Monday, November 19, 2007

Success in the long run

Last Friday, on the 16th of November, the latest "Harry Potter" movie was released in Germany on DVD. And yesterday - on Sunday - it was still shown at the local movie theatre (although only once on Saturday and on Sunday, as some sort of matinee for the kids). That's one long-running movie.

The 14th of July was the starting date for the movie in Germany. Ever since then, the movie has been running non-stop in my hometown. Admittedly the number of shows each day was getting smaller and smaller, but until quite recently - maybe two or three weeks ago - the movie was shown regularly.

First of all I want to point out that I really like that movie. I didn't buy the DVD on the release date for nothing. I went to see it on the first Saturday after it started running. (And I like the novel even better.) But nevertheless, it happens rarely to see a movie running that long non-stop - although I have to admit that the first two "Harry Potter" movies ran quite long as well (as far as I can remember). Some other blockbusters - like the "Lord of the Ring" movies and the "Star Wars" prequels - were long-running as well, but they were considered 'adult' material while "Harry Potter" is still filed under 'for children' in Germany.

In the year which has given us the final novel and the fifth of seven movies, the series seems to be even more successful than ever before.

And that is remarkable - given the fact some publishers didn't want the first novel in the beginning. "Harry Potter" still is kind of a mystery - a series of novels written (mostly) for children that's read by adults as well. There's even a variant cover for adults for all of the novels (although not in Germany - and, as the cover to the left of this paragraph shows, the German covers are not exactly pretty).

Sometimes I wonder how Mrs. Rowling feels about this herself. I'm sure she didn't expect the novels to be that successful, either. And it shows, once again, that you can't predict or 'make' a bestseller.

And I have to admit they've found a good cast for the movies, among the young actors as well as among the adult ones. The new characters featuring in the fifth movie fit in well, whether it's Tonks (Natalia Tena) or Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter). And Ralph Fines as Voldemort surely is worth watching, too. (And I just love the duel between him and Dumbledore in the entrance hall of the Ministry. That's true magic, that is, far about the level of the 'ordinary' wizard or witch.) And, being the fan I am, I won't even start writing about Alan Rickman as Severus Snape...

So I hope the success will hold until all the movies are out. There's always something different in the movies, but given the length of some books (although with "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" we've reached the zenith of the longest book), that's only to be expected.

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