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COMIC-CON 2010: ‘Harry Potter’ fans ‘disappointed’ by Warner Bros. panel

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On Saturday, the boy who lived became the boy who did not show up.

While Warner Bros. did not commit to appearances by cast members for its Hall H presentation of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,’ the studio teased fans in its description of the event, which promised “a program created just for Comic-Con fans... Don’t miss it!”

That was enough to draw thousands of Potter enthusiasts, some of whom camped out overnight or arrived before dawn to secure their places in line. Some were even hoping for a glimpse of Daniel Radcliffe, who, of course, plays the title character.

The program started well enough with footage from the double-feature conclusion of the series, the first installment to be released in November, the second next in July.

After the brief trailer, actor Tom Felton walked onstage to thunderous applause. Felton, who plays Draco Malfoy throughout the eight-movie series, said the experience of starring in the franchise was “better than any sentence I can conjure up. It’s bizarre to think I started when I was 12.”

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When the 10-minute interview was over -- and no other cast members turned up -- the audience that had packed the 6,500-seat hall appeared to collectively deflate.

“Overall, it was disappointing,” said Demi Boyd, an 18-year-old from Oceanside, Calif., who had been waiting since 5 a.m., dressed as Professor Trelawney, a character played by Emma Thompson in the films. “The footage they brought was only about half new. The rest I had seen before. If Tom Felton hadn’t shown up, it would have been terrible.”

Boyd added that she felt Warner Bros. exploited the ‘Harry Potter’ fan base to promote two other films that were shown alongside “Deathly Hallows,” including “Sucker Punch” and “Green Lantern.”

“They used the fans to try to promote their other two movies, which are not as well known,” Boyd said. “Given that this is Comic-Con, I think they could have pulled something better together.”
-- Alex Pham


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