Not surprisingly, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 took the number one spot at cinemas around the world, earning $205 million on the opening weekend and beating some all-time records as the most successful franchise in film history.
Worldwide, this seventh sequel earned a global total of $330 million, including the $125.1 earned in the US, where it ranks sixth for top opening films, according to Box Office Mojo.
Deathly Hallows launched in 54 countries beginning in France, Belgium and the Netherlands last Wednesday, November 17. In the UK, the penultimate release won the biggest three-day opening ever with $28 million and on Saturday it reached its highest-ever box office.
Other top weekends for this Harry Potter installment came from Australia, where the film made $15 million, and Russia, where the film earned $12 million. More big debuts include Germany at $21.8 million, Italy with $11.5, Mexico with $10.2 and Japan at $14 million.
Harry Potter films have earned more internationally than in North America, accounting for 70% of the films ticket sales, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
This penultimate release, the first part of the seventh book by J.K. Rowling, follows Harry his friends as they try to vanquish the evil Lord Voldemort, who is gaining control of Hogwarts and the Ministry of Magic. It stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes and Alan Rickman.
The eighth and final Harry Potter film is scheduled to open in 3D on July 15, 2011.
Number two at the international box office saw the return of the sci-fi-action film Resident Evil: Afterlife, helped by China, where it opened with $9.4 million.
In third place was Unstoppable, starring Denzel Washington and Star Trek's Chris Pine, which slipped from the top spot. Directed by Tony Scott ( Taking of Pelham 123), the runaway train action film is playing in 41 countries for the second week.
In fourth is the spy action comedy RED, costarring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren, screening in 46 markets.
Fifth for the weekend was the Facebook story The Social Network by director David Fincher. Playing across 55 countries, it came in second place in Korea and Hong Kong.