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If you had walked outside this weekend, you would have found the streets as empty and desolate as the island of Manhattan in I Am Legend. I say "if you had" since I know you didn't, because literally everyone in the world was inside, seeing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2. The film has broken every box-office record for openings in the U.S., and will probably end up with a gross that dwarfs the GDP of several island nations:
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2,” from Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. Pictures, earned an estimated $168.6 million at 4,375 North American locations, beating the $158.4 million earned in 2008 by “The Dark Knight,” which opened at 4,366 locations...
Based on the second half of the seventh and final novel in J.K. Rowling’s best-selling “Harry Potter” series, “Deathly Hallows 2” earned $43.5 million from midnight screenings in 3,800 locations early Friday morning. It ended the day with a record-breaking $92.1 million, surpassing the previous single-day record of $72.7 million earned by “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” in 2009.
The film also cleaned up oversees, garnering nearly twice its weekend haul in the fifty-nine countries it was shown. An executive from Warner Brothers, the studio which produced the Harry Potter series, called the moment "bittersweet," which sounds emotional and almost touching, but which probably means "I am so happy I have so much money but kind of sad that this cash cow has made its way to the abattoir."
And if you were one of the many who saw the film this weekend, and now feel like another piece of your childhood has slipped away forever in the unrelenting stream of time, remember: on the internet, nothing ever really dies. We'll be swimming in YouTube parodies alone for at least two decades.