Harry Potter may cast a spell on moviegoers with Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince beginning Wednesday, but the film will likely break a huge record with no magic at all.
Check out photos from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
The latest Potter film is poised to push the series over the $5 billion gross mark at the worldwide box office, moving it past the James Bond catalogue as the highest-earning film franchise in history, according to Variety. The five previous Potter films have earned $4.48 billion to date, and the latest is expected to eclipse 007's mark (which isn't adjusted for inflation) before the month is out.
Half-Blood Prince opens with 950 midnight showings Wednesday before rolling out into 4,300 theaters domestically and thousands more across the globe. The previous flick, Order of the Phoenix, earned $12 million in midnight showings and $44 million in its opening day. It eventually earned just under $300 million stateside and $646 million overseas.
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Prince was originally set to be released last November. While the delay outraged some fans, it no doubt has upped the anticipation for the new installment. Online ticket retailer Fandango reports that Prince is the year's fastest seller and the biggest of any Potter release.
On the downside, fans who want to see the IMAX 3-D version of the film will have to wait two weeks because of an existing deal between IMAX and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.
Are you going to a midnight screening of Half-Blood Prince?