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Princess nearly beats Potter

Harry Potter almost got beaten up by a hairy princess at the weekend box office.

Harry Potter almost got beaten up by a hairy princess at the weekend box office.

The seventh movie in the boy wizard franchise, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1,” narrowly led the field for a second weekend, distributor Warner Bros. Pictures said. The film grossed about $50.3 million across the United States and Canada during the three days beginning Nov. 26.

Close behind with a better-than-expected $49.1 million was “Tangled,” a new Walt Disney Co. 3-D cartoon about the hirsute princess Rapunzel. Since opening Wednesday, one day ahead of the Thanksgiving Day holiday, the fairy tale has earned $69 million. Pundits had forecast a five-day haul of about $40 million.

The top 10 boasted three other newcomers, all looking to capitalize on the holiday period. “Burlesque,” a camp musical starring Cher and Christina Aguilera, shared the No. 4 spot with “Unstoppable,” each reporting about $11.8 million for the three-day period. “Love and Other Drugs,” a romantic comedy starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway, followed at No. 6 with $9.9 million. “Faster,” an action thriller starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, drove in at No. 7 with $8.7 million.

The new “Harry Potter” film is off to the strongest start in the series, having earned $220.4 million since opening Nov. 19. The previous film, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” had earned $201 million during the same 10-day span in July 2009. That film ended up with $302 million domestically. Warner Bros. was similarly confident the new film would break $300 million.

 
 
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