past decade, fans even more fervent than Dalton have devoured every Harry Potter film and novel, going as far as to develop an intense, addiction-like attachment to the saga. READ FULL STORY

'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.

Read more:
‘Harry Potter’ Central
How many times did ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2′: Did you cry?
Photo Gallery: ‘Harry Potter’ stars share their memories

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 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

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