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Harry Potter's global following now includes the Vatican

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The latest Harry Potter film brought in a massive $58.4 million in the United States on opening day Wednesday – outdoing all five previous installments and ranking fourth highest in daily gross for any movie.

But the teenage wizard hasn't just charmed American Muggles. Internationally "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" made $104 million on its first day, as fans from Australia to Asia to Europe piled into theaters – some of them in costume, of course.

A film's success overseas can be more important than its reception in the US, given the vastly larger audience.

Vatican stamp of approval?

Even the Vatican newspaper, which has criticized Harry Potter before, had good things to say about this film. L'Osservatore Romano praised the new film's promotion of "friendship, altruism, loyalty and self-giving."

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