Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is only the second Harry Potter film to open on a Wednesday, after 2007's Order of the Phoenix. By the Sunday of its opening weekend, Order of the Phoenix was looking at a pretty impressive $140 million, on its way to being the year's 5th highest grosser, and a solid #2 in the franchise. By the Sunday of its opening weekend, Half-Blood Prince has $160 million in its coffers, as well as a slew of rapturous reviews and positive fan responses. (Well, mostly. There will always be whining from Rowling purists who don't know what an adaptation is.)

That raises a real possibility that Half-Blood Prince could dethrone current domestic franchise king Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, which holds the top spot with $317 million. At the very least, it looks like it might be the only movie other than Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen to break the $300 million mark in 2009. (Transformers itself is already at $363 million -- #13 of all time! Christ!* -- and is looking unbeatable.)

Brüno took the tumble that its front-loaded opening weekend suggested (it made more than half its first weekend gross on the Friday of its release), dropping over 70% to fourth place. It will end up with around half of Borat's $129 million final number. The other summer comedies in circulation, The Hangover and The Proposal continue to hold up very well, with the former boosting from #6 to #5 in its seventh week of release.

(500) Days of Summer, opening on 27 screens in advance of a steady expansion in the coming weeks, got off to a promising 12th place start with a per-screen average over $30K.

The full top 12 after the jump.