Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2's first day flew past the previous franchise high of $61.7 million, posted by Deathly Hallows Part 1 last November. It also thoroughly out-distanced The Twilight Saga: Eclipse ($68.5 million) and The Dark Knight ($67.2 million). Deathly Hallows Part 2 is even the champ in terms of estimated attendance.
Included in Deathly Hallows Part 2's historic opening day was its record-shattering midnight start of $43.5 million at 3,800 locations, which topped Eclipse's $30 million. That means that Deathly Hallows Part 2 made $48.6 million for the rest of the day, which still beat the midnight-free grosses of New Moon ($46.4 million), Eclipse ($38.5 million), Deathly Hallows Part 1 ($37.7 million) and Half-Blood Prince ($36 million), though not The Dark Knight ($48.7 million).
Deathly Hallows Part 2 marked Harry Potter's first foray into 3D, and it made a splash with the broadest 3D launch ever (3,100-plus locations, including 274 in IMAX). However, the majority of moviegoers still opted to see the movie in the standard ("2D") format. 3D accounted for around 45 percent of the gross, which was a lower share than Transformers: Dark of the Moon's 60 percent at the same point but in the ballpark of most of this summer's other big movies.
Deathly Hallows Part 2's first day gross alone would rank as the second biggest weekend of 2011 after Transformers: Dark of the Moon. It should easily break The Dark Knight's $158.4 million opening weekend record, though it should be exceptionally front-loaded. Deathly Hallows Part 1's Friday ended up being nearly half of its weekend. If Deathly Hallows Part 2 follows suit, that would mean a weekend gross of $185-190 million.
Since Deathly Hallows Part 2 accounted for nearly three out of every four tickets sold, there was little excitement for the rest of the movies. Transformers: Dark of the Moon retreated 57 percent to an estimated $6.3 million, lifting its tally to $287.9 million in 17 days. It didn't gain ground on its better-attended predecessors.
Horrible Bosses took a respectable hit, holding better than Bad Teacher with a 45 percent drop to an estimated $5.5 million for a $47.8 million sum in eight days. Zookeeper continued its disappointing run with an estimated $3.9 milion, down 47 percent for a $33.9 million eight-day tally (or about as much as Paul Blart: Mall Cop had by day three).