Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix whisked its way to No. 1 at movie box offices with weekend ticket sales of $77.4 million and a five-day total of just over $140 million, according to studio estimates on Sunday.
The fifth film based on J.K. Rowling's novel about the British boy wizard broke a record for a U.S. and Canadian debut on the Wednesday of a non-holiday week, topping the five-day total for Shrek 2 at $128.9 million, said Dan Fellman, chief of domestic distribution at Warner Bros.
Order of the Phoenix sold more tickets in its initial five days than the first three Potter movies in their initial week and fell behind only the fourth, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, with $146 million in its first seven days.
Rowling's seventh and final novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is set to debut on bookshelves on July 21, and Warner Bros. already is working on movies No. 6 and No. 7.
It's an amazing franchise, Fellman said. The book comes out in a week, and that should help set the last two up for another big score.
Overall, the first four films have grossed $3.5 billion at global box offices.
Meanwhile, last week's champion, alien robot movie Transformers, racked up another $36 million at U.S. and Canadian box offices to land at No. 2 on the charts.
Transformers dropped 49 percent from last week and its overall total now stands at $223 million. In just 10 days, it has become the highest grossing film of director Michael Bay's career, topping $201 million for Armageddon,
The No. 3 movie was Disney's Ratatouille, about a food-loving rat who longs to be a chef in Paris. It cooked up a weekend total of $18 million, down 38 percent from one week ago, and its cumulative total is now $143 million.
Disney's domestic distribution chief, Chuck Viane, said the movie now appears on track to top $200 million, overall.
Coming in No. 4 was action adventure Live Free or Die Hard, starring Bruce Willis, with $10.8 million to bring its overall gross to $103 million.
Rounding out the top five was romantic comedy License to Wed with $7.4 million over the weekend for a total to $30.5 million.
Warner Bros. is a unit of Time Warner Inc., and Disney is part of The Walt Disney Co..
Transformers was a co-production of Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks, both units of Viacom Inc..
Live Free or Die Hard was released by Twentieth Century Fox, a division of New Corp., and License to Wed was distributed by Warner Bros.