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  • Too bad Universal, Potter's already dead

    Month's ago when the whole thing with Harry Potter was announced for Universal, I wrote:



    And while I believed every word I said then, even I didn't expect the Harry Potter buzz to die out this quickly. The last film was released here in the UK last Monday. It was such a non event that I didn't even realise it was out until i saw it on a shelf the day after. In the past even the DVD releases were a big deal, advertised to death, shops opening at midnight to sell them etc etc etc; this one's release has come and gone with less hoopla than Shrek 3 and Hairspray's DVD releases which come out today.

    The true test will be the next movie's theatrical release but I see this as a very bad sign for Universal; now people know what happens at the end, their passion for the story has been sated and the hysteria around the franchise is dying out.

    By the time the park rides open, Harry Potter will be a fad of the past; they needed to open it in 2001 during Potters accent in popularity; 2009 is just too late.
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  • #2
    Re: Too bad Universal, Potter's already dead

    i read somewhere (cnn.com i think?) that the Harry Potter book series is the most widely re-read series in England.

    is 2009 too late? perhaps, but it will most likely spur a resurgence in Potter lore---imho of course
    Will there be screams when the sun sets,
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    • #3
      Re: Too bad Universal, Potter's already dead

      It may be, having never read any of them it's always possible. Also, it being a series I can see those who are into it, re-reading the last book prior to the next book's release just to remind of the story so far kinda thing. But that's not going to be the case any more.

      I sit on a train for 90mins a day (joy), in the first 2 weeks of the last books release they were everywhere, seemed like i was the only person not reading it. But I haven't seen a copy in anyones hands since then.

      I don't know if a secondary theme park in Florida opening a few Potter rides will spark mass rereading of the books in England. I think that's going to be a little out of its range of effect. I've only ever seen the odd advert for Universal shown in the UK at the start of the Summer so their impact over here on consumer trends is pretty insignificant. Did Universal opening Back to the Future (a ride i loved as a kid) cause any major amount of people in any country to re-watch the movie? I doubt it.

      I just cant help but think that Disney did the best thing by not building anything but keeping the letter of intent active until as late as possible. If Universale could have built this years ago it would have been a major coup; I just really think 2009 is 8 years too late.
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      • #4
        Re: Too bad Universal, Potter's already dead

        harry potter is going to be like the wizard of oz or indiana jones or star wars. It will be around for quite awhile. and since it's a world wide hit, universal has a built in audience for quite some time. I don't think it's dead at all, the OP may not like potter but there are still two more movies to come and at least in the US there is very little end to potter mania. You have kids that are litterally growing up with this character. while the last book was anti climactic for me, I can guarantee that when HP island opens, IOA will enjoy a surge in attendance.

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        • #5
          Re: Too bad Universal, Potter's already dead

          I don't have any actual figures, did the opening of either Star Wars or Indy at the Disney parks see an attributable increase in attendance (apart from maybe its first couple of months of operation).

          And I think the HP series is a LONG way from reaching that status.

          I don't know what other people did, but I bought the first DVD to see what all the fuss was about; nothing special. I bought the second DVD because people said it was better than the first; still nothing special. I bought the third DVD and never watched it. I bought the fourth DVD because I had the other three (and like three it hasnt been watched). I'm not going to bother with No.5.
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          • #6
            Re: Too bad Universal, Potter's already dead

            Well, I guess I'll consider myself an oddity. I'm currently re-reading Goblet of Fire, still listen to a weekly podcast on Harry Potter and am pretty up-to-date on shooting plans for Half Blood Prince.

            I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one given the fact that Harry Potter fansites have yet to start to die down.

            The books are pure magic.

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            • #7
              Re: Too bad Universal, Potter's already dead

              Just as a question then MTNGIRL, do you think you will still be listening to a Harry Potter podcast in 2009 and if so, what do you think they will have to talk about after the last movie has been released?

              If they are filming at the moment, then I'd imagine there's quite a bit of stuff to cover, especially if people can get filming news etc etc; but what happens when there's no more books and no more movies?

              For years I've bought the Star Trek magazine, but now there's no versions in production, I look through it at the shop and realise there's nothing that interesting in there any more (not helped by my lack of interest in the next movie). They're down to interviewing people who had bit parts, the big interviews they get are talking about things that have been covered before because they are old, and the book reviews are normally on books I've already read because I get them on american ebook rather than wait for UK release.

              Surely Harry Potter magazines, boards and podcasts are going to suffer the same fate of having nothing new to talk about; and that's when interest will really fade out.
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              • #8
                Re: Too bad Universal, Potter's already dead

                Just because you don't see people carrying it around anymore doesn't mean it's a dead franchise. Mine never even left my house, because I read it so quickly. Plus, it's heavy!
                A signature should go here.

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                • #9
                  Re: Too bad Universal, Potter's already dead

                  Well, to carry on with the Star Trek analogy as it compares to Harry Potter at Universal. Would you still ride the Star Trek experience if you went to Las Vegas? I did, actually several times, and it always appears to be well attended.

                  You compared the Harry Potter experience to Back to the Future and Indiana Jones and questioned whether people re-watched the movies because of the ride, my guess would be no. But there is a major flaw in that comparison, Harry Potter is much more than the movies. I think you would find a large contingent of the Harry Potter fandom who are not great fans of the movies, but will re-read the books on a pretty regular basis.

                  That's the beauty of books, once you have one you love, it's like going home to read and visit their world again.

                  Will I still be talking about Harry Potter in 2009? My answer, yes. In just the same ways I still talk about LoTR, Pride and Prejudice and many other books that have totally captured my imagination.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Too bad Universal, Potter's already dead

                    I would do the Star Trek experience once, yes; not sure about more than once though. Just like I lined up to meet Stewart, Spiner, Sertis, Dorn once; but probably wouldnt do so again.

                    But I am still very much a Trekkie and it is still in the public eye. Its shown on TV here on a DAILY basis (often several times a day for different shows), and I still read one or two star trek books a month (apart from last year, damn TOS anniversary taking over the book schedule) becuase they are still being written. At the moment I'm even writing a Star Trek book for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) where Q, Q and q visit Disney World.

                    If they stopped writing the books tomorrow, stopped showing the shows on TV and only showed the old movies once every six months. Would I go in 5 years time? Possibly not because even though I have all the DVD boxsets sitting on my shelf, it will be pretty much gone from my daily life and something else will have taken its place.

                    Once the last movie comes out, HP will be 7 books in a shelf in bookstores, and 7 dvds in video stores (and a boxset); the movies themselves being shown every now and again. Without a spin off of some kind to keep the core audience interested, i can't help but think they will find something else to be interested in at HP will fall to the wayside of "things i used to be crazy about" (I should know, i have over 3,000 wrestling videos sitting in my garage). Star Trek, Star Wars, even Indy has a book series for the hard core fans to keep them interested, comic books, new action figures; just new matieral in general. The material for HP is coming to an end and nothing i've heard or read suggests there will be any more.

                    So yes, in 2-3 years time, I can see people visiting the HP section of the park to see what it is like, especially if they used to be fans (and I do think most people will be thinking of their fandom in the past tense), but are people going to flock to it or keep going back to see it again; i doubt it.
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                    • #11
                      Re: Too bad Universal, Potter's already dead

                      Like what's already been said, there still are more books and films to come. HP is still huge here in the US. Like Cmash 95 said, IoA will be enjoying a nice surge once HP opens.

                      Just yesterday I was chatting with a friend of mine in the UK, and both his son and daughter's faces lit up on webcam when I mentioned some walls have gone up in an area of IoA where HP will be. My friend and his family are all very psyched up about IoA adding HP to the park, and so are their mates that also come over here. They can't wait for late 2009- 2010 for it to open.

                      I'm glad they're taking their time to do HP, that way it'll be more authentic to their books and films, when they get done adding to/re-tooling the 20 acres for it.

                      Universal's already attributing part of the rise in their attendance in the 3rd quarter to the HP announcement.

                      I've seen only the 1st movie so far, but know I'll be getting all of the movies on dvd by the time the new addition to IoA gets here.

                      That's fine that you don't care for, or get the HP hype with the books and films. I and many others are looking forward to some more unique, immersive expieriences from the people that brought us Spiderman and MIB.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Too bad Universal, Potter's already dead

                        Opinion is a hard thing to debate.

                        I guess I don't see myself becoming a "used to be fan". I think I will always be a fan and always have an interest and a love for Harry Potter.

                        I think I will always be excited to see the Harry Potter rides at IoA, in much the same way I never tire of Star Tours. And in my fandom, Harry Potter and Star Wars are pretty much on equal par.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Too bad Universal, Potter's already dead

                          Potter is going to be around for a long time. Its much like Lord of the Rings as that goes. A release of the dvd won't make people go crazy, but if a theme park was built people would flock to it. People who read Potter today will share them with their kids much like my parents shared Tolkien with me as well. So while the craze may die down a bit, its still going to be there.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Too bad Universal, Potter's already dead

                            Originally posted by Baghira View Post
                            Like what's already been said, there still are more books and films to come.
                            But there isn't. Unless I am missing something, there's no more books at all, and there's only two more films and it's already been said before that the park wont open until around the same time as the last films release.

                            So by the time the attractions are into their second or third month there won't be anything to come.

                            Maybe I'm just completely out of the loop on this one, but from the lack of interest over the DVD release and the HP toys being on special at the local shops suggests a lack of interest to me.

                            I can see them attributing a rise in attendance to HP already; its probably all the people who want to ride the Duelling Dragon coaster before they Potterise it . Not sure how else they could interpret it, surely there aren't people who are actually going there to stand in a spot and say "in 3 years time, this will be Diagon Alley" (Having said that, my wife did drag me to the spot in New York where Oscars pram stopped at the begginning of Ghostbusters 2 so who knows).
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                            • #15
                              Re: Too bad Universal, Potter's already dead

                              So, do you feel that Seuss Landing is successful? There hasn't been a new book in that genre in a very long time. Do you find that people still flock to that area of the park.

                              JKR is planning to write an encyclopedia to the Harry Potter world, so there will be at least one more book. And I agree with kcnole, in that I feel this world will be passed down from generation to generation for a long time to come.

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