'Potter' conjures early $25 million
The end is near for Harry Potter fans, and if advance ticket sales are any indication, opening B.O. numbers for "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" will be wicked-awesome, as Variety's Andrew Stewart reports exclusively. Already, "Part 2" has earned a reported $25 million in advanced domestic ticket sales, the majority of which comes from midnight screenings -- enough to likely knock "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" off its late-night record. Looking into the weekend, the studio's distribution topper Dan Fellman projected a three-day opening between $130 million-$140 million, but said there's potential for the film to break the best-ever $158 million debut set by "The Dark Knight" in 2008. That depends, however, on how well the film holds from Friday to Saturday -- and whether fans turn out for 3D screenings. Apparently, audience interest for "Hallows: Part 2" had been steadily increasing over the past few weeks without peaking until just recently. That's good news for Warners, since studios never want to a pic to hit its high point too far ahead of its release.