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Moviegoers, during the opening night of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
The maxim that Hollywood thrives in hard times is being proven once again. Some of this summer's biggest hits already include The Hangover, which sold an estimated $43.3 million in tickets its first weekend, and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which took in $79.5 million opening weekend.

There are also cheaper alternatives to new releases: AMC theaters offers $1 kids' movies and $3 KidsPack concessions on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. (through Aug. 5) and Regal Cinemas shows G- and PG-rated films such as Kung Fu Panda for free on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10 a.m. (through mid-August). There's nothing like a two-hour reprieve from the heat in an air-conditioned theater.

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Last updated July 28 2009: 5:18 PM ET
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