Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is off to a magical start after earning a record-breaking $22.2 million in midnight showings Wednesday.

Check out more of this summer's must-see movies

Half-Blood Prince
took the crown from last summer's The Dark Knight, which raked in $18 million in its early morning showings, according to Variety. The opening also outperformed the last Potter flick, which pulled in $12 million from midnight screenings in 2007, and this summer's previous best midnight earner, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen ($16 million).

Box office analysts expect the newest Potter film to be the franchise's most lucrative to date due to pent-up anticipation cause by a delayed release date. The film was originally to be released in November 2008.

Check out photos from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The new film is also expected to put the Harry Potter series ahead of James Bond as the top-grossing film franchise of all time.

Did you see Half-Blood Prince at midnight? What did you think?

Watch a behind-the-scenes look at the of the making of the film, including the shooting of a Quidditch match and the special effects used to create everything from a collapsing bridge to underground caves.