Entertainment | Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:15pm IST

"Deathly Hallows" highest global earner of Harry Potter series

LOS ANGELES (Reuters Life!) - The latest film in the Harry Potter series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1", has become the highest grossing instalment of the Harry Potter franchise globally as of Wednesday.

The seventh movie about the exploits of the British boy wizard has earned $657.24 million and counting, surging past the previous record-holder -- 2001's "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone", which grossed $657 million, distributor Warner Bros said.

The film, based on the final instalment of the series of best-selling books by author J.K. Rowling, performed strongly from the start last November, landing at No. 6 on the list of all-time best U.S. weekend debuts.

The six previous "Potter" films collected $5.4 billion globally for Warner Bros. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2", the final instalment, is set to hit theatres on July 15.

(Reporting by Elaine Lies; Editing by Nick Macfie)