The roaring success of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has harmed the success of the latest Harry Potter film in the US, according to Warner Bros.

The final book in the Harry Potter series was released on July 21st, just ten days after the film's release. A book about the child wizard's fight against evil has never been released this close to one of the movies.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the fifth film in the franchise, saw its box office takings fall by over 58 per cent meaning that Universal's I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry is now the top film over the weekend.

The fifth Harry Potter film still earned an impressive $32.2 million (£15.6 million) but the release of the final book in the series meant that many children opted to stay at home and read rather than watch Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson fight evil on the big screen.

Warner Bros domestic distribution president Dan Fellman said: "I'm very pleased with the [film's] performance over the weekend,"

Speaking to Variety magazine about how the book's release harmed the film, he said: "I can't put a number on it, whether it is three per cent or five per cent, but I know it affected things.

"There is no question that when kids get the book, they lock themselves in their rooms until they finish, because they know on Monday, every kid is going to know who made it, and who didn't, and they want to know it first."

He added that the release date of the movie had been moved ahead from the planned July 15th to July 11th in light of the book's release.

The new number one at the US box office stars Adam Sandler. The film earned $34.8 (£16.8 million) million over the weekend which is $2.6 (£1.26 million) more than the fifth Potter film earned.

The worldwide box office receipts of Order of the Phoenix stand at $558.8 million (£271.39 million).

23/07/2007 08:00:00