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Harry Potter Casts $125.1M Spell On Audience

Seventh film in the storied Warner Bros. franchise breaks box office records

The darker Harry Potter gets, the more fans love it.

The first part of the young wizard’s last chapter conjured up record audiences, pulling in $125.1 million for its opening weekend.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1” broke opening day records for the previous six movies, easily dominating a box office that also included the train action thrilled “Unstoppable” and the latest computer-animated outing “Megamind.”

A lot of that came from Friday when “Deathly Hallows” earned $61.2 million. However, the numbers started to slow down a bit by Saturday, falling 37 percent, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It continued its slide on Sunday, meaning that there could be a major fall-off for next weekend, although it’s likely to maintain its No. 1 slot.

If “Deathly Hallows” can maintain its opening weekend push, it could easily become the year’s highest-grossing film. That record this year right now belongs to “Toy Story 3,” which grossed $414.7 million at the box office this year.

“Deathly Hallows” did better than “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” which opened more than a year ago to the tune of $77.8 million, leading to a $302 million box office take. It also is the best Harry Potter opening since “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” which opened to $102.7 million.

None of the films have topped “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” which grossed $317.6 million in 2001. That is the 26th highest-grossing movie of all-time, according to Internet Movie Database. It’s well behind other genre flicks such as “Avatar” ($760.5 million), “The Dark Knight” ($533.3 million) and “Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope” ($460.9 million).

The movie, like “Half-Blood Prince,” was directed by David Yates, and stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint.

“Megamind,” starring Brad Pitt, Will Ferrell and Tina Fey, is at second with $16.2 million, bringing its total so far with $109.5 million. “Skyline” fell to seventh with a disappointing $3.4 million in its second week, bringing its total to $17.6 million.

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