'Harry Potter' gets $24M at midnight showings

LOS ANGELES But despite the success, the latest "/*Harry Potter*/" movie is third in the record books for midnight debuts, trailing behind the last two "/*Twilight*/" movies. "Eclipse" earned $30 million and "New Moon" earned $26.3 million.

"Deathly Hallows" did, however, earn more than the last installment in the franchise. "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" took in $22.2 million in its midnight debut last year.

By the end of the opening weekend, "Deathly Hallows" is expected to bring in well over $100 million.

It would be only the second of the seven "Harry Potter" films so far to top $100 million domestically in its first weekend. The first was "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," with $102.7 million in 2005.

Worldwide, the franchise has taken in nearly $5.5 billion in theatrical revenue since the first film debuted in 2001.

The latest film is based on the first part of J.K. Rowling's seventh and final "Harry Potter" novel. The finale, "Deathly Hallows: Part 2," is due out next July.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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