‘Phoenix’ makes flying start in Germany

Best opening of the year for 'Harry Potter'

BERLIN — Conjuring up a boffo Euros 14.1 million ($19.4 million) over the weekend, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” enjoyed the best start of the year in Germany.

Pic, which opened on 1,338 screens in 982 theaters, sold 2,075 tickets despite scorching summer weather that resulted in rec-ord temperatures throughout much of the country.

Summertime is usually a difficult period for theaters, when much of the moviegoing public is on vacation or simply enjoying the outdoors.

“Order of the Phoenix” nevertheless beat the previous best start of the year, “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End,” which bowed in May with a weekend take of $19 million.

The latest installment in the chronicles of the boy wizard also bested the June 3 start of 2004’s “Prisoner of Azkaban,” the only other “Potter” film to open in summer; that pic made $17.2 million in its first four days.

Overall, “Order of the Phoenix” ranks fourth among all the “Potter” starts, with 2005’s “Goblet of Fire,” which garnered $25.5 million in its November bow, at the top of the list.

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