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Harry Potter smashes US box office record

'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2' has smashed the US box office record for the highest-grossing opening weekend, taking $168.6 million.

The eighth movie in the wizard franchise - starring Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint - banked the incredible figure in just three days in the US and Canada, surpassing the previous record of $158.4 million set by Batman movie 'The Dark Knight' in 2008.

According to an estimate by film distributor Warner Bros, the movie also made the biggest-ever international debut, grossing $307 million in 59 different countries, making the total figure a staggering $475.6 million.

Dan Fellman, president of domestic distribution for Warner Bros, thinks the final 'Harry Potter' instalment has the potential to smash through the $1 billion barrier.

He said: "We had the most successful franchise in the history of the motion picture business, and we had a huge fan base. We also got fantastic reviews.

"That all enables us to expand our footprint. We are going to be around for a long time."

Outside of the US the movie performed best in the UK - where 'Harry Potter' author J.K. Rowling hails from - taking a record $36.6 million.