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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Not that the Harry Potter franchise is ever measured against the Twilight franchise and vice versa, but…

Last summer, Eclipse blew past Half-Blood Prince to set the box-office record for midnight shows

And then earlier today, Deathly Hallows: Part 2 opened—and payback was in order.

The final Harry Potter came away with an estimated $43.5 million from witching-hour screenings, Warner Bros. said this morning, eclipsing, and then some, Eclipse's own phenomenal night-owl gross of $30 million.

So, now that Twilight's been conquered, is Batman next?

The box-office thing to watch this weekend is whether Deathly Hallows: Part 2 can break The Dark Knight's opening-weekend record of $158.4 million.

So far, HP8 is ahead of Dark Knight's pace—the comic-book flick, after all, "only" grossed a then-record $18.5 million from midnight screenings.

But starting ahead is not the same as finishing ahead.

Both New Moon and Eclipse, for example, posted bigger opening days than The Dark Knight, only to fall short, relatively speaking, by the end of their first weekends.

Then again, the Harry Potter franchise isn't the Twilight franchise.

As the midnight numbers just reminded.

(Ooh, Breaking Dawn: Part 1 heard that…)