NEW YORK: The valedictory instalment of the global phenomenon that is Harry Potter lived up to its magical hype as publication of the seventh book in the series, The Deathly Hallows, caused a sales frenzy in the US.

More than 5,000 copies a minute were snatched from bookstore shelves, totalling an eyewatering 8.4 million books in the first 24 hours of its appearance.

Comments Lisa Holton, president of Harry Potter publisher Scholastic: "The excitement, anticipation, and just plain hysteria that came over the entire country this weekend was a bit like the Beatles' first visit to the US."

Data sourced from Business Week (daily); additional content by WARC staff