The sixth "Harry Potter" film raked in 58.4 million dollars on its first day of release smashing the mid-week record, the Warner Bros studio said Thursday.
"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" was the biggest-ever Wednesday film debut, agreed industry insider Variety, which hailed the huge opening on screens across the United States and Canada as "a massive start."
Earlier Wednesday, "Harry Potter" easily scored the biggest midnight gross of all-time, earning 22.2 million dollars as it debuted on some 3,000 screens at 12:01 am.
The figure smashed a record of 18 million dollars set last year by "The Dark Knight," the latest in the "Batman" movie series.
Warner Bros bosses welcomed the news, and paid tribute to all those who had waited in line to see the film.
"We are so happy to share 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' with the fans and thrilled that they turned out in record numbers to see it," said Dan Fellman, head of domestic distribution, in a statement.
The film opens this week in major markets around the world, and Warner Bros is expecting bumper audiences.
"With many countries yet to open, these already outstanding box office numbers are another testament to the universal appeal of J.K. Rowling's stories and the remarkable work of everyone behind the Harry Potter films," said Veronika Kwan-Rubinek, Warner's head of international distribution.
"The Half-Blood Prince" shows raging teenage hormones stalking the corridors of Hogwarts school of magic and sets the scene for the looming final battle between Harry and his nemesis Lord Voldemort in the concluding films.
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