Last of Potter: Muggles CAN make magic ... with the gate takings

2011-07-18 00:00

HARRY Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 played to packed audiences of enthusiastic Maritzburg muggles this weekend.

A spokesperson for CineCentre at Liberty Midlands Mall said yesterday that the entire weekend’s shows were sold out. He said the film would remain in their 3D cinema for at least the next week.

“Movie-goers have been saying it is brilliant and some described it as one of the best 3D movies they have ever seen.”

AP reports that distributor Warner Bros has revealed that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 conjured up $92,1 million (R635,5 million) in the U.S. on opening day on Friday.

That’s nearly $20 million more than the previous record-holder The Twilight Saga: New Moon, which took in $72,7 million in its first day two years ago.

The finale of the Harry Potter saga also set a record for midnight screenings with $43,5 million. That topped the Twilight Saga: Eclipse, which pulled in about $30 million in its first midnight shows last year.

The full weekend’s takings in North America were $168,6 million, smashing the previous three-day record of $158,4 million for the 2008 Batman movie The Dark Knight.

The end of Harry Potter’s adventures on the big screen means that harried journalists around the world looking for a new Potter angle can breathe a collective sigh of relief.

Writing on the Poynter Institute website, Mallary Jean Tenor said last week’s release of the final Harry Potter movie “marks the beginning of the end for all the Muggles who have followed Harry’s adventures” and the end in journalists’ 13-year-long coverage of the Harry Potter books, movies and overall phenomenon.

“Throughout the years, journalists have stood in line at movie screenings and interviewed kids dressed as wizards. They’ve helped turn ‘Voldemort’ into a moniker for people (like Rupert Murdoch) who have done wrong.

“They’ve suggested that Harry Potter has forever changed not just children’s literature, but the world. And they’ve criticised the series for creating ‘a nation of dweebs.’

“What to do with a nation of little nerds running around with capes and wands?” critic Hank Stuever once asked. “Is there a coolness shortage coming?.”

Tenor said avoiding repetition has perhaps been one of the most difficult aspects of covering the Harry Potter series.

“And the last movie in particular has posed a challenge for film critics who want to write compelling reviews even for the millions of fans who already know how the movie will end.”

— Witness Reporter.

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