Friday, July 13, 2007

44 Million Dollars Later.....

Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix. It brought it 12 million dollars for its midnight showing on July 12th - and that shot up to a grand total of 44 million dollars earned by the end of its very first day in theaters. And the weekend is not even here yet. I do not know about theaters around the country but I did learn last night that the theater near my house is sold out completely of all its weekend showtimes. It is Harry Mania AGAIN! And that is as it should be.

Being a Potterphile, myself, I was smart and decided to head to the theaters last night. I was not about to waste any valuable time. I was not about to hear second hand reviews. I knew nothing going in as to if it was well received or hated. I cared not if it was a letdown. I was going to decide all of that for myself.

The Harry Potter industry is a power house that I got sucked into when a close friend of mine sent me the first two books in 2001. She works for Scholastic, the company which publishes them, and had been trying to get me to read them for a few years. I was not interested. They were not my style. Finally, she sent the two books with a note that said she would send the next one whenever I finished those.

Having just been laid off from my job at the time and having plenty of time on my hands, I opened one up. And immediately got sucked in. Ah, the birth of yet another Potterphile. These were not just children books. They were fantastic and magical and it is very easy to become emotionally involved with a little boy who had no place in the world, no real family, and all of a sudden finds out just how very special he really is. I did not stand a chance of not becoming an immediate fan. I finished the first book in one day - called and begged my friend to send me the next one - and immediately started on book 2.

Fast forward 6 years to last night and there I was, sitting next to my husband in that theater, practically bouncing in my seat. The Order of the Phoenix was a GREAT book. Even though The Prison of Azkaban still remains my favorite book up until this point, I have to admit that The Order really gave it a run for its money in my mind. It took Harry's story to a whole new level. It is also the darkest tale yet. Harry was growing up. Harry has been through a lot. I was concerned. Would the director follow Rowling's lead and really show truthfully how a boy who has been through what Harry has evolves? This is not the cheerful, optimisitic kid from Book 1. Harry was more man than boy and I was excited (and a little apprehensive) to see how yet another director picked up the series and portrayed it on the silver screen.

I was not let down. I was not disappointed. I have a few issues, as is to be expected from someone who reads the books (we always have issues) - but I am not about to spoil anyone's fun by posting them here. Suffice it to say David Yates, the director, who really has a short list of credits to his name - and none that I was familiar with - must be a fan. He done good. Really good.