The record-shattering opening-day sales for Order of the Phoenix was the climax of a steady progression in bookstore sales that began in early June. Visa reported that bookstore sales on the first Saturday of June rose 12% over the comparable day in June 2002, while sales the following Saturday—the first Saturday Living History was on sale— rose 24%. The Visa figures support anecdotal accounts that many bookstores had one of the strongest Father's Days this year in some time.
With the release of Phoenix, as well as the first Saturday of sales of Oprah Winfrey's new book club pick, East of Eden, Visa bookstore sales soared 117% on June 21, to $33.4 million. For the first three weeks of June, Visa cardholders spent more than $435 million at bookstores, an increase of 25% over the same period last year.