Harry Potter Franchise Reaches $7 Billion with Deathly Hollows 2

The eighth movie in the Harry Potter series has brought the franchise to $7 billion dollars in overall box office earnings, beating the "Star Wars" franchise, and becoming the highest grossing movie series of all-time.

The last film of the series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 2", was internationally released on July 15. Distributor Warner Brothers reported that the film earned $92.1 million on the opening day domestically, with an additional $75 million in box office sales overseas. Great Britain accounted for the biggest single day of ticket sales, earning $14.8 million.

The worldwide gross totals for each film in the previous Harry Potter films are as follows:
-"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone" -- $974,755,371
-"Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets"-- $878,979,634
-"Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban"-- $796,688,549
-"Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"-- $896,911,078
-"Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix"-- $939,885,929
-"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince"-- $934,416,487
-"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 1"-- $955,417,476

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 2" surpassed the record for the all-time highest first-day sales, previously held by "The Twilight Saga: New Moon."

The finale to the Harry Potter series "Deathly Hollows Part 2" made more money in the opening day than four of the seven other Harry Potter films earned in their entire opening weekends.

The finale also set the record for the highest amount of midnight screening earnings, with $43.5 million. The success of the film is partly attributed to the availability and attraction of watching the movie in 3-D, which costs more than 2-D.

The success of the movie franchise is derived from the popularity of the Harry Potter book series by J.K. Rowling. Rowling's books have sold 450 million copies as of June 2011 and have been translated into 67 languages, according to the BBC. Warner Brothers bought the rights to Harry Potter in 2008.

The films follow the Harry Potter books closely, and Rowling posted her thoughts about text-to-film transitions on her website: “It is simply impossible to incorporate every one of my storylines into a film that has to be kept under four hours long. Obviously films have restrictions novels do not have, constraints of time and budget; I can create dazzling effects relying on nothing but the interaction of my own and my reader’s imaginations.”

Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida contains a “Wizarding World of Harry Potter” area in its theme park. Warner Brothers announced in March 2011 its intention to open a Harry Potter-themed tourist attraction in Great Britain, and could be prepared to make a $200 million investment.

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