"Half-Blood Prince" Beats All Other Harry Potter Movies at the Box Office, But Is It the Best in the Series?

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The Dark Lord himself couldn't have conjured better box-office news for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. But he sure took it out on Bruno, which dropped 73 percent from its No. 1 debut last week. Those wizards are a bitch. The global debut of the sixth film in the Potter series took in nearly $400 million in its first five days, including $159.7 million in the U.S. alone. That's a record, Muggles. So to say audiences are still wild about Harry is an understatement. Last week I asked you to pick the MVP in the series, Harry excepted. Ron, Hermione and even Draco had to suck it (check out the latest episode of Off The Cuff With Peter Travers featuring Harry Potter's Draco Malfoy, Tom Felton). You chose Alan Rickman as Professor Severus Snape. I can't argue that one. Rickman nails a role he was born to play. Now I've got another question for you:

With two movies to go (Warner Bros. is making J.K. Rowling's seventh and last Potter book do double duty as two films to be released in 2010 and 2011), what's the best Harry Potter film in the series so far? In retrospect, I'm more taken than ever with No. 4, 2005's Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, featuring a scarier than hell Voldemort in the person of a chilling Ralph Fiennes (he haunts the Half-Blood Prince film without even showing up in it). But it's No. 3 in the series, 2004's Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, that really moves like a movie and resonates most forcefully, thanks to the cinematic magic of director Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men, Y Tu Mamá También).

So I'll go with Azkaban. What about you? Which Harry Potter movie so far digs so deep into your dreams that you'd see it again?

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