Harry Potter theme park to be built in Hollywood

Tue Dec 6, 2011 5:55pm EST
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Harry Potter is going Hollywood with a new theme park based at Universal Studios, NBCUniversal and film studio Warner Bros. said on Tuesday.

"The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" will be built inside Universal Studios Hollywood and feature attractions that are similar to the Potter theme park opened in June 2010 at Universal's resort in Orlando, Florida.

The new theme park could take 3-4 years to build and is likely to cost several hundred million dollars.

The two companies -- Universal runs the theme parks and Warner Bros. owns the rights to the "Harry Potter" movies -- also announced that the "Wizarding World" in Florida would be expanded.

The Hollywood park will be centered around a huge Hogwarts castle and feature rides and other attractions based on the adventures of the popular British boy wizard and his friends.

Author J.K Rowling's "Harry Potter" book series have sold some 450 million copies worldwide and the eight movies from the Warner Bros. studios have taken more than $7.7 billion at global box-offices, making Harry Potter the largest-grossing film franchise in history.

Officials did not say how many of the Florida rides would make their way to the Hollywood park, nor did they say if any new rides were envisaged. But they said the new attraction would be created with the same commitment to authenticity with the books and movies as the one in Florida.

Warner Bros. chairman Barry Meyer called Tuesday's announcement "probably the best holiday gift we could give to the legions of Harry Potter fans worldwide."

"Everyone involved with these projects is committed to continuing the enchantment of J.K. Rowling's masterful books as they were brought to life on screen in our eight films and dedicated to extending the magic of the experience for generations of fans to come," Meyer said.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)