Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the sixth film in the fantasy franchise, opened last Friday in the Cayman Islands.
Both Friday-night screenings at Hollywood Theatres in Camana Bay were sold out by Tuesday, with advanced tickets selling fast for Saturday and Sunday showings.
Part of the reason for ticket sales going so quickly was Butterfield’s involvement in the 6.20pm showing of the film on Friday evening. Butterfield purchased 60 tickets to the first showing, liaising with dms Broadcasting’s X107.1FM to give tickets away to listeners in the weeks leading up to the premiere.
‘The winners had to call in and answer some Harry Potter trivia in order to win the tickets,’ explained Kathryn Walsh, marketing officer at Butterfield. ‘We thought that the Harry Potter premiere was a great opportunity to present our new Young Savers savings account because of the demographic of people that would be attending the show: young adults who would want to sign up for an account and parents who would like their kids to open an account.’
The Young Savers savings account is available to 10 to 17 year olds, the age groups that Butterfield felt would be represented at the film’s premiere.
‘Everyone was so excited for the latest Harry Potter movie and we wanted to get everyone just as excited for the latest Butterfield product,’ said Ms Walsh.
The film did not disappoint with audible gasps and squeals, as well as much laughter, filling the theatre throughout much of the film.
‘The movie was fantastic, the atmosphere was buzzing with excitement and the event was a huge success,’ said Ms Walsh.
The Quidditch scenes were the source of much delight, while, although the fight scenes were impressive, many felt this movie fell short in terms of the amount of screen time devoted to action compared to other films in the series.
One reason for this that has been suggested by critics is that the filmmakers are saving up the action for the two films that will be made out of the series’ seventh and final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The films – Part One and Part Two – are due to be released on 19 November, 2010 and 15 July, 2011 respectively.
Other points in the film that raised contention among moviegoers include the pivotal scene centring on the character of Dumbledore. A major change from the book to the film was made, seemingly without good reason. Hopefully it will be explained in the next film.
Standout scenes were plentiful and too many to mention, but include the scene in which Ron accidentally consumes chocolates laced with a love potion meant for Harry, and the eerie scene in which one of the trio’s fellow students is cursed by an object meant for Dumbledore.
Far more screen time is given in this movie to the development of the characters, which is welcome, particularly after such a long gap between this film and the last (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the fifth film, was released on 11 July, 2007, more than two years before this film. Previous films in the series weren’t separated by more than 20 months).
The film is notably darker than the previous instalments, a trend that is also evident in the tone of the books as they progress. The closing scene is perhaps the best of the film, however, in its ability to bring the focus from all of the diverting themes and plotlines of the action and back onto the central three characters, united in their quest to triumph good over evil.
‘The movie was fantastic, the atmosphere was buzzing with excitement and the event was a huge success’ – Kathryn Walsh, marking officer, Butterfield