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'Harry Potter' fans camp out for days for midnight show

July 14, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The eighth and final 'Harry Potter' film debuted at midnight throughout Southern California, and fans couldn't wait.

Fans in Redlands had been camped out since Tuesday. Hundreds of Potter enthusiasts waited Thursday, forming a line that wrapped around the Krikorian Redlands Cinema and down the block.

In Los Angeles, fans came dressed for the sold out midnight showing at the Regal Cinemas at L.A. Live. The cinema added a 1:40 a.m. show, and said they were possibly adding a 2:10 a.m. show as well.

Movie Ticket seller Fandango says that more than 6,000 midnight shows were sold out in advance nationwide.

"Part 2 is the highest midnight seller in history from Fandango's point of view," said Harry Medved from Fandango. "We've never seen so many midnight and early morning shows sold out in advance before the film starts."

The excitement was definitely building, but there was also a hint of sadness as fans prepared to bid farewell to the boy wizard in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2."

It's been 10 years since Harry Potter cast his spell and charmed a legion of fans. As the final chapters draw to a close, hundreds of die-hard fans braved the elements and camped out in Redlands to be a part of the mania one more time.

Highland resident Tymarie Avila said she ranks her excitement as an 11 out of a possible 10. Another fan, Michele Hahn, also of Highland, said she's excited to stay up all night for the first midnight premiere.

Late Tuesday night, Potter fans began staking out their spot in line. Kariana Anderson and her friends had been camped out since then.

"We've been out here for four days, we really wanted to be first in line. It's the last movie, last chance, so we're just going to enjoy it," said Anderson.

Since there is no spell to make the time fly by, muggles in line passed the hours reading, playing games and one group even came up with a song.

"We're writing a song for Harry and Ron. We've waited so long we hope it's the bomb," they sang.

At midnight, the final saga in the epic battle between the boy wizard and the evil Lord Voldemort played out on sold-out screens.

The film conjured up a tidy sum from the first overseas debuts. Distributor Warner Bros. said the movie took in $43.6 million in 26 countries outside the United States on its first day Wednesday.

Studio executives said Thursday the franchise finale had the biggest opening day ever in several countries, including Australia with $7.5 million, Italy with $4.6 million and Sweden with $2.1 million. In France, the studio said "Deathly Hallows: Part 2" had the biggest Wednesday opening ever at $7.1 million.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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