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New 'Harry Potter' takes in $205 million in foreign debut

November 21, 2010 | 12:07 pm

PotterEnglandPremiere "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 1" earned an estimated $205 million from foreign countries this weekend, continuing the film’s international box-office wizardry.

Last year's "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" collected $237 million in its international debut, but "Deathly Hallows" didn't open in two of the countries that "Half-Blood Prince" did (France and South Korea), and "Half-Blood Prince" started a day earlier in a number of markets.

On an apples-to-apples comparison between the two movies in the countries where "Deathly Hallows" opened, the new film collected 26% more than last year's sequel, said Veronika Kwan-Rubinek, Warner Bros.' international distribution president.

The new film enjoyed one of the biggest-ever global box-office debuts, without accounting for rising ticket prices and changes in foreign-currency conversions. The worldwide total was $330.1 million, No. 4 on the all-time chart behind "Half-Blood Prince," "Spider-Man 3" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End."

(Read our earlier post for more on the domestic opening of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 1.")

Particularly strong markets for "Deathly Hallows" included Britain, where it raked in $28 million; Germany, with $21.8 million; Australia, with $14.8 million; Japan, $14 million; Russia, $12.3 million; Italy, with $11.5 million; and Mexico, $10.2 million.

In China, it had an estimated opening of $9 million, slightly behind the $9.5 million debut of "Resident Evil: Afterlife," which had the advantage of playing in 3-D.

"Half-Blood Prince" ended up with $632 million internationally, and the new film seems to be on track to finish with about the same amount. The highest-ever foreign total for a "Potter" movie was the first one, 2001's "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," which grossed $657.2 million overseas.

-- Ben Fritz


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Photo: Fans at the London premiere of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 1." Credit: Daniel Deme / EPA