‘Potter’ Finale Has Record $169.2 Million at Box Office

Photographer: Jaap Buitendijk/Warner Brothers via Bloomberg

Daniel Radcliffe in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2." The movie is the final adventure in the Harry Potter series. Close

Daniel Radcliffe in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2." The movie is the... Read More

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Photographer: Jaap Buitendijk/Warner Brothers via Bloomberg

Daniel Radcliffe in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2." The movie is the final adventure in the Harry Potter series.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2,” the final movie in the series based on J.K. Rowling’s books about a boy wizard, opened with a record $169.2 million in weekend ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada.

The film, in which the title character meets his nemesis Lord Voldemort in a final showdown, also set records of $43.5 million for midnight showings and $92.1 million in single-day sales on July 15, researcher Hollywood.com Box-Office said today in an e-mailed statement.

“Deathly Hallows 2” ends a series that has generated more than $6.85 billion in worldwide ticket sales for Warner Bros., according to Box Office Mojo. The film, the first in the series to be shown completely in 3-D, is getting a lift from higher prices charged for the three-dimensional format and its placement in more Imax theaters.

The film’s performance was “phenomenal,” said Brandon Gray, editor of Boxofficemojo.com, a website that tracks box- office performance.

“Finding new ways to describe how great it is is tough,” he said. “To have a franchise this big you have to have broad appeal. It’s not just fanboys and girls rushing to see it.”

The movie was expected to have sales of $151 million, the forecast of Box Office Media LLC. It beat the three-day record of $158.4 million set by “The Dark Knight” in 2009. Both films are from Time Warner Inc. (TWX)’s Warner Bros. studio.

“Deathly Hallows 2” opened on 11,200 screens, the most of any of the Potter movies, and 4,250 of them were in 3-D, Dan Fellman, president of domestic theatrical production for Warner Bros., said in a telephone interview. Customers pay about $3 more to see movies in 3-D.

3-D

“We’re happy with our 3-D numbers,” Fellman said. “One- third out of every ticket purchased was 3-D, which represents approximately $76 million of ticket sales.”

Hollywood.com also said the movie set records for the largest Imax openings domestically ($15.5 million) and globally ($23.5 million).

The movie is the eighth film from the series of seven books, the last having been split into two parts. In Part 2, war breaks out in the magical world, climaxing in a final pyrotechnic confrontation between Harry and the dark Lord Voldemort.

The film stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson as Harry and his friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. The three main stars and most of the supporting cast have been part of the series from the beginning.

‘Winnie the Pooh’

The films provided a decade of work for some of the U.K.’s best-known actors, including Ralph Fiennes, as Voldemort, Alan Rickman, Helena Bonham Carter and Maggie Smith. The first film made its debut in November 2001.

Warner Bros. abandoned plans to release “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1” in 3-D, saying in a statement last year the conversion didn’t meet studio quality standards.

The weekend’s only other new wide release, Walt Disney Co. (DIS)’s animated “Winnie the Pooh” took in $7.9 million to finish sixth. The film features the voices of John Cleese and Craig Ferguson.

Two other films had noteworthy weekends.

“Midnight in Paris,” which finished 10th, became Woody Allen’s biggest-ever commercial success. The Sony Corp. (6758) film has taken in $41.8 million in sales, exceeding his former record of $40.1 million with “Hannah and Her Sisters” in 1986.

$300 Million

And last week’s No. 1 film, “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” came in second with $21.3 million. The Paramount Pictures release is the first movie this year to exceed $300 million at the domestic box office, Hollywood.com said.

Revenue for the weekend for the top 12 films rose 46 percent to $250.7 million from a year earlier, Hollywood.com said. Domestic box-office sales this year have declined 7.3 percent, while attendance is down 8.7 percent.

The amounts below are based on actual ticket sales for July 15-16 and today.

                     Rev.             Avg./    Pct.   Total
Movie               (mln) Theaters  Theater    Chg.   (mln)  Wks
================================================================
 1 HARRY POTTER     $169.2  4,375  $38,672     --   $169.2    1
 2 TRANSFORMERS       21.3  3,917    5,445    -55    302.9    3
 3 HORRIBLE BOSSES    17.8  3,134    5,672    -37     60.1    2
 4 ZOOKEEPER          12.3  3,482    3,541    -39     42.4    2
 5 CARS 2              8.4  3,249    2,588    -45    165.4    4
 6 WINNIE THE POOH     7.9  2,405    3,267     --      7.9    1
 7 BAD TEACHER         5.2  2,659    1,938    -42     88.5    4
 8 LARRY CROWNE        2.7  2,287    1,165    -55     31.7    3
 9 SUPER 8             2.0  1,459    1,350    -59    122.3    6
10 MIDNIGHT IN PARIS   1.9    706    2,658    -29     41.8    9
11 BRIDESMAIDS         1.7    872    1,975    -34    161.3   10
12 POPPER’S PENGUINS   1.4  1,002    1,366    -57     61.5    5


Top 12 Films Grosses

   This Week     Year Ago      Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
    $250.7        $171.4       +46

Year-to-date Revenue

     2011          2010
      YTD           YTD        Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
    $5,843        $6,302      -7.3

Year-to-date Attendance:     -8.7%

To contact the reporters on this story: Michael White in Los Angeles at mwhite8@bloomberg.net; David M. Levitt in New York at dlevitt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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