Hermione Graner (Emma Watson), Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Harry Potter… (Warner Bros. )
Harry Potter didn't even wait until the sun rose to start vanquishing box-office records.
The last big-screen adventure of the boy wizard, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2," raked in $42.5 million at midnight screenings in the U.S. and Canada, according to Warner Bros. The previous record was about $30 million, set in 2009 by "The Twilight Saga: New Moon."
Fans eager to see Harry's final battle with the evil Lord Voldemort began lining up early Thursday for the shows.
People with access to ticket sales data who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter said "Deathly Hallows Part 2" was all but certain to collect more than $80 million domestically by the end of Friday night. The previous record for single-day receipts was also held by "New Moon," at $72.7 million.
"It's mind-boggling, to be honest with you," said Dan Fellman, Warner president of domestic distribution. "This is writing history every day."
The people following box-office returns said "Deathly Hallows — Part 2" was on track to break the all-time opening-weekend record of $158.4 million, set by "The Dark Knight" in 2008.
The film is benefiting from overwhelmingly positive reviews. According to the aggregation site Movie Review Intelligence, the final "Harry Potter" is the year's best-reviewed film.
Overseas receipts have been huge as well. The movie, which opened in 26 foreign markets Wednesday and an additional 17 on Thursday, took in $82.5 million internationally in two days. That's 39% higher than "Deathly Hallows — Part 1" generated in its first two days in the same countries.
Times staff writers John Horn and Amy Kaufman contributed to this report.