Audiences preferred the new Adam Sandler and Kevin James story of friends who fake a gay civil union to the ongoing adventures of the Hogwarts students, but it was close.
Warner Bros' fifth episode in the Harry Potter saga took a mighty tumble after last weekend's feted launch and finished second on $32.2m for a $207.5m domestic running total.
Order Of The Phoenix suffered a heavy hit from the release in bookshops of the seventh and final tome in J K Rowlings' children's fantasy series. It would seem that fans of the franchise chose not to see the film a second time as they flipped through the pages of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows to see how the saga ends.
I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry demonstrated Sandler's rock solid appeal among American comedy audiences. It wasn't his biggest debut however: each of Anger Management, Click and Big Daddy opened on more than $40m.
New Line's musical adaptation Hairspray starring John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer and Nikki Blonsky opened in third place on $27.87m.
Elsewhere everything moved down two places. DreamWorks/Paramount's Transformers ranked finished third and added $20.5m for $262.9m after three weekends. Disney/Pixar's Ratatouille ranks fourth on $165.6m after four.
Sicko, released in North America through Lionsgate, is bearing down on $20m and has grossed $19.1m after five weekends and ranks 11th.
Next weekend's wide releases are: Fox's animated comedy The Simpsons Movie; MGM's comedy Who's Your Caddy; Sony's thriller I Know Who Killed Me with Lindsay Lohan; and Warner Bros' romantic comedy No Reservations starring Aaron Eckhart and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Estimated Top 10 North America Jul 20-22, 2007
Film (Dist)/Int'l dist/Est wkd gross/Est total to date
1 (-) I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry (Universal) UPI $34.8m -
2 (1) Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix (Warner Bros) WBPI $32.2m $207.5m
3 (-) Hairspray (New Line) NLI $27.8m -
4 (2) Transformers (Paramount) PPI $20.5m $262.9m
5 (3) Ratatouille (Buena Vista) BVI $11m $165.6m
6 (4) Live Free Or Die Hard (Fox) Fox Int'l $7.3m $116.5m
7 (5) License To Wed (Warner Bros) WBPI $3.8m $38.7m
8 (6) 1408 (MGM) TWC $2.6m $67.5m
9 (7) Evan Almighty (Universal) UPI $2.5m $93.5m
10 (8) Knocked Up (Universal) UPI $2.3m $142.7m