'Harry' magic does trick for Warners

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At Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Entertainment president Alan Horn and production president Jeff Robinov showed a knack for turning out winning sequels, but the studio's original titles were more problematic.

The "Harry Potter" franchise, taking to the screen for the fifth time, showed no signs of slowing. With new director David Yates at the helm, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" became the third-highest-grossing film in the series. With a boost from Imax theaters, where the showdown between Dumbledore's Army and Lord Voldemort was projected in 3-D, "Phoenix" grossed $286.8 million, just behind "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" ($290 million) and "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" ($317.6 million).

"Ocean's Thirteen," which saw George Clooney and his crew return to the Las Vegas setting of 2001's "Ocean's Eleven," was applauded for recapturing the spirit of director Steven Soderbergh's first outing. Commercially, though, the film found itself in the shadow of the previous two, with "Thirteen" grossing $117 million, while "Eleven" took in $183.4 million domestically and "Twelve" rang up $124.5 million.

Warners deserves points for attempting a number of counterprogramming maneuvers: It tried, unsuccessfully, to seduce female moviegoers with films as varied as the Vegas-set drama "Lucky You," the tween-appealing "Nancy Drew," the wacky comedy "License to Wed" and the more traditional romantic comedy "No Reservations."
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