"Harry Potter" magic with record $92.1 million

Sat Jul 16, 2011 2:34pm EDT
 
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The eighth and final "Harry Potter" movie sold $92.1 million worth tickets in the United States and Canada on its first day in theaters to set a single-day box-office record, according to studio estimates released on Saturday.

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2" shattered the single-day record set in 2009 when "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" earned $72.7 million in theaters, said Paul Dergarabedian, head of tracking firm Hollywood.com Box Office.

"To even be close to $100 million for a single day is unprecedented," Dergarabedian said.

Hollywood watchers are attributing the high interest in the film from Time Warner Inc's Warner Bros unit to strong critics' reviews and the fact this is both the final film in the "Harry Potter" series and the only one released in 3D.

"This will be the first 'Potter' movie to earn over a billion dollars at the worldwide box office," Dergarabedian said.

"Harry Potter," which is already the highest grossing film franchise ever with over $6.4 billion in global ticket sales, is based on the novels of author J.K. Rowling and it revolves around the adventures of a young wizard, his friends and their battle against evil.

The record-setting $92.1 million in the United States and Canada was earned at more than 4,300 theaters, including the midnight screenings that extended into the early morning hours of Friday and by themselves earned a record-setting $43.5 million.

Outside the United States and Canada, the film earned an estimated $75 million in 59 countries, Warner Bros officials said.

The movie brought in a record-setting 9.3 million pounds ($14.8 million) in the United Kingdom on Friday, the studio said.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Bill Trott)

 
<p>Cast members (L-R) Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson arrive for the premiere of the film "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" in New York July 11, 2011. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson</p>