'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2' Hits $1 Billion at Global Box Office

Jaap Buitendijk/Warner Brothers

It's the first in the franchise to pass the milestone, doing so only two weeks after its release.

In a fitting farewell to one of the most magical film series in Hollywood history, Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is the first film in the franchise to reach the $1 billion mark worldwide.

Deathly Hallows 2 will cross the milestone on Saturday, having grossed $296 million domestically and $630 million overseas through Thursday for a global total of $926 million. Another blockbuster weekend at the multiplex is forecast, allowing the film to easily pass the vaunted $1 billion mark.

The movie becomes only the 9th title in history to gross north of $1 billion worldwide, a club that includes Warners’ The Dark Knight ($1 billion), Disney’s Alice in Wonderland ($1.02 billion) and Disney’s 2011 summer tentpole Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides ($1.03 billion).

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Deathly Hallows 2, benefiting from being released in 3D, is racing past the milestone in about two weeks, a remarkable achievement. Until now, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone overseas) was the top grossing pic in the franchise, having grossed $974.8 million globally in 2001-02.

The Harry Potter franchise has always been immensely successful internationally, with every title in the series earning substantially more offshore. So far, 68 percent of Deathly Hallows Part 2’s gross has been earned at the international box office, fueled by standout performances in the U.K., Japan, Australia and Germany.

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By the end of this weekend, Deathly Hallows Part 2 should surpass Sorcerer’s Stone's domestic gross of $317 million, the best in the series. It also will have surpassed the $659 million earned last year internationally by Deathly Hallows Part 1.

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Only one film has ever grossed north of $2 billion, and that’s James Cameron’s Avatar ($2.8 billion).

Email: Pamela.McClintock@thr.com