BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in:  Entertainment: Film
Front Page 
UK Politics 
TV and Radio 
New Media 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Friday, 30 November, 2001, 09:40 GMT
Potter breaks Australian record
Harry Potter
Harry Potter is set to do big business this weekend
The film about the boy wizard Harry Potter has broken yet another box office record - in Australia.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone had its biggest opening day in Australian film history, taking an estimated Aus$2.156m (786,000), according to movie distributor Roadshow.

Harry Potter
Children have missed school to see Harry
On Thursday the movie opened on more Australian screens than any film has before, with 476 prints available to cinemas.

Roadshow Film Distributors chairman Ian Sands described the opening as "fantastic" and said: "We're absolutely ecstatic - it's a superb result."

But the Thursday opening for the film meant that many school children played truant to watch it.


Some teachers reportedly justified their pupils missing lessons - because the Harry Potter books are recommended reading for many schools, appearing on a state government book list for schoolchildren.

Cinemas across the country reported sellouts, or near-sellouts.

Australian cinemas are now expecting even bigger business from the Harry Potter film this weekend, with most of the major chains showing the movie on multiple screens, and with screenings starting at 45-minute or hourly intervals.

The success of the film comes despite the recent moves against the Harry Potter books by Seventh-Day Adventist schools in the country.


Sixty Australian Seventh-Day Adventist schools banned the Potter books from their classrooms over concerns they may encourage children to experiment with the occult.

Harry Potter pirate VCD
The VCDs are in English with Chinese subtitles
Meanwhile piracy of the film across in the Pacific region appears to be growing.

Traders in Macau are now selling Potter VCDs, weeks ahead of the film's Chinese premiere.

Pirated copies of Harry Potter VCD's appeared in Hong Kong last Sunday - though the blockbuster will not open in cinemas in Hong Kong and Macau until 20 December.

"Business is great - we sold over 50 VCDs in just an hour last night after we got copies from an agent in Hong Kong," said a vendor in Macau's Inner Harbour district.

The pirated VCDs are in English with Chinese subtitles, and sell for 13 patacas (1.14) each.

In Hong Kong, on the other side of the Pearl River Delta, the pirate VCDs are going for HK$20 (1.80).

See also:

05 Nov 01 | Education
Harry Potter 'occult' warning
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Film stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Film stories