The Harry Potter kids, that is adults, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe, rode a tidal wave to No. 1 in weekend global ticket sales, grossing a staggering $330 million from “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.”
The debut put the latest “Harry Potter” film firmly in first place in the United States, Canada and 54 other countries and marked the beginning of a victory lap for Warner Bros.
This is the next to last film in the decade-old Potter franchise.
To date, the films have generated $5.4 billion in box office sales and a near equal amount from DVD sales and television and merchandise sales.
Over that time the precious child stars at the center of the movie have grown into adults. But that didn’t deter fans.
The series’ fans seem to have grown up with the cast. About one quarter of moviegoers were between the ages of 18-to-34-year-old demographic, according to the company.
That demographic made up about 10 percent of the audience for the first film.
“Deathly Hallows” also got a boost from solid reviews.
But the $125.1 million domestic take wasn’t the biggest Potter opening. That record still belongs to “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” which sold $127.4 million over its first three days in Nov. 2005.
Ironically, a then barely known Robert Pattinson appeared in that film as Cedric Diggory.
The film is sixth on the list of first weekend openings. “Dark Knight” still holds the record with $158 million in 2008, and “Spider-Man 3″ is second with a $151 million.
While Deathly Hallows fell short of claiming the record for Potter openings, it is now the largest grossing film in Imax history, topping ‘Alice in Wonderland.”
The film appeared on 239 Imax screens in North American and 340 screens globally, adding $12.4 million and $16.6 million respectively to the weekend gross. Alice, in contrast, grossed $27.4 million domestically and globally.
Imax tickets are generally more expensive than 2-D theater tickets.
The victory lap for Warner Bros. will come in July when the last film in the series, Deathly Hallows, Part II, hits screens.
DreamWorks Animation’s “Megamind” came in a distant second with $16.2 million in North American sales its third week out, bringing its total gross to $109.5 million, according to Hollywood.com.
Runaway train special “Unstoppable,” was third, grossing $13.1 million in its second week and $42 million total. “Due Date,” in its third week, was fourth, pulling in $9.2 million over the weekend and $72.7 million total.