Harry Potter bewitches US cinemas
Harry Potter has cast his biggest box-office spell yet making a franchise record 125.1 million US dollars (£78.24 million) over its opening weekend in the US, according to studio estimates.
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 also added 205 million dollars (£128.2 million) in 54 overseas countries, bringing the film's worldwide total to 330.1 million dollars (£206.44 million).
In terms of US revenue, Deathly Hallows: Part 1 came in ahead of the series' best previous debut of 102.7 million dollars (£64.23 million) for 2005's Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire.
But factoring in the higher admission prices, the latest movie had roughly the same size audience as the franchise's best previous draws - Goblet Of Fire and 2001's Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone, which launched the series.
Deathly Hallows and those two earlier movies each sold around 16 million tickets in their first weekend.
Overseas markets for Deathly Hallows were led by a 28 million dollars opening in Great Britain (£17.51 million), 21.8 million dollars (£13.63 million) in Germany, 14.8 million dollars (£9.26 million) in Australia, 14 million dollars (£8.76 million) in Japan and 12.3 million dollars (£7.69 million) in Russia.
The movie audience has grown up along with young wizard Harry, played by Daniel Radcliffe, and his friends Hermione - Emma Watson - and Ron, played by Rupert Grint. Distributor Warner Brothers reported that 25% of the audience for the new movie was aged between 18 and 34, compared with only 10% for Sorcerer's Stone nine years ago.
"When we started Harry Potter, basically, the audience was driven to theatres by their parents. Today, those same kids are driving to the midnight shows themselves," said Dan Fellman, head of distribution.