Warner Bros. was no doubt disappointed their second to last "Harry Potter" film wouldn't be released with inflated 3-D ticket prices, but after this morning's midnight openings they should be breathing much easier. 

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 1" opened to $24 million from midnight screenings, a record for the franchise.  Projection have the weekend tally at anywhere from $125-130 million.  That's an impressive jump from the $77 million opening for the last two installments, "Order of the Phoenix" and "the Half-Blood Prince."  2006's "The Goblet of Fire" holds the current opening record for the franchise at $102.6 million.

As for total domestic box office, the original "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" still is the series' top grosser with $317 million.  It's worth noting, however, "Half-Blood Prince," is second with $301 million last summer.  That's pretty impressive for the sixth picture in an almost decade old franchise.

Also opening this weekend is the Russell Crowe thriller "The Next Three Days."

Look for continuing box office updates throughout the weekend on HitFix.

 

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