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Harry Potter Madrid magic enchants mostly expats

No need for midnight openings but Americans abroad fill later shows

MADRID, Spain — On Nov. 19th, the boy with the lightning scar once again cast spells on muggle fans, topping weekend box office charts worldwide. Spain was no exception, but viewers said the new Harry Potter film is evidently more popular among the English-speaking countries.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I,” the seventh installment of one of the highest-grossing movie series in history, opened number one at the box office over the weekend of Nov. 19-21 in Spain, collecting €5.6 million (almost $7.5 million U.S.), according to Warner Brothers Pictures. That made “Harry Potter” the second best opening this year, following “Alice in Wonderland,” which generated €7.6 million when it was released in March.       

Without a midnight screening Thursday night as happened in many other countries, anxious Madrid fans had to wait until noon on Friday to view the latest adventures of the Hogwarts wizard boy.

“I really loved it; my sister and I are both huge fans and of course we’ve read all the books,” said 18-year-old Marta Sanchez, a student at the Complutense University of Madrid.

However, Sanchez acknowledged that the film is not as popular in Madrid as it is in the United States or England.

“It’s it very popular here, too, but tickets are very easy to get and I don’t think it’s a big deal like in the U.K. or the U.S. People don’t host Harry Potter themed parties, and very few dress up to go to the theater, except for maybe wearing a Harry Potter scarf.”

Cristiano Martinez, 22, agreed, adding that Harry Potter is more of a successful movie than a cultural phenomenon.

“My friends and I all love it because it’s really fun, but it’s obviously not as crazy here as it is in other countries,” said Martinez.