'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' charms audiences and earns $61.2 million on Friday
Fans turned out in droves to catch "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1", the next-to-last film in the hit fantasy series that stars Daniel Radcliffe as a teen wizard. The film earned $62.1 million on Friday, which includes the $24 million from midnight screenings, according to Entertainment Weekly.
The movie, based off the final book in the popular "Harry Potter" series, is set to earn an estimated total of $150 million domestically once the weekend is over. It could have a shot at beating "The Dark Knight" as the best opening ever, which set the record at $158.4 million in July 2008.
The best opening for the franchise was in November 2005 with "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire". That installment managed to nab $102.7 million for its debut weekend.
Meanwhile in other box office news, "Unstoppable" with Denzel Washington and Chris Pine, came in second place with $4.1 million and "Megamind", with the star-studded voice cast of Brad Pitt, Will Ferrell and Tina Fey, came in third place with $3.7 million.
The Robert Downey Jr. film "Due Date" is still in the box office game with $2.9 million, which lands the film in fourth place.
The weekend's other opening movie, "The Next Three Days" with Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks, enters the box office race far behind the pack in fifth place, earning just $2.2 million on Friday.