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‘Potter’ Rakes in $22.9M in Britain

November 19, 2001

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LONDON (AP) _ The Harry Potter magic has enchanted audiences on both sides of the Atlantic, smashing box office records on its debut weekend.

In Britain, the movie made $22.9 million over its opening weekend. The previous record-holder, ``Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace,″ took $13.6 million on its debut weekend in 1999.

The boy wizard took $93.5 million at cinemas across the United States, beating the previous opening three-day record by Steven Spielberg’s ``The Lost World: Jurassic Park,″ with $72.1 million in 1997.

The film, which opened across Britain and the United States on Friday, translates to the screen a literary sensation loved by millions of children worldwide.

J.K. Rowling’s Potter books follow the exploits of a young English boy who discovers he inherited magical powers from his parents, a pair of wizards killed by a powerful enemy. He’s invited to become a student at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

``Everyone involved took great care and effort to protect the integrity of the characters and the story so beautifully rendered by J.K. Rowling, and we couldn’t be more proud to have debuted this picture to such an overwhelmingly positive response.″ said Warner Bros. president Alan Horn.

The film is titled ``Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone″ in the United States and ``Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone″ in Britain. It has opened to mixed reception by reviewers, with some claiming the film is too long, too slow and too confusing for children.

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