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Potter inspires movies mania

July 15, 2011

By: Tyler Yonke and Dennis Yohnka
The Daily Journal
July 15, 2011

By: Tyler Yonke and Dennis Yohnka
The Daily Journal
July 15, 2011

Potter inspires movie mania
1,300 attend midnight showing

Harry Potter fans stood in line for hours Thursday, insisting that they would be a part of movie history – the $45-million box office tidal wave, the cultural landmark known as “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.”
The small talk focused on “Horcruxes,” the once-fearsome “Basilisk,” the dreaded “Avada Kedavra” killing curse and other magical notion.  But the underlying message among fans – from Wilmington to Onarga, from Kankakee, and around the world – was that “Deathly Hallows, Part 2” was worth the wait. 
“I have never seen a line this long here before,” said Paramount Theatre’s General Manager Tara Buck about the turnout the boy wizard conjured up in downtown Kankakee.

The line stretched out the door of the theater, down Oak Street until it turned onto North East Avenue, and all the way down the street back over to Chestnut Street.
And that was the conclusion of the seven-book, eight-film, 10-year book and movie phenomenon, and devotees of Harry, Hermione and Ron made every effort to get the ideal seat.

“There was a group here when I opened this morning,” remarked Buck.  “They waited 14 hours to make sure that they had the best seat.”

Paramount reported 1,308 tickets sold for the midnight showing, enough to sell out three theaters and spill over into a fourth.  The sales total surpassed that of 2008’s Batman installment, “The Dark Knight,” and fell just a bit short of the theater’s all-time leader, 2009’s “Twilight: New Moon.”

As midnight approached, garbage cans overflowed with pizza boxes and popcorn buckets.  The sidewalks were still lined with costumed fans, many in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry apparel.  Others carried wands. 

Some wore homemade glasses in the style of their hero, and all of those attending the 3-D version received a special pair of Harry’s iconic black, round spectacles.

But the premiere of the final film begs the question: What now?

Andrew Marcotte, 18, of Herscher, still has other favorite franchises to look forward to. 

“I really like the Eragon book series,” said Marcotte.  “I will be looking forward to the last book of that.”

Others will have a harder time coping with the end of “Pottermania.”

“I have been to every Harry Potter midnight show.  I’ve been going since I was 8 years old,” remarked Justin Marrier, 18, of Bourbonnais. 

“There’s really nothing for me after this.”


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