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Will Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 conjure up enough magic to score the top worldwide debut of all time?
The pic has a shot at eclipsing Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the current record-holder, having opened to $394 million in summer 2009. That included a domestic bow of $158 million and a foreign launch of $236 million.
Deathly Hallows Part 2 caps the most lucrative film franchise in Hollywood history, with the first seven films grossing a combined $6.4 billion at the worldwide box office.
Interest is riding high in Deathly Hallows Part 2, with more than $25 million in advance tickets already sold in North America, where the film opens in midnight runs at 12:01 a.m. Friday.
Deathly Hallows Part 2 has the advantage of being the first Harry Potter title to be shown in 3D, upping its earning potential (the pic was converted).
Overseas, Deathly Hallows Part 2 begins rolling out in a number of territories on Wednesday, including France, Italy, Russia and Australia. That’s followed by a slew of other countries on Thursday, including Germany and Korea.
On Friday, it opens in the U.K., Spain, Japan, Brazil and Mexico. It will be playing in almost every corner of the globe by the weekend, save for China, where it opens Aug. 4.
Deathly Hallows Part 2 also will have a major IMAX presence, and will play on a total of 3,000 3D screens in the U.S., a record. It total theater count will b north of 4,300.
Last November, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 opened to $330 million worldwide, including a domestic gross of $125 million and foreign total of $205 million.
In North America, Deathly Hallows Part 2 could eclipse the $158.4 million earned by Warners’ The Dark Knight when it opened in July 2008, although more conservative estimates show the pic opening in the $130 million to $140 million range.
In terms of the Harry Potter franchise, the top earner is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which grossed $974.7 million globally.
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