AceShowbiz - "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" has set a new record for all-time midnight openings. According to its distributor Warner Bros., the sixth installment of "Harry Potter" series has raked in $22.2 million from its midnight screenings in North America, which is $10 million more than what "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" earned from midnight shows which took place in the same Wednesday slot.
With such amount, "Half-Blood Prince" has taken the crown from previous record holders Warners' "The Dark Knight", which collected $18.5 from midnight shows last summer, as well as 20th Century Fox's "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith" which grossed $17 million over its midnight opening. The latest movie from J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" series also beat up this summer's biggest hit "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" which pulled in $16 million from its opening night back in June.
The big bow may come as a result of its two-year wait since the last movie, "Order of the Phoenix", was released in 2007, and "Half-Blood Prince" was pushed back from its original release date, November 21, 2008. With the massive number, some box office analysts are predicting that this sixth "Harry Potter" movie might have a chance to close the weekend with $190 to $200 million.
"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" will center its story at the time when Voldemort's grip on both the Muggle and wizarding worlds is tightening. With Hogwarts no longer being the safe haven it once was, Dumbledore begins to prepare Harry for the final battle that he knows is fast approaching. Bringing in his old friend and colleague Professor Horace Slughorn, he works together with Harry to unlock Voldemort's defenses.
It features the likes of Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Michael Gambon, Tom Felton, Bonnie Wright, Helena Bonham Carter and Robbie Coltrane among others. Directed by "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" helmer David Yates, it has been screened in U.S. theaters starting July 15.