The magic wand has won out over the magic ring.
Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 has surpassed The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King to become the third-highest-grossing film of all time at the worldwide box office.
Hallows 2, the eighth and final film in the blockbuster Potter franchise based on J.K. Rowling‘s novels — has now earned $1.14 billion globally, including $343.1 million domestically and $792.4 million internationally. The movie achieved the milestone sometime over the weekend.
It was expected to keep racking up records on Monday when edging past Transformers: Dark of the Moon ($344.2 million) to become the top grossing film of 2011 in North America, a title it’s likely to hold for the rest of the year.
And Deathly Hallows 2 is only days away from overtaking Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides ($798.1 million) to become the No. 1 international title of the year.
In terms of global records, Return of the King, released in 2003, grossed $1.12 worldwide ($377 million at the domestic box office and $791.1 million overseas).
Deathly Hallows 2 should get comfortable in the No. 3 spot because there is little chance that it will rise any further and overtake James Cameron’s Avatar ($2.8 billion) or Titanic ($1.8 billion), the No. 1 and No. 2 films, respectively. Box office observers believe the final Harry Potter pic will top out at roughly $1.4 billion.
That’s not to say that Deathly Hallows has run its course, particularly overseas, where it grossed $63.1 million over the Aug. 5-7 frame to top the box office for a fourth consecutive weekend. The $63.1 million included a $26.5 million opening in China, the highest bow ever for a Warner Bros. film.
Domestically, Deathly Hallows has slipped to No. 6 on the box office chart, grossing $12.4 million over the Aug. 5-7 weekend.