The New York Times'Brooks Barnes reports:
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“We always say on set, ‘If this place was real, it would be absolutely fantastic' [...] To actually walk into this world and be able to touch it and taste it and smell it — well, it’s just going to be fantastic.”
While I agree with Felton that this will certainly be an amazing site to see and experience, I'm not quite sure it's coming at the right time. In the midst of a recession, theme parks have already seen a sizeable decline in attendence, and a park this specialized, while it will certainly bring in the HP crowd, will exclude a different audience and narrow the potential a little bit. I feel like this idea will either make it huge or crash and burn hard.
The Harry Potter wave has significantly died down, with the series complete for nearly a year and a half now, and Universal may have missed its moment. The films are obviously still going strong, grossing an average of $900 million worldwide (The Numbers box office stats), but more than $600 million of that comes from outside the U.S. Books and films are one thing, but a theme park in a single location, where much travel would be involved for many, is a horse of a different color.
I'm extremely interested to see what happens with the theme park, how it profits and how the Harry Potter franchise in general profits. I have a hard time imagining that it will foster many more book sales, as all visitors interested in such a park would likely have already read the series, but you never know.
Publicity is publicity after all.