'Harry Potter' Already Breaking Records

It's not even out yet, but Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is already breaking records. Distributor Warner Bros. Pictures announced today that the Harry Potter finale has conjured over $32 million in advance ticket sales, setting a new pre-opening benchmark. Regal Entertainment Group alone claimed over $10 million for the 535 locations it operates, whlie MovieTickets.com has already sold more Deathly Hallows Part 2 tickets than for any other 2011 release, marking a 38 percent increase over Part 1.

In a bid to give fans ample opportunity to see the long-awaited finale this weekend (and to potentially break the opening weekend record), Warner Bros. will unleash Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 on over 11,000 screens at 4,375 locations, setting new records for both the franchise and the studio.

Predecessor Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 had around 9,400 screens at 4,125 locations, debuting to a franchise-high $125 million, while Warner Bros. stable mate The Dark Knight had a little over 9,000 screens at 4,366 locations and shattered the opening weekend record with $158.4 million on the same mid-July timeframe in 2008. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End likely still holds the all-time screen count record (11,500), while The Twilight Saga: Eclipse maintains the location count record (4,468).

Included in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2's release is a record 3,000-plus 3D location count, topping Transformers: Dark of the Moon's 2,789 record. Deathly Hallows Part 2 also boasts the IMAX release record, chalking up 274 IMAX locations.

For its midnight launch, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 will show at over 3,800 locations. Deathly Hallows Part 1 played at around 3,700 locations for its midnight debut, which generated $24 million. Eclipse currently holds the midnight record with $30 million at over 4,000 locations.

In Box Office Mojo's "when will you see it" reader polling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is pulling a whopping 68.2 percent for "opening weekend" so far, surpassing its predecessor's 64.1 percent score. The Dark Knight had nearly 77 percent when it released. 

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