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Harry Potter movies captivate magic displayed in books

Isaac Cathey, Staff Writer

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In the past few years, Hollywood has been cranking out book-to-movie blockbusters, but for me, the Harry Potter series stands out as the best transition from bestseller to big screen triumph.

At this point, everyone knows the story of Harry Potter. A young boy finds out that not only is he a wizard but also the wizard who survived a curse no one else ever had. The books, written by JK Rowling, follow Harry as he grows up, and his repeated encounters with Lord Voldemort, the evil wizard who tried to kill him as an infant.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the first of the seven books, was published in America in 1998. Immediately, the world was captivated by the story. It didn’t take long for the movie business to become interested, and in 2001, the first movie hit theaters.

Over the next 10 years, the Harry Potter series rose to second on the Forbes’ list of highest-grossing movie franchises, lagging behind the Marvel movies (which has twice the number of movies). Fans of the books love the movies because they are accurate to the books, and having Rowling involved in the movie-making process is a big part of that.

Rowling helped create the movies as they came out. Several pieces of the series had been decided in her head when the first movie was being produced, so she was able to help develop characters and to help incorporate important details into the movies.

Some fans were upset as the series grew. For example, Ginny, one of the Weasley children, lacks the development she had in the books. In the fifth Harry Potter movie, an entire chapter in which Harry and his friends encounter an old teacher is cut out. While fans may complain about these things, the fact is that differences between the books and movies are few and far between.

I’ve grown up with these books. The first book I ever purchased for myself was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I made a habit of reading the books before seeing the new movies. I own every book and every movie and love both versions.

Fans of the books love the movies, which stay unusually close to the books, incorporating details most book-to-movie translations don’t. That’s why, when it comes to books converted into movies, the Harry Potter series always takes the cake.

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