Warner Bros. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 found a pot of gold on its first full day in theatres, collecting an estimated $61,2 million (£38,2 million) in the United States and Canada on Friday.
That includes $24 million (£15 million) in box office from a record 3 700 locations offering midnight Thursday performances of the seventh Potter movie.
The first of two films based on the final book in the Potter book series, Hallows: Part 1 is now on track to ring up $150 million (£93 million) or more through Sunday from 4 124 theatres in the US and Canada this weekend.
Batman sequel The Dark Knight stands as the best opening ever after bowing with $158,4 million (£99,1 million) in July 2008.
The last Potter release, July 2009 opener Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince conjured $77,8 million (£48,6 million) during its first three days and $302 million (£188 million) in total US and Canadian ticket sales.
The franchise marked its best opening to date in November 2005, when Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire debuted with $102,7 million (£64,2 million).
The $317,6 million (£198,7 million) fetched by the original Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone stands as its biggest cumulative total in the US and Canada, and many consider Hallows:
Part 1 will likely fetch $400 million (£250 million) or more in domestic box office by the end of its theatrical run.
Elsewhere among the daily rankings, Lionsgate’s Russell Crowe starrer The Next Three Days collected $2,5 million (£1,5 million) in fifth place in its first day of release on Friday.
Helmed by Crash director Paul Haggis, the action thriller could be limited to the middle to high single-digit millions through Sunday.
Megamind from DreamWorks and Paramount grossed $4,5 million (£2,8 million) in the first day of its third weekend session for $97,8 (£61,19) in cumulative box office and a second-place ranking on Friday.
Denzel Washington starrer Unstoppable fetched $4,1 million (£2,5 million) to rank third on Friday with eight-day total ticket sales of $32,9 million (£20,5 million), while Warners comedy Due Date was fourth with $2,9 million (£1,8 million) and $66,4 million (£41,5 million) domestic box office at the start of its third weekend.