New Harry Potter Film Grosses $125 Million in Opening Weekend


"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1" grossed $125 million in U.S. box office sales during its opening weekend, making the Warner Bros. title the sixth-most successful U.S. movie launch ever.

Deathly Hallows, the seventh film based on the J.K. Rowling-penned Harry Potter book series, beat out 2005's "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" as the highest-grossing weekend debut for the series, film-tracking site reported Monday. The film, which opened at 4,125 theaters, grossed $24 million at 3,700 locations for its midnight launch Thursday, making it the most third-most successful midnight launch ever, after the two Twilight movies.

The latest Potter title, part of which was leaked onto the Internet last week, is likely to make the series the most successful ever in U.S. box office sales. The seven Harry Potter titles have grossed a combined $1.82 billion in U.S. box-office sales and trail only the Star Wars series' $1.9 billion, reported.

"The Dark Knight," released in 2008, boasts the most successful U.S. weekend opening of all time, with $158.4 million in box-office sales. "Spider-Man 3," "The Twilight Saga: New Moon,", Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and Iron Man 2 also came in ahead of Deathly Hallows in opening weekend sales.

Still, the film will likely help Time Warner's (TWX) earnings for the current fiscal fourth quarter. Earlier this month, Time Warner said that its film earnings dropped 31% in the third quarter while revenues remained flat at $2.8 billion. Earnings from movies such as "Inception" failed to keep up with income from the same quarter a year earlier, when "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" debuted.

(Time Warner spun off AOL, which owns DailyFinance, back in December.)

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