Harry Potter returns to theaters

By Jeffery Whitfield

One of the world's most famous wizards, Harry Potter, will return to movie screens in Clayton County and judging from past movies and books scores of residents are expected to watch his escapades.

The fourth film about Harry Potter, the mythical wizard starring in J.K. Rowling's six books, is being released today at theaters such as AMC Southlake Pavilion 24 at Southlake Mall in Morrow. Based on the fourth book by Rowling, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” features the exploits of the teenage wizard as he competes in a tournament with other wizards.

The movie is being shown on five screens at the theater. Shows start at 11:15 a.m. and there are 21 times when the movie plays. The film is rated PG-13 and lasts more than two hours.

“As far as industry-wide, the film is expected to make more than $200 million,” said Melanie Bell, a spokeswoman for AMC Entertainment Inc. “It should be one of the top blockbusters.”

AMC Entertainment Inc. does not release revenue figures generated by ticket sales at theaters, she said.

The movie's opening is expected to spur sales of a range of items such as coloring books that feature characters like Potter and his two sidekicks, according to Andy Fleming, assistant manager of Barnes & Noble Booksellers in Morrow.

“An (opening) like that normally does,” he said.

However, the movie's release likely will not affect book sales at the store because the book has been out for some time, Fleming said.

“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” costs $8.99 for a paperback edition and $29.99 for a hardback edition at the bookstore.

The book also may be checked out at Clayton County libraries, which feature editions in Spanish as well as those with large print.

“Any time books are released, there's always a long list of people waiting to check them out,” said Bea Mengl, youth services librarian at the Headquarters Library of the Clayton County Library System.

All six books by Rowling are available at the library, which has held events such as trivia contests and raffles for children when past works have been released.

“Kids normally wear big glasses like Potter or lightning bolt tattoos when we hold them,” she said.

Children often have dressed in outfits when past movies about Potter have debuted.

The library last held an event when Rowling's sixth book, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” was released in July.