Harry Potter fans brave wind and rain for premiere

LONDON - Hundreds of screaming fans descended on Leicester Square in central London on Thursday, braving wind and rain to catch a glimpse of the stars who hit the red carpet for the new Harry Potter film’s world premiere.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Thu 11 Nov 2010, 11:54 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 3:33 AM

Robert Conner, a dead ringer for actor Rupert Grint who plays Ron in the hugely successful series, was near the front of the queue of fans, having pitched his tent on Tuesday evening.

“I’m a big fan,” he said. “I’ve actually got a Harry Potter tattoo, which I’ve shown to quite a few members of the cast. I just love Harry Potter. I love the books, I love the films, love the cast.”

Dora al-Saadi, 17, came from Sweden especially to be there when the cast and crew attend the first official screening of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1,” which opens in theaters on Nov. 19.

“It’s Harry Potter. It’s everything. Basically it forms our lives. Everyone here, they think it’s worth it because it’s such a part of our lives now,” she said.

The seventh and penultimate Potter picture virtually guarantees another big pay day for studio Warner Bros. despite its failure to get a 3-D version ready in time.

Warner decided to split the seventh and final J.K. Rowling book about Harry and his wand-wielding adventures into two films after the first six movies amassed $5.4 billion at the global box office.


Yet the hugely popular franchise has yet to break the billion-dollar barrier with a single title, and a 3-D release would have made that landmark a near certainty, experts said.

“I think the 3-D issue must be a big disappointment for Warner Bros.” said Andreas Wiseman of Screen International.

“I think they’ve really missed a trick. Other big franchises like ‘Saw’, ‘Shrek’ and ‘Toy Story’ have gone from strength to strength (by turning to 3-D).”

He added that Deathly Hallows Part 1 may cross $1 billion in global ticket sales even without higher prices commanded by a third dimension, and that the franchise has another chance to cash in on 3-D with Deathly Hallows Part 2 out next July.

In Deathly Hallows Part 1, Harry, Ron and Hermione set out on a mission to track down and destroy the secret to evil Lord Voldemort’s immortality and destruction — the Horcruxes.

The movie trailer, part of a major marketing campaign running for several weeks already, suggests the film will feature a familiar mix of spectacular action sequences and increasingly dark storyline with the added twist of a bust-up between close friends Harry and Ron.

The actors playing the three central characters for the last decade are in the middle of a grueling round of interviews to promote the film, and have spoken of mixed feelings about a franchise that turned them into A-list stars and millionaires.

Grint, 22, felt a sense of relief that a decade of filming had finally ended.

“It’s just really great, it’s a sense of real freedom because filming on Harry Potter...it does take over your life and it is really long shoots and it’s just nice to be out and do your own thing for a change,” he told Reuters.

Daniel Radcliffe, 21, cast as Harry in 2000, said he was unlikely to reprise the role even if there was another novel.

“I think 10 years is a long time to spend with one character,” he told Sky News.

He has also described the Potter films as “rather like the mafia. Once you’re in, you’re never out.”

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