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Harry Potter still packing 'em in

November 26, 2001|By MARCY MISNER, Staff Writer

IMPERIAL — Harry Potter continued to hold children and adults mesmerized for a second weekend as viewers here swooped in to see the movie.

Some kids are seeing the film more than once, such as Robyn Bowers, 7, who came with her father to see the film Sunday afternoon in Imperial.

When asked if she'd read "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," she said yes.

"I read that a long time ago," Bowers said.

"My favorite part was when he found out he was a wizard," she explained.

The first of four books, … "The Sorcerer's Stone" begins the tale of Potter, orphaned as an infant and sent to live with the Dursleys, his non-magical, cruel aunt and uncle and their spoiled son. Harry's room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn't had a birthday party in 11 years.

On his 11th birthday, Harry learns he is a wizard and, after overcoming resistance from his cantankerous caretakers, Harry ventures off to attend Hogwarts, a boarding school for young magicians.


Each of the books details adventures and mysteries with his friends as he wends his way toward his destiny.

Author J.K. Rowling, who lives in Scotland with her daughter, is working on a fifth book. Three more in the series are yet to be written, with reported plans to make movies for all seven.

According to information, the movie about the boy wizard grossed $83.5 million in the United States and Canada for the five days beginning Wednesday, taking its 10-day total to more than $188 million.

Michelle Sampson, manager of The Movies in Imperial, said the film smashed box office records in its opening the previous weekend.

"It's the No. 1 movie ever," she said of the debut.

According to CNN, the movie grossed $93.5 million in the United States and Canada in its first three days of release.

"There have been a lot of repeat customers and a lot of visitors, people in visiting for the weekend," Sampson said.

Sampson said Friday was the busiest day by far, although ticket sales have been brisk all week, with kids off from school all last week.

"We sold out every show Friday except the last showing," she said.

Cousins Angela Lara, 12, and Joann Valdivia, 8, both of Brawley, came to see the movie for the first time.

"I liked all of it," Angela said when asked what was her favorite part of the film.

"I read the first book last year," Angela said. Joann had not yet read the book.

Kiera D'Antonio, 9, and neighbor Danielle Fimbres, 9, both of Imperial, came to see the movie for the first time Sunday after reading the book and partaking in a Harry Potter reading club at Ben Hulse Elementary. Kiera said students in the club, which meets twice a week, have read and discussed the books, made magic wands and used velvet to create their favorite scenes from the stories.

Industry officials have said an estimated 10 percent of the book's readers won't see the movie for fear it won't correlate with their mental imagery, but the movie's seamless computer wizardry makes flying students on broomsticks and magic seem eminently possible.

Imperial resident Jessie Necochea, 12, went to see the movie Sunday with his uncle after having read all four books. His favorite is the fourth book in the series, he said.

"My favorite is when he gets into the chamber of secrets and gets past all the enchantments," he said.

"I hope it's good," he said as he walked into the theater, where the movie was beginning.

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