Another box office record fell as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 completed its first 24 hours in North America theaters. By the time the clock struck midnight last night, Potter had accumulated an astounding $92.1 million in ticket sales including $43.5 million from Thursday midnight screenings. Last night I had predicted a $90 million opening day for Potter and almost nailed it.
If moviegoers continue to flock to the final showdown between Harry Potter and Voldemort at this ridiculous pace, the three-day opening weekend record of $158.4 set by another Warner Bros. hit, The Dark Knight, will easily crumble. Current projections as of this morning place the opening weekend tally for Deathly Hallows Part 2 at somewhere between $170 and $180 million.
Overseas has treated Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint as box office royalty, too. Through Friday, international ticket sales were estimated to be in the neighborhood of $157 million from 59 countries after only three days in theaters. Total worldwide ticket sales already total a quarter of a billion dollars and Deathly Hallows Part 2 has yet to play through a Saturday or Sunday.
The next record the boy wizard should secure is for the best Saturday all-time. The current record-holder is Sony’s Spider-Man 3 with $51.3 million. At this point it would be more of a shock if Potter didn’t send Spidey into second place given the hype, huge screen count, and exceptional ‘A’ CinemaScore rating.
We should know by midday tomorrow how Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 fared through its first three days in North American theaters when Warner Bros. releases its weekend studio estimates. I’m thinking those numbers will be a hair over $175 million.