"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" continued to work on its magic at the box office. After setting a new record for all-time midnight openings and breaking a worldwide record for opening day tally, the sixth "Harry Potter" movie easily secured the top slot of North American box office over the three-day weekend by nabbing $77.8 million.
Added with the Wednesday's (July 15) earning of $58.2 million and Thursday's (July 16) sales of $22 million, the Daniel Radcliffe-starring adventure fantasy has sold $158 million worth of ticket sales on its first five days screening in North American only. The five-day tally is a modest jump from the $139.7 million its predecessor "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" collected in July 2007.
Following its record breaking midnight opening of $22.2 million, which overshadowed "The Dark Knight" $18.5 million record, "Half-Blood Prince" was actually expected to close the week with an even bigger domestic launch that was projected to pull in around $200 million. Nonetheless, it now has to settle for the second-highest start ever for a movie premiering on Wednesday, behind "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen".
Though it didn't break any box office record for its three-day weekend sales, the David Yates-directed film set a new box office record worldwide for its opening week. Grossing $394 million in five days since its release, the film that centers its story on a boy wizard seeking to stop his mortal enemy from taking over the wizardry world passed the previous five-day box office record of $381.7 million dollars set by "Spider-Man 3" in 2007.
"Half-Blood Prince" aside, two of its strongest competitions, "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" and "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen", held fast onto their last week's position. The third "Ice Age" movie stayed as the runner-up by raking in $17.6 million, while the "Transformers" sequel secured third place with $13.7 million on its pocket. So far, "Ice Age 3" has collected $151.9 million and "Transformers 2" has brought in $363.8 million from their domestic sales.
Free-falling to the fourth position after winning the box office crown last week was "Bruno". The Sacha Baron Cohen-starring mockumentary faced a 72.8% decline in sales and thus reeled in only $8.31 million in its second week. Meanwhile, "The Proposal" rounded up the top five. The Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynold-starring comedy earned $8.29 million after seven weeks in theaters.
Top Ten Movies at Weekend Box Office for July 10 - 12: