Harry Potter Slaughters Transformers at the Box Office

darker-potter-best-yet.JPGPotter Slaughters Transformers with Magical $140 Million Box Office Opening

Darker “Harry Potter and the “Order of the Phoenix” add a $77.4 mil weekend to first week grosses By Damara Popoola for Hollywood Today

HOLLYWOOD, CA (rushprnews) July 16,2007 – “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” conjured up success this weekend at the box office earning a magical $77.4 million , bringing its five-day total to just over $140 million, and worldwide franchise total to nearly $6 billion.

“It’s interesting that the fifth film in the series is still as relevant and exciting, said box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian, who predicted another big weekend coming for the film due to the synergy with the release of J.K. Rowling’s 7th and (reportedly) last Potter book. Pottermania will still be in full swing next week as the book comes out on Saturday The combination of the books and films is unbeatable and Potter has captured the imagination of the world.”

The books have sold more than 325 million copies to date and kids even in Alaska are already lining up to but the book.

And in its way, it’s the best performing of all the Potter’s and beat the record-breaking opening week of “Transformers.” Michael Bay and the robots had a record-breaking $152 million week, but that was on 6 ½ days, the the Fourth of July holiday in the middle of the week, making the whole period like a weekend with people off school or work during several mid-week days. And yet Potter almost zapped them with just a regular Wednesday opening and following weekend for the five-day $140 million total.

The numbers were big, but not enough to beat the previous Potter pure weekend film openings: “Goblets of Fire” drank in $103 million on its first Friday to Sunday, “Prisoner of Azkaban” locked up $94 million on its first weekend, “Sorcerer’s Stone” brought in $90 million and “Chamber of Secrets” scared up $88 million. But don’t cry for Harry because the fifth film’s five-day global take will bring the total worldwide franchise gross to some $5.9 billion to date, nothing to shake your wand at.

Wreaking havoc at number two were the robotic dynamos of “Transformers,” who stayed busy with $36 million this weekend, bringing their two-week total gross to a formidable $223 million. Holding its own against the big, scary summer blockbusters was Disney’s critical darling “Ratatouille,” that ate up $18 million for third place. Rat or not, the Pixar piece is cooking up a storm, with a total gross three-week of an estimated $143 million.

“Live Free or Die Hard” refuses to surrender, holding court at number four with $10.9 million for its third week. A total gross $102.9 million is more than respectable for a sequel most never even expected so many years later.

Robin Williams vehicle “License to Wed” lost a few guests, despite being expanded into over a 100 new theaters, but still brought in $7.4 million which was enough to stay at fifth. For the second week in a row Stephen King thriller “1408” held a reservation at the number sixth spot, this time scaring up $5 million, bringing its four-week total to about $62.2 million.

Down two slots this week was epic comedy “Evan Almighty” that gathered just under $5 million to reside at seventh. Still gripping audiences with its labor pains seven weeks out, “Knocked Up” earned $3.7 million at number eight, bringing its total take to $138.2 mil.

Roger Moore “Sicko” continued to raise temperatures at number nine for the second week in a row with $2.7 million. The shock doc expanded to 54 new screens, but still dropped 26 % its fourth week out. Also at the same slot it held last week, “Ocean’s Thirteen” won the tenth again with $1.9 million. This brought the star-studded sequel’s six-week total to $112.4 million.

The only other major Friday the 13th opener, Roland Joffe’s “Captivity” didn’t crack the top 10 with its $1.6 million pittance, but instead had to settle for the confines of the twelfth spot, according to boxofficemojo.com. The latest in a long line of grisly but ultimately unmemorable horror flicks, “Captivity” stirred up some buzz a few months ago with its shocking ad campaign that featured the usually fresh-faced Elisha Cuthbert in some terrifying situations, but it wasn’t enough to capture an audience.

Rank. Movie Title (Distributor)
Weekend Gross | Theaters | Total Gross | Week #

1. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Warner Bros.)
$77.4 million | 4,285 | $140.0 million | 1

2. Transformers (Paramount (DreamWorks))
$36.0 million | 4,050 | $223.0 million | 2

3. Ratatouille (Buena Vista)
$18.0 million | 3,625 | $143.0 million | 3

4. Live Free or Die Hard (Fox)
$10.9 million | 3,201 | $102.9 million | 3

5. License to Wed (Warner Bros.)
$7.4 million | 2,715 | $30.5 million | 2

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