Pottermania returns to Irish cinema screens


Pottermania is set to return to the cinemas of Ireland tomorrow when the second Harry Potter movie goes on limited release.

Distributors Warner Bros Pictures said that the film, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, had commanded the largest ever print-run in Ireland for a movie, with 144 prints, each containing nine reels, being issued for screening.

A spokeswoman for the company said that it expected the new movie to earn more than the €6.2 million netted at the box-office last year by the first release, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

Like that film, HP2, as it is known in the business, is opening within six months of Christmas, a peak time in the industry.

Paid previews are being shown tomorrow, on Saturday, on Sunday and next Thursday, and the film goes on general release tomorrow week, November 15th.

An Irish gala screening took place last night at Dublin's Savoy Cinema, where guests paid tribute to the late Richard Harris, for whom the film was his last.

Topping the guest list was youth actor Devon Murray (13), from Celbridge, Co Kildare, who plays Seamus Finnegan, a classmate of Harry's at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The screening coincided with the release yesterday of a survey showing that J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, is the most popular author among Irish children.

More than 5,200 children were asked to nominate their favourite author at libraries throughout Ireland for the Children's Book Festival, and Rowling came out on top with 15.6 per cent of the vote.

Jacqueline Wilson finished second with 10 per cent, Roald Dahl was third with 4 per cent, J.R.R. Tolkien fourth with 2 per cent and Roddy Doyle fifth with 1.8 per cent.

The new Potter movie has received a warm welcome from the critics, who have described it as much funnier and scarier than the first.