Online Sales Play Role in Helping Harry Potter Break Box-Office Records

Harry Potter’s final installment of the massively popular film franchise has already garnered at least $43.5 million in ticket sales as of this morning and is on track to break the opening day record currently held by Batman’s “The Dark Knight.”

Helping to achieve these records were nearly magical online and mobile presales that took place in the 45-days leading up to its debut.

Comcast-owned Fandango, which sells tickets online and through mobile applications to more than 16,000 screens, reports it sold more midnight and early morning show tickets for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2”’ than it did for the late night openings of any other movie (including “The Dark Knight” and “Twilight”‘s “New Moon”).

It said many of the sales were for screenings starting at midnight, and that in total, more than 6,000 showtimes sold out on Fandango between midnight and the wee hours of the morning.

In all, the movie represented 93 percent of the day’s total ticket sales from its site.

Fandango charges a service fee of $1.25 for each ticket sold, but it’s difficult to say how much it would have grossed from the movie since a spokesperson declined to say how many individual tickets the 6,000 showtimes represented.

Fandango’s closest competitor MovieTickets.com also reported strong sales, reports MovieCityNews.com. As of Wednesday, it had sold more tickets for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2″ than any other movie released in 2011 — and that sales exceeded all ticket sales for “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.”

Variety is reporting that as of 1 pm Pacific time on Friday, the movie had already collected $24 million in domestic day-time sales, putting it on pace to break the record currently being held by “The Dark Knight.” That’s in addition to the $43.5 million in midnight sales.

If the pace continues, it may garner $80 million, which would far exceed Dark Knight’s $$67.2 million in opening day receipts.


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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of Pets.com would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of BoxOfficeGuru.com comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”