Tokyo premiere launches return of "Harry Potter"

Mon Jul 6, 2009 6:58am EDT
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By Yumi Otagaki

TOKYO (Reuters) - Thousands of fans, some dressed as wizards in long gowns with pointy hats, lined up in Tokyo to catch the sixth in the blockbuster "Harry Potter" film series on Monday, kicking off a string of such events around the world.

"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," the latest movie about the boy wizard and his friends and enemies at Hogwarts school promises both action and budding romance, along with the expected death of a major character.

The film opens at movie theatres in Japan and around the world on July 15, two years after the previous movie in the series.

"I was very disappointed when the release was postponed last year," said Yuta Endo, a 19-year-old university student, who watched the fifth installment five times.

"I was so looking forward to it and worked really hard to get a ticket for the screening today."

In the sixth installment, directed by British director David Yates, Harry prepares himself for a final battle against the evil lord Voldemort, whose ambition is to take over the world, under the watchful eyes of Hogwarts headmaster Dumbledore.

Romantic tensions also mount as Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) falls in love with Ginny and Ron (Rupert Grint) catches the attention of Lavender Brown, triggering Hermione's (Emma Watson) jealousy.

The five movies released so far have grossed $4.5 billion in ticket sales around the world.   Continued...