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Deathly Hallows Sets All-Time Record with $168.55 Million Opening

July 17th, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II will rewrite the record books this weekend with an opening of about $168.55 million, according to Warner Bros.' estimate released on Sunday. That's a remarkable $10 million more than The Dark Knight's debut in 2008 and more than $40 million more than the first weekend enjoyed by Deathly Hallows Part I last year. It's a fitting finish for the most successful franchise in film history, which broke the same records back in 2001 when Sorcerer's Stone posted a $90.3 million opening weekend and ushered in a new era for the industry.

Since Sorcerer's Stone, the weekend record has been broken by Spider-Man, which was the first to top $100 million with $114.8 million in 2002, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest with $135.6 million in 2006, Spider-Man 3's $151.1 million in 2007, and then The Dark Knight's $158.4 million in 2008. Deathly Hallows was helped by 3D screens and IMAX (which also enjoyed its biggest weekend ever with $15.5 million), and the effects of inflation will mean that this record will be broken some day, but it will take an incredible performance to achieve the feat.

Winnie the Pooh was completely over-shadowed in its first outing, and earned a modest $8 million in 2,405 theaters. Worryingly, its best day was Friday, suggesting that it picked up a fair chunk of that business by being a fallback option for people who couldn't get in to Deathly Hallows. Its excellent reviews and family-friendly nature might yet afford it a respectable run.

Tabloid! and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan both did well in limited debuts. The former earned an estimated $93,000 in 14 venues and the latter picked up $135,600 in 24 theaters. Both should expand a little, although neither looks likely to be a significant breakout hit.

Official numbers were not reported to us for The Undefeated, but the film looks likely to earn about $68,000 in 10 theaters. That should help it to hold theaters next weekend, and might support some expansion.

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Bruce Nash

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Winnie the Pooh, Tabloid!, The Undefeated