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Friday, 3 January, 2003, 23:15 GMT
Warner Bros hails Potter magic
Harry Potter book
The Harry Potter phenomenon rolls on
Warner Bros film studio has said the second Harry Potter movie helped fuel record overseas ticket sales last year.

The company said international ticket receipts had risen to $1.6bn (1.04bn) by the end of November, its best overseas performance so far, and the second-highest total by any US film studio to date.

The figure reflected the runaway success of "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," the studio's top-grossing film with international ticket sales of $476.1m.

Warner Bros is the latest company to reap the benefits of the Harry Potter boom, triggered by the soaring popularity of author JK Rowling's best-selling children's books.

Money-spinner

The Potter phenomenon has generated windfall profits for the books' UK publishers Bloomsbury, and has also fuelled a boom in merchandising sales.

News of Warner Bros' bumper overseas ticket sales come ahead of industry-wide figures, due out next week.

The data are expected to show overall ticket sales, including North American receipts, in excess of $9.2bn, making 2002 one of the US film industry's best ever.

The industry's strong performance, which comes despite a weak economy and a surge in film piracy, stands in stark contrast to sluggish sales of recorded music.

Market researchers Nielsen Sound Scan said earlier on Friday that CD sales for 2002 slumped 9.3% on the year to 624.2 million, the second consecutive year-on-year fall after a 2.8% decline in 2001.

See also:

03 Jan 03 | Business
17 Sep 02 | Business
26 Sep 01 | Business
24 Sep 01 | Entertainment
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