Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix to be relased in Japan first
The Harry Potter flick becomes the latest Hollywood film to have its world premiere in Japan, with Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End starring Johnny Depp also opening here before other countries.india Updated: Jul 07, 2007 18:52 IST
The latest movie on the world's most famous wizard, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, hits the screen here on Thursday, just weeks before fans will at last learn his final fate.
The modest, bespectacled wizard has charmed a wide range of Muggles -- non-magical humans -- from children avid to join Harry's Dumbledore's Army to Guantanamo Bay inmates who are reportedly entranced with the Potter series.
British writer JK Rowling's six Harry Potter books have sold 325 million copies worldwide and have been translated into 64 languages, with the series converted into a successful film franchise starring Daniel Radcliffe.
The earnestly awaited seventh and final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is to be released on July 21, with Rowling warning she will kill off two characters.
But on the screen, fans' worries about Harry's fate will be delayed for the time being as Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the fifth installment, opens in Tokyo in a world premiere on Thursday.
The huge 150 million-dollar production follows Harry and his classmates at the Hogwarts school -- such as Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger -- as they face the evil Lord Voldemort who has come back from the darkness.
The latest film on Harry, literally the golden boy of Warner Brothers Entertainment, is the first to be directed by David Yates.
Yates, who has built the career with television dramas like Sex Traffic, said he was challenged to depict the boy wizard who was now 15 and struggling with his inner self and ego.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is "more complicated and complex than the earlier films," Yates told Japan's Fuji Television Network.
"The key things of this movie are really about identity, about discovering who you are as a person, at that very difficult and often dramatic age between about 14 and 17," Yates said.
"So it kind of opens the movies up to a bigger, older audience in a way, I think," he said.
Harry also experiences his first romance in the fifth installment, a highlight of the upcoming film especially for those who have watched the life of the poor boy, whose parents were killed by Voldemort and was adopted by his mean aunt and uncle.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix will come with a major promotional campaign, with Harry's alter ego Radcliffe and producer David Heyman coming to Japan for the gala premiere.
The film will hit cinemas around the world starting on July 11. It will not go into general release in Japan until July 20.
It is the latest Hollywood film to have its world premiere in Japan, with Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End starring Johnny Depp also opening here before other countries.
While Japanese films are gaining strength in the world's second largest box office, with domestic fare overtaking Hollywood last year for the first time in 20 years, wizard and pirate adventure fantasies still remained the most profitable of all.
The fourth installment, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, was last year's top-grossing film in Japan, earning 11 billion yen (92.5 million dollars), edging out Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.
First Published: Jun 26, 2007 18:11 IST