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The 10 Biggest Opening Weekends of All Time and Which Box Office Record Did Deathly Hallows Part 2 NOT Break?

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | July 17, 2011 |

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | July 17, 2011 |

Which box-office record did Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 NOT break this weekend? Well, it did not break the record for biggest single-day sales for a Saturday. That title, at least, still belongs to Spider-man 3. Otherwise, HP Part VIII cleaned the hell up, breaking the record for highest midnight grosses ($43 million), biggest single-day gross ($92 million), biggest opening weekend of all-time ($168 million), biggest international opening weekend of all time ($307 million), biggest worldwide opening weekend of all time ($475 million), and it was the fastest movie ever to $150 million.

But, accounting only for attendance (and not box-office gross), Deathly Hallows 2 was actually only sixth overall, ranking behind even the first Spider-man, which made $114 million in its opening weekend.

If my numbers are correct, Deathly Hallows Part 2 also holds the record for the worst aging of its stars in the epilogue.

Meanwhile, some other movies may have earned money, too. Transformers: Dark of the Moon, for instance, added another $21 million to cross the $300 million mark. Horrible Bosses held reasonably well in its second week, adding another $17 million; the $35 million movie has already made $60 million now, so someone somewhere is working on a sequel and Jennifer Aniston is practicing her technique with a banana. Zookeeper continues to struggle (small favors), adding only $12 million in its second weekend and Cars 2 is faltering badly. It looks to end up the second to last among all Pixar titles, ahead of only Bug’s Life. It likely will not break $200 million. The lesson here: Pixar, unless it’s Toy Story, cut it the hell out with the sequels.

There is sad news to report, too. Winnie the Pooh opened with only $8 million. Such a wonderful film, too. It’s audience is limited, but if you have a 4 - 7 year-old in your life, take him or her to see Winnie the Pooh. You’ll like it; she or he will love it; and maybe Disney will make another one.

If you’re curious, Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris — the movie I’m asked most about at functions and get-togethers — has now surpassed Hannah and Her Sisters to become Allen’s biggest box-office hit to date.

And because I know you all like to keep up with this stuff, here’s the new and revised ten biggest opening weekends of all time.

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2: $168.5 million
2. The Dark Knight: $158 million
3. Spider-man 3: $151 million
4. The Twilight Saga: New Moon: $141 million
5. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest: $135 million
6. Iron Man 2: $128 million
7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1: $125 million
8. Shrek the Third: $121 million
9. Alice in Wonderland: $116 million
10. Spider-man: $114 million

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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