Odeon and UCI Cinemas Group’s sales of advance tickets for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince have surpassed $1.6 million (£1 million) in box office takings.

The strong sales come despite underwhelming reviews for the film, which is due to open in the UK on July 15.

The cinema chain will have the film on 348 screens across the country and will be screening it in 3D in a number of locations, including Odeon Wimbledon, Odeon Greenwich and Odeon Manchester Printworks. It will also be screened in IMAX 3D>

Rupert Gavin, CEO of Odeon and UCI said: “With the huge excitement and hype surrounding the arrival of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, we have seen a high level of advanced ticket sales, in particular for the IMAX 3D version.”

The penultimate film of JK Rowling’s six novel series has received praise for its special effects but has been met with an underwhelming response from reviewers.

In her review, ScreenDaily’s Fionnula Halligan said: “David Yates and his team struggle to whip J.K. Rowling’s 608-page tome into a consistently thrilling cinematic experience.”

She added: “Prince never quite connects the dots into a ripping ride, playing out instead in a series of gentle interludes.”

She does commend the technical aspects of the film – describing it as “stunningly shot” and adding, “This Harry is certainly a technical wizard of a film.”

The Guardian also commends the technical wizardry of the director. “Director David Yates knows how to play all the cards. Although a touch ungainly, his film is solidly constructed, with lots of fine effects.”

The Times, which gives it three stars, says: “Despite the weighty running time, the film occasionally feels a little hurried and perfunctory.” While, BBC.co.uk says that those looking for a “noisy spectacle” and endless action will be disappointed. This is a talky Potter.”

The film, which had its UK premiere on July 7, will be released in most major territories on July 15. Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows has been divided into two epic films. The first part is due in November of 2010, with the franchise’s conclusion set for release in July 2011.