The latest "Harry Potter" film set a new box office record worldwide for its opening week, grossing nearly 400 million U.S. dollars in five days since its release, distributor Warner Bros. Pictures said Sunday.
"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," the sixth installment of the popular boy wizard movie franchise, took in about 397 million dollars since its global debut on Wednesday, breaking the previous five-day box office record of 381.7 million dollars set by "Spider-Man 3" in 2007.
The box office performance for the new "Harry Potter" film is testament to the staying power of the franchise based on J.K. Rowling's novels, whose first movie debuted in 2001, said Paul Dergarabedian, an industry analyst with Hollywood.com.
"It's amazing eight years on, Warner Bros. has a franchise that has to date generated more than 4.6 billion dollars in worldwide box office and is as popular today as it was at the beginning of this journey," Dergarabedian said.
In North America, the film took in 79.4 million dollars this weekend, pushing its total ticket sales to about 160 million dollars since Wednesday, preliminary weekend box office figures showed Sunday.
Meanwhile, it also took in 237 million overseas since Wednesday in 54 markets, bringing its worldwide total to about 397 million dollars, according to Warner Bros.
"Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" was in a distant second place with 17.7 million dollars this weekend in North America. The20th Century Fox animated movie has earned about 152 million dollars since its release three weeks ago.
DreamWorks' "Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen" was in third with 13.8 million dollars over the weekend, as the robot action sequel has grossed 364 million dollars in the United States and Canada in four weeks.
Rounding out the top five movies over the weekend were controversial comedy "Bruno," last week's box office leader, and bachelor-party comedy "The Hangover," with 8.4 million dollars and8.3 million dollars respectively over the three-day period.