November 20, 2010 / 9:24 PM / 8 years ago

"Deathly Hallows" conjures up $61.2 million Friday

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Warner Bros. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” found a pot of gold on its first full day in theaters, collecting an estimated $61.2 million in the United States and Canada on Friday.

Cast members (L to R) Ralph Fiennes, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Tom Felton pose at the premiere of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" in New York November 15, 2010. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

That includes $24 million in box office from a record 3,700 locations offering midnight Thursday performances of the seventh Potter movie. The first of two films based on the final book in the Potter book series, “Hallows: Part 1” is now on track to ring up $150 million or more through Sunday from 4,124 theaters in the U.S. and Canada this weekend.

Batman sequel “The Dark Knight” stands as the best opening ever after bowing with $158.4 million in July 2008. The last Potter release, July 2009 opener “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” conjured $77.8 million during its first three days and $302 million in total U.S. and Canadian ticket sales.

The franchise marked its best opening to date in November 2005, when “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” debuted with $102.7 million.

The $317.6 million fetched by the original “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” stands as its biggest cumulative total in the U.S. and Canada, and many consider “Hallows: Part 1” will likely fetch $400 million or more in domestic box office by the end of its theatrical run.

Elsewhere among the daily rankings, Lionsgate’s Russell Crowe starrer “The Next Three Days” collected $2.5 million in fifth place in its first day of release on Friday. Helmed by “Crash” director Paul Haggis, the action thriller could be limited to the middle to high single-digit millions through Sunday.

“Megamind” from DreamWorks and Paramount grossed $4.5 million in the first day of its third weekend session for $97.8 in cumulative box office and a second-place ranking on Friday.

Denzel Washington starrer “Unstoppable” fetched $4.1 million to rank third on Friday with eight-day total ticket sales of $32.9 million, while Warners comedy “Due Date” was fourth with $2.9 million and $66.4 million domestic box office at the start of its third weekend.

Editing by Bob Tourtellotte

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