If you're a Muggle who put off buying tickets to one of tonight's midnight showings of the final Harry Potter movie, you might need some real magic to get a seat.
Many, many showings in the Triangle are sold out. Local theaters are preparing for thousands of fans to turn out dressed as wizards and Death Eaters, armed with wands and maybe stuffed owls.
With buzz building for more than a year, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2" is providing theaters with a welcome boost in business.
Southpoint Cinemas at The Streets at Southpoint in Durham, which is showing the film on all 17 of its screens shortly after midnight, sold the last of its available tickets Tuesday morning. That adds up to more than 2,500 tickets sold, said Christina Irizarry, a cashier in the theater's box office.
In Raleigh, the North Hills Stadium 14's website indicates that all its midnight showings are sold out. At the White Oak Stadium 14 in Garner, half of the eight showings were sold out as of late Wednesday, according to its website.
The Six Forks Station theater in Raleigh is sold out, while its sister theater, the Mission Valley Cinema, which is showing the flick on two screens, had just 54 of more than 700 tickets left.
"You better buy your tickets online quick," said Bill Peebles of Raleigh-based Ambassador Entertainment, which operates both theaters.
Peebles said he's canceled tonight's 9 p.m. shows of other movies at the two theaters so that they can start seating Potter fans at 10 p.m.
Peebles has seen an advance screening of the movie. "I don't want to spoil anything, but all I'm going to say is, hold on to your seat and hold on to your heart," he said.
Sales set a record
Warner Bros. Pictures announced Wednesday that advance ticket sales nationwide were in excess of $32 million - a pre-opening record. The movie is debuting on more than 11,000 screens in 4,375 locations, including 3,800 locations that are offering midnight shows. Some are adding other shows in the wee hours, including the Regal Brier Creek Stadium 14, which will have at least one at 3 a.m.
The last installment in the blockbuster Harry Potter series is the first to be released in 3-D, an option that tacks on another few bucks to the ticket price.
The IMAX Theatre at Marbles Kids Museum in downtown Raleigh sold out its midnight showing weeks ago.
"The midnight show was so popular and sold out so fast we added a 2:45 (a.m.) show," said manager Tim Hazlehurst. "That's kind of crazy, huh?"
Apparently not. That show is sold out too.
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