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Harry Potter: The Brand That Will Live Forever?

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Harry Potter: The Brand That Will Live Forever?


Harry Potter: The Brand That Will Live Forever?

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At midnight, fans around this country filled movie theaters to see Harry Potter's last appearance on screen.

Mr. DAVID LOPEZ: I mean, it's the end of an era. I mean...

Ms. MORGAN SHOTWELL: It's the end of my childhood. This was, this was my whole childhood.

Mr. LOPEZ: We all grew up with Harry Potter. We all just love the story.

Ms. KATTOO KING: And now, it's gone. To me, Harry Potter was something that would just never end. And now I feel like it's over; life is complete. And this is, literally, the second movie I've cried in, in my kind of young life.

Mr. DAVID LOPEZ: I'm crying on the inside. I don't really cry, but it's just hard to believe it's over.

(Soundbite of laughter)

KELLY: You heard it there; life is complete. Those were the voices of 16-year-olds David Lopez and Morgan Shotwell, and 15-year-old Katoo King, in Washington, D.C.

NPR's Hansi Lo Wang reports on Harry Potter's bittersweet finale.

HANSI LO WANG: The end began last November, with the release of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One."

(Soundbite of movie, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One")

Mr. BILL NIGHY (Actor): (as Minister Rufus Scrimgeour) These are dark times. There is no denying.

WANG: And now that Warner Brothers Pictures has finally released Part Two, the studio may be entering its own dark times. They're losing a major film franchise that's brought in more than $6 billion.

Mr. MATT BELLONI (News director, Hollywood Reporter): They're really scrambling right now to find a franchise to replace this Harry Potter franchise.

WANG: Matt Belloni is the news director of the Hollywood Reporter.

Mr. BELLONI: They hoped that they could start a superhero franchise with their DC Comics heroes.

(Soundbite of noise)

Unidentified Actor #1: (as character) So what are you proposing?

Unidentified Actor #2: (as character) It's simple: Kill the Batman.

(Soundbite of noise) (Soundbite of laughter)

WANG: Warner Brothers has struck box office gold with the new Batman films. But its latest masked crusader, the Green Lantern, didn't quite catch on with moviegoers.

Nikki Finke is the editor of the entertainment news site And she says the Harry Potter series is a tough act to follow, especially since the films attracted a wide audience.

Ms. NIKKI FINKE (Editor, You go out there; you try and make a movie that your mother wants to see as well as you want to see, and your father wants to see, and your brother wants to see. It's hard.

WANG: Of course, apart from the movies, there are ongoing Harry Potter enterprises in place. There's the theme park in Orlando, Florida, and Pottermore, an online community that will open to the public this fall.

Jack Soden is the CEO of Elvis Presley Enterprises, so he knows a thing or two about managing iconic brands. It's been almost 35 years since Elvis' death, but Graceland still draws more than half a million visitors every year.

Mr. JACK SODEN (CEO, Elvis Presley Enterprises): What you hear more than anything now is oh, my mother was a huge fan. You know, I grew up listening to Elvis music in the house, and I became a fan. And that's how Harry Potter will get passed from generation to generation.

WANG: And if those kids keep buying all things Potter - books, movies, and whatever else they come up with - Harry could go from "The Boy Who Lived" to "The Boy Who Lived Forever."

Hansi Lo Wang, NPR News.

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