It was expected that “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 2” would post the biggest opening of 2011, but after 24 hours of record breaking box office it may be headed towards the biggest opening ever.
The final “Harry Potter” film grossed $92.1 million on Friday including an astonishing $43.5 million in midnight sales. The 24 hour cume surpasses the previous record holder, “The Twilight Saga: New Moon,” which grossed $72.7 million in 2009. Another Warner Bros. release, “The Dark Knight,” holds the 3-day opening mark of $158.4 million. In theory, “Harry Potter” should easily cross that total by Sunday. How high it can go will have everyone in Hollywood wondering how much magic the franchise can conjure for its final outing. One thing is certain, “Deathly Hallows, Pt. 2” will absolutely surpass the largest opening in the franchise, “Deathly Hallows, Pt. 1” which grossed $125 million in November.
As for the rest of the top five, “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” found another $6.3 million in second place for an impressive $287.8 million to date. “Horrible Bosses” dropped to the third slot with $5.4 million and $47.8 million in just 8 days. “Zookeeper” landed in fourth with $3.8 million and $33.9 million so far.
Debuting with a whimper was “Winnie the Pooh.” The hand-drawn animated tale took in just $2.9 million in only 2,405 theaters. “Pooh” should have a stronger Saturday when more parents are free to bring their tots to matinees, but opening against “Potter” was probably not a good idea to begin with.
Look for final box office estimates tomorrow on HitFix.