C-U falls victim to wizard’s spell

Screen shot of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Paul Sancya, The Associated Press


Screen shot of “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” Paul Sancya, The Associated Press

By Brittany Abeijon

Many Harry Potter fans will be picking up their wands and memorizing their spells at the release of the fifth movie, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” on July 11 and on July 21 when the seventh and final book, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” is released.

The releases of the movie and final book within 10 days of each other might seem like a coincidence to some, but to others an excellent marketing strategy.

“The book is already so popular and was on the New York Times best-seller list hours after the release date came out, it needs no marketing to help it sell better,” said Leia Taylor, senior in Education. “However, so many people are so excited to read the last book, but cannot get it yet, they will get their Harry Potter fix by going to the movie, which will help the movie do better.”

Taylor thinks the movie will make the majority of its money in the days between its release and the book’s release before sizzling off.

The movie was previously set to be released July 13, but the date was moved up two days earlier, leaving fans wondering if this was another marketing move to get a couple extra days of cashing in on the Harry Potter hype.

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Beverly Cinemas, 910 Meijer Drive, was unable to give any comments pertaining to the preparation of the movie release.

Are the movies as good as the books?

“I don’t think you can compare the two. The movies are great as movies, but try to compare them to the book and you will always be disappointed. They must be considered separately,” Taylor said.

The brilliance behind the Harry Potter series is author J.K. Rowling. Forbes magazine estimated her fortune at just over $1 billion – making her the first person to become a U.S.-dollar billionaire by writing books. In 2006, Forbes named her the second-richest female entertainer in the world, behind talk show host Oprah Winfrey.

AJ Repp, sophomore in ACES, was inspired by Rowling’s success as a writer.

“The fact that Rowling went from welfare to rich does sort of send the message that, no matter how bad off you may be, you’re never out of the game entirely,” Repp said. “It really is an inspiring success story, for all kinds of struggling artists … especially writers.”

Although Repp was inspired by the author’s success, he doesn’t agree with the success of the main character, Harry Potter.

“As a character, he is relatively average. He is another in a long line of poor-boy-made-good characters,” Repp said. “I don’t think he is in any way unique, but the storyline of the books simply gives him a chance to really shine, more so than most such characters.”

Repp admits that although he views Harry as average, he holds a very high opinion of the entire series, and has a copy of the book reserved with intent on picking it up at the midnight release.

John Sullivan, store manager at Barnes and Noble, 65 E. Marketview Drive, said that their store is planning an event for the book release called the Midnight Magic Party.

“There will be a costume contest, fortune telling, wand making, badge making, trivia, and hat sorting,” Sullivan said. “The winners of the costume contest will be among the first in line to get the book.”

Other prizes will range from Harry Potter T-shirts and hats to other merchandise. The activities for the Midnight Magic Party start at 9 p.m. and last until 11:30 p.m. when customers and fans will begin to line up to get their copy of the book.

“A book reservation guarantees your copy, but we are pretty comfortable we have enough copies to cover our sales,” Sullivan said. “But if you reserve a copy, you get a pair of Harry Potter glasses with your book.”

Sullivan said they have no idea what kind of crowd to expect at midnight on July 21.

Although many events planned for the Midnight Magic Party are geared toward children, some would consider the Harry Potter series to be

for more mature readers, both in content and length.

Katherine Denler, a sophomore studying instrumental performance, is reading through all six of the Harry Potter books for the fifth or sixth time.

Denler anticipates many deaths in the final book.

“This will be the darkest book so far, I’m sure. The books have developed in complexity with each new book, and this last one is sure to be the most intricate,” Denler said. “It’s going to be fun to read the last one, and then go back and see the obvious clues she put in the other books.”

As an avid reader of every book in the series, Denler believes that the first three books are children’s books and the rest develop somewhere beyond that.

“There’s an interesting correlation between Harry’s coming of age and J.K. Rowling’s maturity as a writer. The older Harry gets in the

books, and the more complex the stories, the more developed the language and material. They stay PG-rated but there are darker undertones not usually found in a typical ‘children’s book’,” Denler said.

Despite all the rumors of how the series will end, most Harry Potter fans have their own theories of the ending.

“I think either J.K. Rowling will bite the bullet, and have Harry Potter kill Voldemort, or it will end up having some kind of twist, and they’ll both end up dead,” Denler said. “There’s really no way to know.”