‘Harry Potter’ reviews… like they matter

Posted by · 6:40 am · November 12th, 2010

“No need for him to take it so seriously,” replied reader KevinK when I Twitter-linked Guardian critic Xan Brooks’s sharp dismissal of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” last night, one in a mixed wave of reviews flooding the net following the film’s London premiere.

Kevin is both right and wrong. Right, in that the Harry Potter films, with their mostly unvarying construction and vast built-in audience, are the definition of critic-proof; whether attack or defending the films, by this point in the franchise, any critic will find himself preaching to the choir. Wrong, in that any pop-culture phenomenon on this scale merits serious discussion; the fans certainly take the films seriously, so it behoves a good critic to offer more than a rote “if you liked the others…” response.

No one is going to need a critic to help them decide whether or not to see “Deathly Hallows,” so as this behemoth of a series draws to a close, one may as well use the review space to start debating the films’ legacy.

Which is why I’ll lead this review roundup with Brooks’ knowingly provocative semi-pan that calls into question the durability of the entire franchise. I admit I’m largely on his side, but either way, but his review provides more fuel for conversation than most:

Deathly Hallows looks great, in the way that a show home looks great. Director David Yates has arranged the furniture to perfection. He has laid on the fireworks (I particularly liked The Tale of the Three Brothers, rendered as a shadow-play) and filled the interior with a rich array of celebrity guests, so that the likes of Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans, Imelda Staunton and Helena Bonham Carter flit between the scenes with the satisfied air of jobbing actors who have been offered walk on roles at the world’s most expensive fancy dress ball.

What remains to be seen is how they fare once the final credits roll; how they will stand up 10, 20 or 30 years down the line. Try as I might, I can’t shake the suspicion that these films are too obviously built for purpose and too lacking in wit, warmth and humanity to survive much beyond the moment.

Other smart critics, however, are in a better mood. Variety’s Justin Chang takes a businesslike approach, finding fault with the film’s alternately “lumbering and gripping” storytelling, but coming out mostly persuaded:

[P]erhaps through little fault of its own, Yates’ film at times seems to falter under the weight of its exposition… Still, the filmmakers are to be applauded for not pandering to the few Potter virgins who may be in the audience, and for pushing the series ahead into unapologetically darker realms.

Yates achieves his most resonant effects not with wizards’ duels or Harry’s painful visions (of which there are plenty to go around), but with lingering silences and moments of privileged intimacy… if his work has never quite reclaimed the poetic heights of Alfonso Cuaron’s “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” he has guided at least three of four films with a gravely elegant hand.

Todd McCarthy, settling into his new position as the critical voice of The Hollywood Reporter, also notes the film’s dense structure — and while he seems a tad less forgiving, he also gives it the benefit of the doubt:

More than even the most faithful of the earlier episodes, this film feels devoted above all to reproducing the novel onscreen as closely as possible, an impulse that drags it toward ponderousness at times and rather sorely tests the abilities of the young actors to hold the screen entirely on their own, without being propped up by the ever-fabulous array of character actors the series offers.

So it seems reasonable enough to say why not do it all, shoot the works, show every scene millions of readers want to see, give every character his or her proper curtain call, be expansive rather than constrained? In this case, probably better a bit too much — even a dull scene here and there — than not enough.

Aside from the trades, no other US outlets have weighed in, so further reviews come from the UK press. Perhaps tellingly, The Telegraph and The Independent handed review duties to reporters rather than one of their regular critics; both are positive. Moving away from the broadsheets, the Daily Mail’s Chris Tookey has reservations, but is generally in favor.

[Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures]

→ 41 Comments Tags: , | Filed in: Daily

41 responses so far

  • 1 11-12-2010 at 6:50 am

    Loyal said...

    The Potter films are easy to predict, both critically and financially. I wasn’t that surprise with the mild response considering Warner’s decision to split the finale in two.

    I’m also not sure it was worth their time to ship select bloggers over to London to see the film in advance. Potter’s audience doesn’t grow online. Non-fans avoid it, fans line up for it.

  • 2 11-12-2010 at 7:00 am

    El Duderino said...

    I don’t want to draw conclusions or say that everyone is saying this, but I have seen quite a few people complain that they miss the characters being at Hogwarts and would rather the story have stayed in that setting. I can’t say whether the transition worked in the film because I haven’t seen it, but in the books it was rather refreshing. It gives it a really interesting scope and creates a huge sense of paranoia and dread. The other complaint is that it is anticlimactic, which is a completely valid argument, but also understandable given the split of the two films. I’ve heard where it ends and I don’t think it’s any different than say the end of Kill Bill Vol. 1 in terms of its anticlimactic nature.

    Anyway, overall the reactions seem pretty much the same as every other Potter film. Lots of raves and positives with reservations, and a handful of outright bashing. Expect anywhere in the 80s on RT.

  • 3 11-12-2010 at 7:06 am

    Graysmith said...

    I have no doubt that they’re not going to stand the test of time, like perhaps The Lord of the Rings films. But on the whole, I do find them entertaining for the 2+ hours you’re watching them.

    Generally they’re well-made too, and even if they rarely contain any spectacular performances, having the English acting cream of the crop in supporting roles does make it all the more pleasant.

    I don’t think I’ve rewatched any of them more than once on DVD/Blu-ray though, if even once.. So they’re definitely that kind of one-off “snack” for me. Enjoyable enough to see once, maybe twice, but that’s about it.

  • 4 11-12-2010 at 7:14 am

    Will said...

    I think the series as a whole has been a mixed bag, but I would say #3 and #5 are actually pretty decent, artfully made films.

    I think with these last two, the problem is two fold: those books are very different and, I would argue, not very cinematic until the end. Splitting it into two films instead of one longer film was a smart business decision, but not necessarily a creative one.

  • 5 11-12-2010 at 7:14 am

    Duncan Houst said...

    I agree that most have already decided definitely if they’ll see the film. Critical analysis for these films doesn’t matter ultimately, even though most of the reviews are positive. Not to insult the integrity of the franchise by comparing it to “Twilight”, but “New Moon” was panned by most critically, and it ended up posting stellar numbers anyway. “Deathly Hallows: Part 1” will be a commercial success, and a critical one on some level.

    I think that it very well could’ve been an Oscar contender if they tweaked it only slightly. I confess myself defeated, sadly, but it won’t shake my reception of the film. I’ll probably love it no matter what it is.

  • 6 11-12-2010 at 7:27 am

    tintin(uruguay) said...

    i just love the film and i didn’t see it yet. jajaja

  • 7 11-12-2010 at 7:37 am

    Keil Shults said...

    I obviously have not seen Deathly Hallows, but I’ve seen the first 6 installments and read the entire series. My wife and I have been rewatching the first 6 movies to prepare for DH: Part I, so the first 4 are very fresh in my memory. The first film is a great family entertainment and a good introduction to the characters and the world(s) they inhabit. It’s fluff, but rather engaging fluff. The second film is easily the weakest of the series (thus far), but it’s still not terrible. It’s just…so-so. The third film, Prisoner of Azkaban, was a giant leap forward in both style and storytelling. The content becomes darker and the series ditched Chris Columbus for the uniquely talented Alfonso Cuaron. Sadly, he only delivered one entry before the reins were turned over to Mike Newell. Goblet of Fire is not all that well-directed, but the story allows for a few exciting episodes. We finally get a better view of what Harry’s up against during a combat scene with Voldemort, but ultimately this will be remembered as “the one with Edward from Twilight.” Or, if you’re me, the one with at least 3 cast members from In Bruges.

    When I heard David Yates was coming on board for the fifth film, I was worried that he might be too inexperienced to handle such a mammoth undertaking. However, he’s proven to be an ideal choice to bring the series to its climax. He seems to have a good grasp on the material and isn’t afraid to color outside the lines once in awhile. Order of the Phoenix was a good effort, although Imelda Staunton’s character was portrayed so well that it becomes almost frustrating having to sit through scenes with her. I’ve only seen the 6th film, Half-Blood Prince, one time, but I really liked it when I did. It’s hard to say without giving it another viewing, but I’d say it may be the second best entry to date (again, not counting DH: part I). Who knows, after seeing it again I may feel it surpasses Prisoner of Azkaban. I’ll know by next week.

    This series is not as cohesive and strong as LOTR, but it’s a hell of a lot better than Twilight. I’m also pretty confident that the books will stand the test of time, and their success will help the movie versions endure. The undercurrents and details that are sometimes lacking in the movies are illustrated more thoroughly in the novels, so I can see why film critics who have not read the books might find it difficult to become fully engaged in the series. Could the filmmakers have done more to make the adaptations deeper and richer? Probably? Will it effect the series’ legacy? If so, it will be in ways so slight as to go unnoticed. Besides, if the Star Wars Trilogy can survive the weakness of Return of the Jedi and the bland prequels that followed, I’m sure the Harry Potter franchise need not feel threatened. The sourpusses who have found it abysmal can rejoice that it’s coming to an end, and the fans can retrieve a Blu-ray, DVD, or book off the shelf anytime they feel like it. Say what you want about the story itself, but the series has been handled impeccably, and it’s been fun to watch the cast grow up before our eyes. And kids love it because it’s magical and awe-inspiring…not because Ron and Harry walk around without shirts all the time.

  • 8 11-12-2010 at 7:50 am

    Maxim said...

    It’s kind of sad that even on a movie site such as this one people don’t understand the meaning of the phrase “critic proof”. Especially when used in the context of franchises it does not ever refer to the fact that a particular film’s gross is completely independent of its reception, or, indeed, quality.

    Instead, it merely means that no matter how bad critical reception might be, the film is quaranteed to make money. In other words, it has to do with floors and not ceilings.

    Put another way, if you think that absolutely everyone who will see Potter 7 has already made that decision then you are wrong. Sure there is a huge pre-built fanbase for whom that is true and who will represent the absolute majority of movie’s audience. Nevertheless, there are also those, who are mildly curious but still need to be sold on making this a theatrical experience and there might be more of them than you think. Even, and perhaps especially, at this point in the franchise. Of course the movie will be a hit (hence the “criticproof part” but these people could make this an even bigger hit, by many millions of dollars).

    These people might not just be driven by reviews so much as overall excitiement and that means that the deicion to fly bloggers to UK was not necessarily a bad one.

  • 9 11-12-2010 at 7:57 am

    Keil Shults said...

    I obviously won’t know how good or bad the film is until I see it for myself, but it wouldn’t surprise me if some critics (especially those who have dismissed the series in the past) are even more likely to pan it because the final book was split into two films, rather than just getting it over and done with. I recall some Kill Bill reviews that made it clear the critic’s disdain stemmed (at least partially) from the decision to split the story into two movies. Some of them seemed to think it was a ploy to make more money, and some were just annoyed that they’d have to sit through a second helping of a film they didn’t like to begin with.

  • 10 11-12-2010 at 8:05 am

    Maxim said...

    Also, after reading Keil Shults’ comment about how “Prisoner of Azkaban, was a giant leap forward in both style and storytelling” (a statement I disagree with – to me the film was a mixed bag of frequently stylish visuals and way too much CGI, layered on top of a relatively weak story. For my money the first film is still the best.) I feel compelled to point out that that film was the lowest grossing of the entire series.

    Just to be fair, I don’t lay the blame entirely on Cuaron but I do think that this fact is notable. I think this happened precisely because his movie did not represent better storytelling over Columbus’ work in the first movie (I really didn’t care for the second one though).

    I also disagree with this continued notion that Star Wars prequels were bland. Especially “Revenge of the Sith”, which is likely better than any “Harry Potter” film (though I have not seen all of them).

  • 11 11-12-2010 at 8:07 am

    Keil Shults said...

    I will say that Revenge of the Sith was the only prequel I liked, and yes, it’s probably better than at least a few (if not most) of the HP films. Of course, it’s got the power of climax and finale on its side. Maybe DH: Part II will be just as good, if not better.

  • 12 11-12-2010 at 8:22 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    “Instead, it merely means that no matter how bad critical reception might be, the film is quaranteed to make money.”

    Which is inarguably true of this film. So I’m not entirely sure why you’re coming down on my use of the term. Yes, a positive review from this or that outlet may encourage a handful of agnostic (but trusting) readers to get in line, but that goes for any review of any film, one widely deemed “critic-proof” or not.

    (It should also be noted that while the term is frequently applied to critically lambasted films, they need not go hand in hand.)

  • 13 11-12-2010 at 8:42 am

    Maxim said...

    Guy, first of all, my post wasn’t directed at you specifically.

    That said, I think you misunderstood the main point of my post. Of course we both agree that critics can’t kill Potter. This where my definition of criticproof ends. Where I think we both part ways is in whether they can have impact on the final gross. I think there is a difference between the words “critic-proof” and “critic-independent”. As your headline makes it clear, you think that critical reception is irrelevent to the film’s performance.

    I disagree because I think that there are many more agnostic (nice term, by the way) readers than you estimate. Just think of how much variance in gross there had been for the past Potter films. A difference of “just” a few hundred of thousand viewers can translate into a difference of many millions of dollars.

    And I think that studios are aware of that.

  • 14 11-12-2010 at 8:45 am

    Maxim said...

    I do completely agree with you on the last point though and think it’s a rather deep one. Too often people unfairly assign a negative conatation to the term when it doesn’t really apply.

  • 15 11-12-2010 at 8:58 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Glad we cleared that up. Fair point.

  • 16 11-12-2010 at 9:03 am

    Matt King said...

    “I also disagree with this continued notion that Star Wars prequels were bland. Especially “Revenge of the Sith”, which is likely better than any “Harry Potter” film (though I have not seen all of them).”

    There’s a blind generalization and/or assumption here that I’m sure someone else must have picked up, right? It could be the “likely better,” or the “though I have not seen all of them” statements that lend a certain hesitancy to trust what’s been said.

    I’ve always loved the series, though certainly I admit to it having some mistakes. Other than Emma Watson’s horrible acting, the script problems of the second film, and the horrible effects of the first, or how episodic the fourth film is, and the lack of a fluid narrative in the sixth film, I have thought that most of the films were relatively well done and even verging on the artfully made. I think the third and fifth are excellent films, that are actually drastically different in tone and style from one another, and the rest of the series. But, I tend to be a sucker for continuing saga type stories (especially ones as well-made as these), and this one has remained a huge story throughout, yet always focused on smaller more intimate details. I’ve always been quite impressed with the films, and yes, even moved at times.

    I also agree that these films are “critic-proof,” but would like to stress what Guy said when he wrote in his comment, “It should also be noted that while the term is frequently applied to critically lambasted films, they need not go hand in hand.” This is certainly true of the Potter films, as each one, though critic-proof in terms of box office, etc., had been quite well-reviewed. And I don’t mean, “Oh, look at that, they’ve done well for themselves haven’t they,” I mean that they’ve done well critically for any movie.

  • 17 11-12-2010 at 9:10 am

    Loyal said...

    @ Maxim

    “These people might not just be driven by reviews so much as overall excitiement and that means that the deicion to fly bloggers to UK was not necessarily a bad one.”

    But Maxim, Potter has always been pretty low on the internet fanboy totem pole. Certainly well below Star Wars and Lord of the Rings but to it’s credit well above Twilight.

    The readers of those bloggers who attended the premiere aren’t really Potterheads and there’s a reason why the box office hasn’t grown much over 7 films. The audience hasn’t changed, new viewers aren’t being brought in.

    There is the occasional Potter coupling that results in a kids ticket being purchased. But as we all know, that’s pretty rare.

  • 18 11-12-2010 at 9:14 am

    Justin said...

    I’m still looking forward to this, but my excitement would’ve been sky high if this last installment was under the guidance of one Alfonso Cuaron.

  • 19 11-12-2010 at 9:17 am

    Roger said...

    Azkaban is head and shoulders the best film of the series.

  • 20 11-12-2010 at 9:20 am

    Keil Shults said...

    I don’t see why people would whine and complain about this series. As someone who’s worked as a middle school English teacher, I’ve had to listen to some parents who don’t approve of Harry Potter. Even some West Texas relatives of mine have problems with it, for whatever stupid religious reasoning suits them at the moment. My response has always been that the books are better than most young adult novels, and they got a lot of kids interested in reading rather lengthy books, which is often impossible with this tech-obsessed generation. The movies are also superior to much of the entertainment aimed at younger audiences (though not nearly as good as Pixar, obviously). Plus, it’s kind of fun that readers and audiences have had a series that they could follow over many years, on book and on film.

  • 21 11-12-2010 at 9:21 am

    Roger said...

    Also, pointing out that Azkaban was the lowest grossing of the series is rather hollow. If I’m not mistaken, Empire Strikes Back was one of the lowest if not THE lowest grosser of the series (without counting re-releases and adjustments for inflation).

  • 22 11-12-2010 at 9:35 am

    James said...

    Haven’t gotten around to reading the last book, but I’ve generally enjoyed the series. Certainly not perfect, rarely best of the year stuff, and of course they generally vary in quality. Can’t explain why, but I really wasn’t a big fan of Goblet of Fire, but the last few installments generally speaking have been entertaining, and I’m glad to see Yates finish with the series. I think with the release of the awful Twilight films, I understand more and more about what makes Harry Potter so well respected and special among children, teens, and adults. I always hated this news program that said “Twilight, Harry Potter for girls.” I’m like what? Twilight is completely for girls. There might be more followers who are girls than boys.

  • 23 11-12-2010 at 9:40 am

    Mike_M said...

    Excited to read some domestic reviews… I just got back from a trip to Disney World and Universal Studio and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was a great land at Island of Adventure and has gotten me even more excited for this movie.

  • 24 11-12-2010 at 9:42 am

    Maxim said...

    Roger, I am still waiting on why my point was hollow. I rather think that it is notable that the series hit it’s financial nadir not on the second film (which is what Empire was) but the third one – that is to say the film that was handled by a different director. Like it or not, Cuaron did not seem to attrack much in a way of new audience.

    And Loyal, I am sorry but I would never describe Potter presence as anything but huge (just because something isn’t as prominent as LOTR doesn’t mean that it’s small). Granted, I’ve only concentrated on the bloggers because of how relatively cheap they are but this doesn’t change the fact that I think that flying them over to to see and cover the film was justified. Especially considering how few actual US reporters covered the premier.

  • 25 11-12-2010 at 9:47 am

    Loyal said...

    I’m not saying it’s not justified, considering the low cost involved, why not.

    I am saying those bloggers, like the current crop of reviewers, are unlikely to change the preset course of Potter 7. So in that sense and agreeing with the stance of this article, it’s all a bit pointless.

  • 26 11-12-2010 at 9:48 am

    Kevin K. said...

    A few thoughts. Thanks for the shoutout btw. I’m a huge Harry Potter fan so I’m obviously a little biased. But I will say this. The decision to split the films into to two parts is nto going to sit well with people who aren’t really into the franchise. This is for the fans. Whether or not that was the right call in a cinematic sense remains to be seen. I’ll be seeing the film on Monday, so I will offer up my thoughts then. But I think in some ways, the initial pan of the film we discussed on twitter was still a little on the hateful side. It seemed like he was more angry at the franchise as a whole rather than the film in question. A colleague of mine who attended the London premiere said that while he as a fan of the series appreciated the decision to split the final book into two films, he noted that it’s impossible to really review Part 1 until we’ve seen Part 2. By that, I take it he meant that while they can stand as their own films, it’s very much one story. I for one love the books and films, and can’t wait to see the new one on Monday.

  • 27 11-12-2010 at 9:59 am

    Paul said...

    I think the Harry Potter movies, while not perfect, will hold a special place in the hearts of the younger generation. I read the first Harry Potter book when I was 12 and saw the first movie just a year or two later. After 10 years, I still am in love with the stories and would definitely be encouraging my future children to read them.

    I do realize, however, that not everyone would understand what is so special about this series. I, for example, am not a Star Wars fan, but I do understand that those films are important for the people who grew up watching them.

    All of the Harry Potter films have received positive responses from the critics thus far (On RT, the lowest grade that any of the movies received is a 78%, the highest is 90%). That’s a very good achievement for a series of this length.

  • 28 11-12-2010 at 10:01 am

    A.J said...

    WB is probably going to release Part 1 and Part 2 edited together in a year to get oscars for Part 2. I’m sure that the entire thing put together is one hell of a movie but split up not so much.

  • 29 11-12-2010 at 11:03 am

    Ben M. said...

    I was worried that the series would be going back to its approach of being slavishly devoted to the source material (which really hurt the first installment IMO) once they split the films up in two and it seems that may be the case. I would’ve preferred a three hour single film finale even though it would’ve run the risk of being a bit too long, but if WB insisted on breaking them up to maximize revenue they should’ve gone with films under two hours rather than a running time near two and a half hours for the first part alone.

  • 30 11-12-2010 at 11:19 am

    Keil Shults said...

    Many problems that may court the release of DH: Part I will be diminished once Part II comes out, and most certainly obliterated once fans have both films sitting on their DVD shelves a year from now, ready to be viewed back-to-back if they so wish.

  • 31 11-12-2010 at 1:20 pm

    daveylow said...

    I disagree with Maxim that because the third Potter film made less money than the others, it shows that Cuaron did not do a better job at storytelling than Columbus. Cuaron’s film took advantage of the cinematic medium much more than Columbus did. You really felt you were getting a fresh vision that was enslaved to the literary source. I do think it’s a shame he wasn’t asked back.

    The last installment of Harry Potter got some of the best reviews of the series. I won’t be surprised after the second part is released of the latest film if the critics aren’t enthusiastic.

    I thought McCarthy’s review in HR was very positive for McCarthy. He is not easy to please. He certainly made me want to see the film.

  • 32 11-12-2010 at 1:20 pm

    daveylow said...

    Above should say: You really felt you were getting a fresh vision that wasn’t enslaved to the literary source.

  • 33 11-12-2010 at 2:11 pm

    Kevin K. said...

    I have a tough time deciding which Potter film is my favorite of the 6. Prisoner of Azkaban is brilliant, but I’m always finding myself coming back to Half Blood Prince for the sheer emotional impact of the ending. Obviously as a Potter fan it’s probably going to affect me more than a casual viewer but whatever. I do agree with Paul though. I think in some ways, these films and books are very generational, and are a huge part of my life because I grew up with Harry. I was exactly Harry’s age throughout the duration of the books, and to make it even more connected, Daniel Radcliffe and I are separated in age by a month or so. So obviously this series is probably a little more special to me than people who were probably too old at the time to really get into the books and first two films at the time of release, but they are very dear to my generation I think. I’m extremely open minded about franchises, I tend to want to give them the benefit of the doubt and put their best foot forward, especially with something as big as this. But that’s just me.

  • 34 11-12-2010 at 5:14 pm

    Leon said...

    Prisoner of Azkaban is the best film in the series from my perspective. I’m still looking forward to the last film, but I would’ve been more at ease if it was under the hands of A. Cuaron.

    Also, using the fact that Azkaban was the lowest grosser of the series against it is a flimsy argument. Azkaban was released in 2004 when tickets were much lower in price. Also, if you look closely at the domestic grosses of the Potter films, they were all pretty much close to one another. That pretty much shows that the Potter audience has pretty much topped out and the films hardly expanded its audience with every new film.

  • 35 11-12-2010 at 5:49 pm

    Katie said...

    As a massive Harry Potter fan…..I CAN’T WAAAAIIIIIITTTT. YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. So Happy. So Happy. So Happy. So Happy. So Happy. So Happy. So Happy. So Happy. So Happy. So Happy.v So Happy. So Happy. So Happy.

    Loser, you say?

  • 36 11-12-2010 at 6:37 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    The third film is the lowest grossing because the second film is the lowest quality.

  • 37 11-12-2010 at 7:06 pm

    Kevin K. said...

    My personal theory as to why the third film is the lowest grossing is because when word got out that the director was Alfonso Cuaron, parents freaked out a bit. After all, he directed Y Tu Mama Tambien.

  • 38 11-12-2010 at 7:14 pm

    Robert Hamer said...

    That theory is a little weak, Kevin. How many people really know who Alfonso Cuarón is?

  • 39 11-12-2010 at 7:30 pm

    Melissa said...

    I agree with those who say the films are generational. I started reading the books when I was 14, now eleven years later I still love them. While the films are not perfect, they certainly have never been panned. I understand that The Star Wars series means a lot to those who grew up with them, but for me the films are kind of cheesy.

    My favorite film of the HP series is The Half Blood Prince.

  • 40 11-13-2010 at 12:04 pm

    ninja said...

    I work at the Blockbuster (I know, lame, but it`s flexible with school) so I can tell you that nobody needs to worry about HP`s shelf life and staying power. The interest in revisiting HP and introducing it to kids is huge, as is in all 6 Star Wars. LOTR fares by far the worst here. Families show zero interest and it`s mostly people in their late twenties who rent/buy those movies and not very often, unlike ages 8-88 renting and buying HP and Star Wars (yes prequels too). I work at quite a few stores and there isn`t a day that some Star Wars and HP movie or bunch of them (because of discount) aren`t rented out. OTOH, LOTR sit unrented for quite a while until someone gives it a shot. So yeah, Star Wars prequels fly off the shelves and families introduce their kids to the universe from TPM to ROTJ. No “only OT is real Star Wars, Lucas raped my childhood” bulls***. Surprised,eh? But that`s how it is in non-fanboy cricles. So HP is here to stay no matter what critics, fanboys,etc say. Averige Joe and Jane have spoken.

  • 41 11-14-2010 at 9:31 pm

    Everett said...

    The best thing about this entire series has been Jim Broadbent’s performance in film 6.

    The third film could also have been less successful because of the summer release date. It was a crowded time to come out and fans weren’t use to seeing Harry Potter in the summer.

    Films 6 and 3 are the only ones I’d consider good films. The rest are pretty mediocre. But of course, they’re critic proof. Even fans of the books who deride the films on a constant basis are still going to see this because they love having something to complain about.