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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

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 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

The final 'Harry Potter' trailer (likely) ever: Watch it here

I don’t really have the words for this (likely) final trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2. It definitely has more plot that the previous trailer for the film. And it has tons more footage, including an opening scene that, though not precisely canon, took my breath away nonetheless. But you aren’t here for what I have to say about this trailer. You’re here to watch it. And so you shall:  READ FULL STORY

More 'Deathly Hallows' posters: Get ready to rumble!


“It” all may end, but these Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 poster reveals sure won’t! Check out the latest. I’m loving this widescreen battle scene amidst all the rubble.   READ FULL STORY

Could 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2' be 2011's biggest advanced seller?

It all ends, indeed. Exactly one month from today, on July 15, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2, the final film in the wildly successful and beloved franchise, hits theaters. And while most Potter fans are dreading that the end is nigh, they also can’t seem to get the tickets to the saga’s conclusion — which went on sale this week in select markets — fast enough. (Potter-fanatics who do not yet have tickets on sale in their area can visit the Harry Potter fan page on Fandango, which began selling tickets over the weekend, to sign up to receive an e-mail for when they become available.)

That’s right: Though the release of the film is still a month away, Harry Potter mania is already in full effect, with many midnights screenings already sold-out. READ FULL STORY

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