'Harry Potter' Set for Australia's Widest-Ever Opening

Jaap Buitendijk/Warner Brothers

The franchise's final installment will debut on 748 screens.

SYDNEY -- Ahead of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2's official release at midnight Tuesday local time, its Australian distributor, Roadshow Films, has announced that the final installment in the hugely popular franchise will have the widest opening of any film ever in Australia at 748 screens.

Screening during the lucrative school holiday season, opening weekend and week records could easily be surpassed, with the film opening on 138 more screens than Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1, which released here on November 18 last year.

The Twilight Saga: New Moon, which opened on November 19, 2009, holds the record for highest opening weekend figures, taking AUS$16.1 million ($17.06 million) while Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is number two at $16.2 million on its opening weekend last year.

Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince holds the record for opening week box office here, taking $23.35 million in the same week in July 2009.

Joel Pearlman, Roadshow Films managing director said: “The final instalment of the much loved Harry Potter series is making cinematic history by releasing on 748 screens. This is incredibly indicative of the overwhelming demand from audiences and cinemas alike."

The film will be released simultaneously in 2D, 3D and Imax formats, and Amalgamated Holdings' distribution division, one of the country's largest exhibitors, will open the film on 200 screens from midnight to 6 am on July 13.

AHL is also claiming a world first, with its Event Cinemas, Greater Union and Birch Carroll and Coyle chains getting access to exclusive, previously unreleased behind the scenes footage of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2.

The footage, which runs for four minutes, will screen at the beginning of each and every screening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, from opening day.

The film is also expected to boost the 2011 Australian box office, which has fallen in the opening months of the year, after record 2010 takings, fuelled in the first half of the year by I.

According to local reports, box office totals here for the first five months of 2011 are down 7.5% to AUS$440.47 million ($466.4 million).