International box office: 'Harry Potter' breaks records in top spot

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The Independent Culture

This weekend, the finale of the Harry Potter franchise, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2, opened in 59 markets to earn a record-breaking $307 million internationally - turning the film into a debut event with $476 million worldwide.

Not only did the eighth installment beat out previous Potter film openings, it beat Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which had opened with $260.4 million, and Batman, the previously most successful film series.

The last Potter film was the first in the series released in 3D, which cornered 61 percent of ticket sales, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Deathly Hallows Part 2 opened with record-breaking double-digits in ten markets, from Japan with $21.5 million to France with $23.9 million, and collected nearly double the US total of $168.6 million. The biggest territory was the UK where it made $36.6 million, the largest ever three-day weekend. The film releases in China August 4.

The second-place film was Transformers: Dark of the Moon in 3D with $39 million in 59 territories, bringing the worldwide total to $762.8 million. It eclipsed the total overseas box office action recorded by the previous two Transformers films.

Third was Cars 2, taking $12.4 million after a month in theaters, down 52 percent from the prior round. South Korea is due to release the picture this week.

In the fourth position was the animated comedy Kung Fu Panda 2, which ran a $9.5 million weekend in 57 territories.

Fifth was Mr. Popper's Penguins, the Jim Carrey comedy, which topped $6.56 million from 38 territories. It is followed at the box office by female comedies Bad Teacher, starring Cameron Diaz, and Bridesmaids.

Deathly Hallows Part 2 could become the highest-grossing Potter movie ever and the third movie this summer to reach $1 billion worldwide (with Pirates and Tranformers).