Transformers: Dark of the Moon spent one final day in first place on Thursday, while Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II was off to record breaking start at midnight.

‘Transformers’ Leads Thursday; Record Breaking Midnights for ‘Harry Potter’

on July 15, 2011 by Daniel Garris

Paramount's Transformers: Dark of the Moon led the daily box office for a 16th consecutive (and final) day on Thursday. The 3D blockbuster sequel grossed $3.92 million, which was down 15 percent from Wednesday and down a sizable 59 percent from last Thursday. Dark of the Moon clearly lost a lot of momentum during the midweek this week, as moviegoers prepared for today's arrival of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II. Transformers: Dark of the Moon was easily the week's top film with $67.57 million. That was down 55 percent from the previous week and places the film's 16-day total at $281.55 million. Even if it experiences a sharp decline this weekend, Transformers: Dark of the Moon is still set to reach the $300 million domestic milestone by the end of Sunday.

The big story today is the record breaking performance of Warner's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II at midnight. The final chapter of the long-running fantasy saga grossed an estimated $43.5 million from midnight screenings, which shattered the previous midnight record of $30.0 million set by Summit's The Twilight Saga: Eclipse last summer. The midnight performance of Deathly Hallows Part II was a massive 81 percent stronger than the $24.0 million midnight performance of last year's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I. With $43.5 million already in the bank, Deathly Hallows Part II is clearly on pace to register the largest opening day gross of all-time (a record currently held by the $72.70 million opening day of 2009's The Twilight Saga: New Moon).

Internationally, Deathly Hallows Part II continued its impressive start with $37.6 million from 43 foreign markets on Thursday. That brings the film's two-day international total to $82.5 million, with the film still to open in a number of major territories today, including the United Kingdom, Brazil, Japan, Mexico and Spain. Check back throughout the weekend for further updates on both the domestic and international performances of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II.

Fellow Warner Bros. release Horrible Bosses finished in second place on Thursday with $2.87 million. After holding up fairly well thus far, the R-rated comedy experienced one of the day's poorer daily holds among wide releases, as it fell 15 percent from Wednesday. Nevertheless, Horrible Bosses had a strong opening week performance this week with $42.37 million. That was on the high end of expectations and placed the film in second for the week. Horrible Bosses is currently running 7 percent behind the pace of fellow R-rated release Bad Teacher at the same point in its run.

Sony's Zookeeper held steady in third with $2.17 million. The Kevin James comedic vehicle fell just 7 percent from Wednesday, which represented one of the day's stronger daily holds among wide releases. After opening on the low end of expectations over the past weekend, Zookeeper held up reasonably well during the midweek, which is evidence of its appeal with family audiences. Zookeeper finished in third place this week with a seven day start of $30.05 million.

Cars 2 grossed $1.80 million to remain in fourth place. The 3D computer animated sequel from Disney and Pixar fell 8 percent from Wednesday and 50 percent from last Thursday. Cars 2 took fourth place for the week with $23.36 million. That was down 45 percent from the previous frame and places the film's three-week total at $156.98 million.

Follow @DanielBOXOFFICE on Twitter for additional box office updates.

Tags: Cars 2, Zookeeper, Horrible Bosses, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II, Transformers: Dark of the Moon

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