With a massive 475,000 tickets sold in France on its opening day (Dec 5), Harry Potter has become the second biggest opener of 2001 - behind another Warner release, French comedy La Verite Si Je Mens 2 (503,000 admissions) - and the eighth all-time biggest opener.

Harry Potter, released on a record 858 prints and which also broke an all-time record on its first screening in Paris (24,695 tickets sold) was handicapped by its running time which limited it to three showings in many theatres.

The Warner title also had to face strong competition from such titles as Disney's Atlantis (over one million admissions in its first week) and French comedy Tanguy (773,000 tickets).

Warner Bros' French outpost is reaching for 4 million admissions before the start of the Christmas holidays in France (December 19) and expecting to end up clocking between five million and seven million admissions for the title.