Friday, April 25, 2008

Order of the Phoenix conjures up $140 Million in opening week

'Potter' film conjures up $140M in opening week

Whatever Harry Potter's fate is in the final J.K. Rowling book that comes out Saturday, he's alive and ruling at the movie box office.

"Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," the fifth film in the remarkably lucrative series, earned $77.4 million over the weekend to run its five-day opening total to $140 million.

That's the sixth-highest five-day opening of all time and the highest of the "Potter" movies, which have all starred Daniel Radcliffe in the title role.

The first four "Potter" films grossed a worldwide total of $3.5 billion. Warner Bros. is already filming the sixth and seventh stories.

The success of the boy wizard overshadowed the equally impressive box-office story of "Transformers."

The popular robots earned $36 million in their third weekend, a strong second-place finish that runs their total to $223 million.

The animated hit "Ratatouille," the critics' favorite film this summer, earned $18 million to finish third. So far it has grossed $143 million.

Bruce Willis' good-natured action flick "Live Free or Die Hard" earned $10.9 million to finish fourth and crack the $100 million mark itself.

Michael Moore's quasi-documentary "Sicko," on the health care system, came in ninth for the second successive week, with earnings of $2.7 million. With a gross to date of $15.9 million, it will likely fall well short of the gross of Moore's previous films.

Next weekend's two big releases are the goofy gay marriage comedy, "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry," and the movie version of the hit stage musical "Hairspray."

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