SAN JOSE (CBS 5 / AP) – Midnight screenings of Harry Potter’s latest adventure drew huge crowds at movie theatres across the Bay Area and at San Jose’s Tech Museum, where audience members dressed up to compete in a costume contest.
Nationwide, midnight screenings delivered a whopping $24 million domestic haul.
According to box-office tracker Hollywood.com, that puts “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1″ third in the record books for midnight debuts, behind the last two “Twilight” movies: last summer’s “Eclipse” with $30 million and 2009′s “New Moon” with $26.3 million.
“Deathly Hallows” outdid the last installment in the franchise about the young wizard, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” which took in $22.2 million in its midnight debut last year. The big start portends an opening weekend well over $100 million, said Hollywood.com analyst Paul Dergarabedian.
That would make it only the second of the seven “Harry Potter” films so far to top $100 million domestically in its first weekend. The first was “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” with $102.7 million in 2005. Worldwide, the franchise has taken in nearly $5.5 billion in theatrical revenue since the first film debuted in 2001.
The latest film is based on the first part of J.K. Rowling’s seventh and final “Harry Potter” novel. The finale, “Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” is due out next July.