Harry Potter

has cast his biggest box-office spell yet with a franchise record US$125.1 million ($161.765 million) in the US over opening weekend and record-breaking takings around the world.

Deathly Hallows: Part 1

came in ahead of the series' best previous debut of A$14.33 million for 2009's


Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

, while in the US it trumped the US$102.7 million debut for 2005's

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire


Overseas markets for

Deathly Hallows

were led by a US$28 million opening in Great Britain, US$21.8 million in Germany, US$14 million in Japan, A$15 million in Australia and US$12.3 million in Russia.

The movie audience has grown up along with young wizard Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and his friends Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint). Distributor Warner Bros reported that 25 per cent of the audience for the new movie was between 18 and 34, compared with only 10 per cent for Sorcerer's Stone nine years ago.


"When we started

Harry Potter

, basically, the audience was driven to theatres by their parents. Today, those same kids are driving to the midnight shows themselves," said Dan Fellman, head of distribution for Warner Bros.

The huge opening bodes well for next July's

Deathly Hallows: Part 2

, the eighth and final movie based on JK Rowling's seven

Harry Potter

novels. The franchise so far has taken in more than US$5.5 billion worldwide.


, the number one movie in the US the previous two weekends, fell to second-place with US$16.2 million, while Russell Crowe's thriller

The Next Three Days

, the weekend's only other new wide release in the US, debuted weakly at number with US$6.8 million.