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'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' Breaks Midnight Record

'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' set a new all-time record after it earned an estimated $22.2 million from midnight screenings alone on Wednesday.

The total bested the old record, held by last summer's megahit 'The Dark Knight', by an impressive $4 million.

Pottermania was in full swing before the movie's much anticipated premiere with one popular online ticket seller reporting it was selling an average of eight Harry Potter tickets per second.

Hoards of loyal fans stayed up so they could be among the first to see the sixth installment.

Naomi Gonzales, one such fan, told the 'Los Angeles Times': "I've been waiting for this day for months. There was no way I was going to wait. Midnight was the only option. Who needs sleep? Harry Potter is my caffeine."

The movie ended up earning $58 million on its first day alone. That's the second-best Wednesday tally ever, after 'Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen's $62 million.

There was fan outrage last year when Warner Bros. postponed the release of the movie for eight months so it could position itself as a summer blockbuster, and many wondered whetered the delay would adversely affect box office returns -- but it's tough to argue with numbers like this.

By comparison, 2007's 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix' took in $12 million with its midnight screenings. The movie took home $44.2 million over its first weekend but that number should prove to be no tough task for 'Prince'.

July 16, 2009 |

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