After “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1″ made the most of any film in the fantasy series, there was no question “Part 2″ would fly higher. Turns out that moviegoers decided to give the Boy Who Lived a record-breaking curtain call to the tune of an estimated $168 million in its first three days, which is about $10 million more than the previous record holder, “The Dark Knight.”
But that’s not the only way that “Potter” went down in infamy. The finale made $43.5 million in midnight screening sales, (trouncing “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” by $20 million) and set a single-day record with $92.1 million on Friday. Consequently, the film saw the biggest drop-off from Friday to Saturday ever; in fact, the film made about the same at midnight as it did all of Saturday.
“Harry Potter” as a franchise now stands at approximately $2.177 billion, according to Box Office Mojo ,which means its now poised to pass “Star Wars” ($2.218 billion) for the highest-grossing franchise ever, although adjusting for inflation and examining attendance figures still suggests “Star Wars” is the more astounding success.
“Deathly Hallows, Part 2″ marks the first and last “Potter” film to be released in 3D. Although the film had the widest 3-D release yet, 3-D screenings accounted for just 43 percent of ticket sales compared to 60 percent for “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.” 43 percent of $168 million, however, means the opening was good enough for second all time on the list of 3-D openings behind “Alice and Wonderland.” Still, with the biggest opening ever and widest 3-D release on record, how this film did in 3D will speak the loudest to studios considering conversion or filming in 3D in the future.
Internationally, the film stands at about $307 million, which means it’s made $475.6 million thus far. The question remains as to whether devoted fans are sad enough to see it end that they’ll re-patronize theaters, possibly for the purpose of seeing it in IMAX as well. If it can hold up better than previous entries it should easily beat “Sorcerer’s Stone,” the current worldwide record holder for the franchise. A place in the top five internationally all time seems likely, especially since “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” already stands at No. 6.