Half-Blood Prince smashes records as number one

The sixth Harry Potter movie, The Half-Blood Prince, lived up to expectation by taking in an estimated $159.7 million at the domestic box office since opening on Wednesday, the second-highest start ever for a movie premiering midweek (after Transformers: The Revenge of the Fallen).

That included $79.5 million for the three-day July 17 weekend, the Associated Press reported:

The movie also took in $237 million overseas since Wednesday in 54 countries, bringing its worldwide total to $396.7 million.

With some of the best reviews of any Harry Potter movie, Half-Blood Prince was off to the fastest overall start in franchise history.

The sixth movie about the young wizard came in $20 million ahead of the last movie, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which grossed $139.7 million domestically in its first five days two years ago. ...

By the end of its seventh day Tuesday, Half-Blood Prince will be in the $180 million range on its way to becoming the franchise's first $300 million domestic smash since the original movie, 2001's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, said Dan Fellman, Warner head of distribution.

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