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‘Potter’ conjures up $159.7 million in 5 days

July 19th, 2009 Posted in Entertainment

By DAVID GERMAIN

Harry Potter continues to work box-office alchemy, turning his latest movie adventure into an overnight blockbuster.

The sixth installment, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” took in $79.5 million domestically over opening weekend and $159.7 million since debuting last Wednesday, according to estimates from distributor Warner Bros. on Sunday.

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.

The new film had the second-highest start ever for a movie premiering on Wednesday, trailing the $200 million five-day opening for last month’s “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.”

“Half-Blood Prince” already has surpassed the $157.3 million “Order of the Phoenix” pulled in during its entire first week. 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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