Movie fanatics dress to impress

By Kelly Finlan
December 5, 2002

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Witches and wizards, as well as millions of Americans of all ages came out for the opening weekend of “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” bringing in more than $87.7 million at the box office.

“We had a couple of [adult] people come in dressed in the hat and the cape and everything,” a box office official from the United Artist in King of Prussia said. “But none of the kids dressed up.”

“I think it’s really funny when people dress up, but I don’t think I would go that far,” Roberta Cunningham, a substitute teacher from Newtown, Pa., said. She bought the DVD for her son after she saw the first movie in the theater twice and read the four-book series four times. She was in line more than an hour before the midnight showing of the newest “Harry Potter” movie on its opening night at the AMC theater in Bensalem, Pa.

She said, “There’s more in depth character development and storyline in the books. Besides,” she continued, “you don’t really get the animosity between Malfoy and Harry Potter in the first movie. But I always like the books better.”

This year’s release is down from last year’s opening of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” which brought in $93.5 million in it’s first weekend, second only to Spiderman’s $114.8 million opening. “The Sorcerer’s Stone” also shattered the previous record for video rental, bringing in $19.1 million in the first week of its release.

“I saw the first one in the theater three times,” Mike Bernstein, a junior at Muhlenberg College, said on his way out after seeing “The Chamber of Secrets.” “This movie was better than the last one. I would definitely go see it again.” Bernstein read all four books in the series in a month. “I just couldn’t put them down,” he said.

“There is nothing in any of J.K. Rowling’s books that is unimportant, and there’s specific information for each book,” Karen Bonin, a sophomore education major at Cabrini, said. “The movies include almost everything.” Bonin has done extensive work involving the Harry Potter series. “They’re children’s books, but they can be taken to an adult level,” she said.

Bernstein, Cunningham and Bonin agree that people can relate on different levels. Children can relate on the “superficial” level, the magic and special effects, Cunningham said. Adults have a more in-depth understanding, she continued. “They can relate to the hierarchy and are impressed by the mysticism.”

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Kelly Finlan

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