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New <i>Harry Potter</i> Beats Competition; Next Stop, <i>Star Wars</i>

Harry Potter is going to need another vault at Gringotts, because the opening weekend of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part One made more money than any HP installment so far, and landed the number-six spot on the list of biggest opening weekends of all time. It's almost as if a lot of people really want to see how the seven-part story is going to end, even though it won't actually be concluded until Part 2 comes out next summer! Who would have thought it?! In bigger news, the HP franchise is only $80 million behind Star Wars, which means it will be the highest-grossing franchise within the month. Somewhere, George Lucas is realizing that a successful cartoon series doesn't mean squat in the annals of motion-picture history.

Over the course of three days (including a successful Thursday night) Deathly Hallows took in $125 million, which puts it behind only five movies for the biggest opening weekend of all time. The rest of the HP films are scattered across the top 30, but that's because they mostly opened on Wednesdays, which don't count towards weekend grosses. Obviously, all of the movies that beat Deathly Hallows are sequels to popular franchises:
1. The Dark Knight $158 million
2. Spider-Man 3 $151 million
3. The Twilight Saga: New Moon $143 million
4. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest $136 million
5. Iron Man 2 $128 million
Expect the sequels to any of these films -- all of which are in the works, including Spider-Man's reboot -- to be a contender for the next number one. (Unless it opens on a Wednesday.) Either way, it looks like sequels and superhero movies and book-adapted young-adult fare will continue unabated for the foreseeable future.

The movie's only competition, as far as new releases went, was The Next Three Days, Russell Crowe's prison breakout movie, which came in fifth for the weekend. Apparently, people were more interested in seeing big-headed supervillains, unstoppable trains and hilarious road trips. And they certainly weren't interested in seeing Skyline, whose attendance dropped significantly since last weekend, most likely due to understandably negative word of mouth.

Read our movie reviews, then check out our guide to where you've seen that wizard before!

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