Harry Potter Off To Near-Record Start At Box Office

Jul. 15 2009, Updated 4:03 a.m. ET

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Harry Potter has already cast a spell on the box office.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was well on pace to blockbuster status, as evidenced by more than 2,700 sold-out screenings for Wednesday's midnight shows, marketed towards die-hard fans of the films, according to MovieTickets.com.

The latest installment in the series, based on author J.K. Rowling's literary anthology, placed second on the all-time list for advance ticket sales, with only Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith outpacing it (Even wizardry cannot overcome "The Force," we guess).

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Industry analysts have hinted that the film's family-friendly PG rating (its previous two successors were PG-13) can only help draw fans into the movie house.

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