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Harry Potter finale makes history, sets four new records

A swan song of the blockbuster Harry Potter series eclipsed a previous trailblazer of the Hollywood tentpoles by grabbing a heart-stopping $ 168.55 million over the weekend, as well as creating three other firsts as the highly popular franchise bows out of celluloid incarnation for good.

india Updated: Jul 18, 2011 12:48 IST

A swan song of the blockbuster Harry Potter series eclipsed a previous trailblazer of the Hollywood tentpoles by grabbing a heart-stopping $168.55 million over the weekend, as well as creating three other firsts as the highly popular franchise bows out of celluloid incarnation for good, Xinhua reports.

According to estimated statistics released by Warner Bros., which distributes Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II, the final and 8th installment on the boy wizard franchise opened as No. 1 in North America box office on Friday, grossing $91.2 million from 4,375 venues in the US and Canada.

It broke the milestone for all-time highest single-day gross which was held by The Twilight Saga: New Moon, which garnered $72.7 million when it opened on Friday, November 20, 2009.

On Saturday, it continued with the foray at box office derby, finishing the business with $42.85 million. All told, the finale of the series has also managed to become No. 1 in three other areas: largest midnight gross ($43.5 million), largest opening weekend -- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 1, hit the screens last November, previously held that record with $125 million in ticket sales upon its debut, and largest IMAX opening ($15.5 million from 274 theaters).

Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Paramount Pictures' third Transformer installment, continued its money-making business, and is estimated to take in $21.25 million, finishing as No. 2 at the box office. It has garnered a cumulative sales totalling $302.8 million over three weeks.

Horrible Bosses, a New Line/Warner Bros. dark/black comedy which features Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman and Colin Farrell, successfully held up at the box office derby. It is estimated to make $17.63 million as No. 3 most popular films of the weekend. It has reaped $60 million in two weeks.

Rounding out the top five most popular films in North America are:

Zookeeper, $12.3 million this weekend, and $42.35 million in two weeks; Cars 2, $8.3 million this week which is on track to garner $165 million in four weeks.

In the shadow of the Harry Potter juggernaut, Disney Animation Studios' Winnie the Pooh was the weekend's only release which was off to a solid start, grossing $2.9 million on Friday and grabbed $8 million in movie ticket sales from 2,405 locations during Friday-Sunday timeframe.

The fifth theatrical film released and the second from the Walt Disney Animation Studios, the animated family film, which was inspired by three A A Milne stories, looks like it's succeeding in luring tots too young for the PG-13 Potter. It received an A-CinemaScore, with those under 18 giving it an A+.