Harry Potter


"Potter Fans Must Pay for Trailer"

(Associated Press, April 14, 2001)

NEWTON, Mass. - Muggles, be warned.
General Cinemas movie theaters, which have been showing a new trailer for ``Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone,'' will not give refunds to impatient fans who go to theaters, watch the trailer - which is less than two minutes long - then ask for their money back.

A student of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Potter's training ground for magic, might invisibly float into the theater. But ordinary folks - magic-deprived ``muggles,'' as they are known in the wildly popular children's books - must buy nonrefundable tickets.

``We've posted signs that if they're to see the trailer, they can't come out and ask for a refund afterward,'' said General Cinemas spokesman Brian Callaghan. ``If they're big fans and come out to catch a glimpse of Harry Potter, they can't do it for free.''

It's a phenomenon first seen with the preview for 1999's ``Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace,'' when fans sold out movie theaters just to see the 2 1/2 minute trailer.

Callaghan couldn't say how many die-hard Potter fans were asking for refunds, but it was enough to potentially take a bite out of revenues.

Fans can see the trailer on the Internet, but they won't get the full cinematic experience if they do, he said.

``With the surround digital sound, with the screen that's 40, 50, or 60 feet wide, you really get a better sense than on a computer screen that's 2 or 3 inches wide,'' he said.

``Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone,'' due in theaters Nov. 16, stars John Cleese, Robbie Coltrane, Richard Harris, Maggie Smith and Daniel Radcliffe as the young magician.