Pottermania returns with London world premiere

Tue Jul 7, 2009 6:15pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - The new Harry Potter film had its world premiere in London on Tuesday, ending a two-year wait for faithful fans who have been counting down the days before its theatrical release on July 15.

Hundreds of people braved heavy rain in central London to watch the teenaged stars of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," the sixth of eight films based on the novels by British author J.K. Rowling, walk down a sodden red carpet.

Fan Sharon held up a sign which read "Dan Marry Me," a reference to Daniel Radcliffe who has played Potter throughout the movie franchise.

"I've been here every year and he hasn't given me a reply yet, so hopefully today," she said.

Half-Blood Prince was originally scheduled to be shown in 2008, and followers of the boy wizard and his adventures at Hogwarts school were disappointed when Hollywood studio Warner Bros. decided to push it back.

Two years ago the fifth movie and the seventh and final book in Rowling's bestselling series combined to trigger an unprecedented wave of "Pottermania" around the world.

That film, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," earned an impressive $938 million in international ticket sales, making it the second biggest picture of 2007.

And the final book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" was the fastest-selling book on record, underlining the popular appeal and commercial value of Rowling's tales.   Continued...

<p>Actors Maggie Smith and Rupert Grint share a light moment on the red carpet as they arrive for the world premiere of "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" at Leicester Square in London July 7, 2009. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor</p>