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The boy who lived is living it up.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 scored the largest debut in Hollywood history with a $168.6 million Friday-Sunday gross, estimates showed today.

On its way to the record, the franchise’s farewell film defeated no less than The Dark Knight—and showed no quit against Los Angeles’ much-feared freeway shutdown.

“It actually had no effect whatsoever,” Warner Bros. exec Dan Fellman said about the would-be traffic-snarler known as Carmageddon. “The two major cinemas most directly affected [by the closure]…both did outstanding business.”

It was that kind of weekend for Harry Potter: Nothing could stop him.

Among the records set by Deathly Hallows Part 2 were: biggest-ever midnight take ($43.5 million); biggest-ever opening day and single day ($92.1 million); and, biggest-ever IMAX opening ($15.5 million).

Overseas totals were not immediately known, but Fellman said the film scored the biggest-ever worldwide opening, too.

The Dark Knight set the previous opening-weekend record in 2008 with a $158.4 Friday-Sunday.

The start by Deathly Hallows Part 2 is Hollywood’s fastest since New Moon sped to $142.8 million in late 2009. It’s moviedom’s first $100 million-plus opener of the year.

Business was undoubtedly boosted by 3-D and IMAX ticket prices, but nearly 60 percent of Deathly Hallows Part 2’s take came from 2-D theaters.

Everything about the Harry Potter film was so huge that a factoid like Transformers: Dark of the Moon breaking the $300 million mark here seemed almost puny by comparison.


Dark of the Moon now ranks 35th among Hollywood’s all-time domestic box-office champs.

Elsewhere, poor Winnie the Pooh got trampled, while second-week comedies Horrible Bosses and Zookeeper held well, all wizardly things considered.

Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris returned to the Top 10.

Selena Gomez’s Monte Carlo and Ryan Reynolds’ Green Lantern both dropped out of the Top 10. The former ended up making back its $20 million budget; the latter still hasn’t come close to its $200 million price tag. Per Box Office Mojo, Green Lantern is at $146 million worldwide.

At last check, there were no reported estimates for the Sarah Palin documentary, The Undefeated.

Here’s a complete look at the weekend’s top-grossing films, per Friday-Sunday estimates as compiled by Exhibitor Relations:

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, $168.6 million
2. Transformers: Dark of the Moon, $21.3 million
3. Horrible Bosses, $17.6 million
4. Zookeeper, $12.3 million
5. Cars 2, $8.3 million
6. Winnie the Pooh, $8 million
7. Bad Teacher, $5.2 million
8. Larry Crowne, $2.6 million
9. Super 8, $1.9 million
10. Midnight in Paris, $1.89 million


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