Harry Potter's final film adventure has bolted to a big start at worldwide box offices, breaking the record for midnight screenings in the U.S. and Canada with $43.5 million and setting the stage for a massive weekend debut.
Internationally, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 has sold $82.5 million in tickets since Wednesday, when it opened in dozens of countries, distributor Warner Bros. said on Friday.
Combined, Thursday's midnight screenings in domestic theatres and the two-day total overseas gives Deathly Hallows, Part 2 a total of $126 million globally so far. The film begins is wide release in the U.S. and Canada on Friday.
Box office watchers predict domestic (U.S. and Canada) sales for the three-day weekend will hit $125 million to $150 million, but with the midnight record that range could be low. Even if the box office total hits that forecast, it would be the highest-grossing Harry Potter debut and put the movie within striking distance of the biggest opening weekend ever.
The record belongs to 2008 Batman movie, The Dark Knight, which collected $158.4 million in its initial three-days.
Deathly Hallows, Part 2 is the eighth and final movie in the Harry Potter franchise and the first in 3D. It also is showing on large format IMAX screens, and sold a record $2 million for a midnight IMAX opening, according to Warner Bros.
The earlier films have generated more than $6.4 billion in ticket sales since the first movie a decade ago, plus billions more from DVDs and merchandise. The movies are based on novels by British author J.K. Rowling.