LOS ANGELES — The boy wizard has vanquished the dark knight and a band of pirates with a record-setting magic act at both the domestic and international box office.
Warner Bros. estimates that "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" took in $168.6 million domestically from Friday to Sunday. That beats the previous best opening weekend of $158.4 million, also held by Warner Bros. for 2008's Batman blockbuster "The Dark Knight."
Overseas, the film added $307 million in 59 countries since it began rolling out Wednesday, topping the previous best international debut of $260.4 million set in May by Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides."
Worldwide, "Deathly Hallows: Part 2" topped $475 million in a matter of days, putting it on course to become the franchise's first billion-dollar worldwide hit.
More Entertainment stories
Autistic ballerina dances her way into hearts
In a popular YouTube video, the beaming little ballerina dances an entire four-minute routine seemingly perfectly, matchin...
- Every on-screen drink in 'Mad Men' in 5 minutes
- See the 'Dancing' stars' most memorable moves
- Emmy's biggest snubs? Cranston, Hamm, more
- 'Toy Story' toys burn up in prank on mom
- Autistic ballerina dances her way into hearts
"This will be the biggest 'Harry Potter' by far," said Dan Fellman, head of domestic distribution at Warner Bros. "A billion dollars is definitely going to happen."Video: 'Potter' sets box-office record (on this page)
The current franchise high is $974.8 million worldwide for the first film, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" 10 years ago.
"Deathly Hallows: Part 2" does have the advantage of 3-D screenings, which cost a few dollars more than 2-D shows. Because of the higher 3-D price, plus regular inflation, "Deathly Hallows: Part 2" sold fewer tickets than "The Dark Knight" over opening weekend.
The "Harry Potter" finale also set a record for best opening day domestically Friday with $92.1 million, nearly $20 million ahead of the previous high for "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" two years ago.
Other records for "Deathly Hallows: Part 2: best domestic gross for debut midnight shows at $43.5 million, topping the $30 million for last year's "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse"; best domestic opening in huge-screen IMAX theaters with $15.5 million, surpassing the $12.2 million for last year's "Alice in Wonderland"; and best worldwide IMAX debut with $23.5 million, beating the $20.4 million for "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" two weeks ago.Story: 'Deathly Hallows 2' a fittingly grand farewell
"This is just really a monumental event," said Paul Dergarabedian, an analyst for box-office tracker Hollywood.com. "The 3-D component, plus the IMAX, plus it being the last 'Harry Potter,' it was just this convergence of things that created this incredible record."
Paramount's third "Transformers" blockbuster, which had been No. 1 the previous two weekends, slipped to second-place with $21.3 million domestically. It remains the year's top domestic hit with $302.8 million.
The latest "Transformers" added $39 million overseas, bringing its international haul to $460 million and worldwide total to $762.8 million. Among this year's releases, that's second only to "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" at $1.03 billion.
The weekend's other new wide release, Disney's animated family flick "Winnie the Pooh," got swamped by "Harry Potter" mania. A return to the hand-drawn animation style of earlier adaptations of A.A. Milne's beloved storybook characters, "Winnie the Pooh" pulled in just $8 million domestically, finishing at No. 6.Story: Need a 'Potter' refresher? Seven films in six minutes
"Deathly Hallows: Part 2" is the eighth and final film adapted from J.K. Rowling's seven novels about the young wizard's indoctrination into a secret world of sorcery and his epic battles with evil conjurer Voldemort.
Box office results
Cast more than a decade ago at ages 10 and 11 as Harry and his pals Hermione and Ron, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint became instant celebrities. They grew up on screen, maturing from inexperienced children to adult actors whose earnest performances contributed to glowing reviews from critics for the finale.
The three now are moving on to adult roles, including Radcliffe's stint on Broadway in "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying."Story: Harry Potter is entertainment champ of world
"It's just a great way to exit, with the class and style that J.K. Rowling wrote into these stories," Fellman said. "It comes to an end, as all goods thing do. When you have the opportunity to be a part of that, to work on all eight movies over 10 years, to see the kids, meeting them for the first time when they're 10 and 11, and just now going to see Daniel Radcliffe at 22 years old in 'How to Succeed in Business' on Broadway. There's a bittersweet part of it."
The first "Harry Potter" film shown in 3-D, "Deathly Hallows: Part 2" continued a downward trend for domestic revenues derived from the 3-D format, whose tickets cost a few dollars more than 2-D.
Some earlier hits took in 70 percent or more of their domestic cash from 3-D shows. But "Deathly Hallows: Part 2" did just 43 percent of its domestic business in 3-D, with most fans choosing cheaper 2-D tickets.
That still means a healthy $72.5 million in domestic revenue from 3-D screenings, but it also shows that American audiences have lost much of their fervor for seeing movies in three dimensions.
Overseas audiences remain eager for it, with 3-D tickets accounting for 61 percent of international income on "Deathly Hallows: Part 2."
Woody Allen hit a milestone as his romance "Midnight in Paris" pulled in $1.9 million to raise its domestic total to $41.8 million, a personal revenue record for the filmmaker. The Sony Pictures Classics release beat Allen's previous high of $40.1 million for 1986's "Hannah and Her Sisters."
Factoring in today's higher admission prices, "Hannah and Her Sisters" and other earlier Allen hits such as "Annie Hall" sold far more tickets than "Midnight in Paris."
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com. Where available, latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.