'Harry Potter' Flies with the 'Phoenix'
The Harry Potter series once again exerted its box office might with its fifth entry, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Though the picture had by far the smallest opening weekend of the franchise, due to its Wednesday debut burning off demand, it handily conjured the best five-day start.

With the third-widest release on record, 4,285 theaters, and playing on over 9,000 screens, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix summoned $77.1 million over the weekend. Since Wednesday, it has grossed $139.7 million, charting as the sixth highest-grossing five-day start of all time. The next closest of the series was Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire at $119.7 million. Order of the Phoenix's total also included $7.3 million from 91 IMAX locations, the largest five-day debut for the format.

This was the first Harry Potter to start on a Wednesday and its $44.2 million opening day was the biggest Wednesday ever, topping Spider-Man 2 and ranking fifth overall. It's also the first Potter to open in July. The first, second and fourth movies were November releases, while the series' lowest grosser, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, debuted in early June. Since it's in the thick of summer, Order of the Phoenix should have potent weekday returns, though its second weekend drop is likely to be steeper than the November Potters.

While Order of the Phoenix's marketing continued the series' descent into darkness—the trailer and poster feature the villain uttering "you will lose everything"— it did focus on action, showing Harry Potter taking the lead for a change as opposed to previous passive presentations. What's more, the imminent release of the seventh and final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, contributed to awareness.

Retreating from the top spot, Transformers logged $37 million, down 47 percent. Among past Independence Day openers, the robo-spectacle's second weekend hold, while not good, was better than War of the Worlds and Spider-Man 2. With a prime $224 million in 13 days, Transformers now ranks as the highest-grossing robot-themed picture ever, climbing past Terminator 2: Judgment Day, which still leads by a wide margin in attendance.

Off 38 percent, Ratatouille simmered with $18 million for $143 million in 17 days. While it still trails Cars through the same point, it became the top grossing rodent-themed picture on record, inching past Stuart Little.

Live Free or Die Hard steamed past the $100 million mark on its 19th day of release. The action sequel pulled in an $11.3 million over the weekend, down 36 percent. Despite the advent of Order of the Phoenix, holdovers in general were solid in percent drop-offs. Several wide releases fell 30 percent or less, including License to Wed, 1408 and Knocked Up.


• 7/17/06 - 'Pirates' Pilfer More Records (Same Weekend, 2006)

• 11/21/05 - Harry Potter's 'Goblet' Runneth Over with Cash

• 7/18/05 - 'Charlie,' 'Crashers' Draw Golden Ticket (Same Weekend, 2005)

• 6/7/04 - Hotter 'Potter' in Summer Debut

• 11/18/02 - 'Harry Potter' Potent with 'Chamber'


Weekend Box Office Results

• All Time 5-day Openings

• 'Harry Potter' Franchise

• Children's Book Adaptations

• Robot Movies

• Rodent Movies

NOTE: This report was originally written on Sunday, July 15 and was revised on Monday, July 16 with actual grosses.