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Posted at 11:46 AM ET, 07/17/2011

HARRY POTTER: ‘Dark Knight’ record falls as ‘Deathly Hallows 2’ tops $168M

The Dark Knight is dead. Long live the Batman.

Since 2008, the Christopher Nolan film featuring posthumous Oscar winner Heath Ledger had held the single-weekend record for domestic box office. “The Dark Knight’s” $158.4-million take topped “Spider-Man 3’s” $151.1-million a year earlier.

Now, the Boy Wizard has left both superheroes in the Floo-powder dust.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2” has just grossed $168.6-million at the North America box office en route to shattering records left and right, according to studio estimates reported by boxofficemojo.com The new film also tops “Deathly Hallows — Part 1,” which now drops to seventh on the all-time opening-weekend list with its $125-million take last year. It’s worth noting that this is the first Potter film to benefit from 3-D ticket prices.

Other domestic records set by “Deathly Hallows — Part 2” — the eighth and final film in the $6-billion cinematic franchise based on J.K. Rowling’s publishing phenomenon — include biggest opening-day total and biggest single-day total: $92.1-million. That figure dwarfs the previous high: $72.7-million for “The Twilight Saga: New Moon.”

Paul Dergarabedian of Hollywood.com Box Office told Reuters: “To even be close to $100-million for a single day is unprecedented.”

“Deathly Hallows — Part 2” also set a record by grossing $43.5-million from opening-day midnight screenings.

Update: Add in the $307-million that the final Harry Potter film has made from foreign audiences, and its opening global total is a staggering $476-million. Says Dergarabedian: “This will be the first ‘Potter’ movie to earn over a billion dollars at the worldwide box office.”

With numbers like these, next year’s “The Dark Knight Rises” and “The Amazing Spider-Man” will have someone new to shoot for.

By  |  11:46 AM ET, 07/17/2011

Tags:  box office, the dark knight, spider-man, harry potter

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