Pop Rocks

Am I The Only Person Who Hasn't Seen Deathly Hallows Part 2?

Well, that was quick:

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" set another debut mark Monday by racking up $481.5 million in worldwide receipts, a media report said Monday.

The film -- the last of eight "Potter" installments -- took in $312.3 million internationally, $5 million more than expected, the Hollywood Reporter wrote in its online editions. Domestic receipts for the movie's premiere were adjusted to $169.2 million, slightly higher than the $168.6 million originally forecast.

Distributed by Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros. Pictures, the domestic take for "Deathly Hallows" also was a new record, beating "The Dark Knight's" $158.4 million set in 2008.

"Deathly Hallows" is expected to be the first "Potter" film to clear $1 billion in worldwide box office.

To put that in more easily comprehensible terms: take a one dollar bill, now imagine one billion of them. That's a billion dollars.

All weekend long, our Facebooks and Twitters and MySpaces (ha ha) were blowing up with updates about midnight showings and family outings to see the final installment in the Harry Potter saga. However, I was unable to share in their joy, for I am apparently the last person alive who hasn't seen Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.

Now now, don't cry for me, Azkaban. The night of last week's media screening I was (reportedly) drinking inadvisable numbers of martinis at Donovan's in downtown San Diego. And this past weekend there was just too much post-vacay crap going on to realistically try to peel myself away.

"So why don't you just buy a ticket, you freaking crybaby?" Good question, and I have a two-part answer. The first part is also the easiest: I loathe going to the movies (and have said so before). Promo screenings are bad enough, with local media chuckleheads subjecting their captive audience to aggravating trivia contests which in which the winners are "awarded" - not with swag from the actual movie they'll be seeing - but a t-shirt/Koozie/hat from the radio station in question. What a bargain.

But hey, at least there's legitimate security around to throw out the serial texters and chattering homunculoids who are so self-absorbed with their fascinating conversation they don't even realize the lights have gone down and it's now time to shut the fuck up. So forget the general public; they scare the crap out of me.

More than that, however, is my inability to justify burning a free evening going to see a movie I'm not reviewing. I have three kids, and leaving my, uh, sainted wife with them more frequently than that usual weekly screening is a rare event. That isn't to say we don't go out as a couple on occasion, but I have to be judicious in my solo (or "dude") nights, especially if I'm meeting male friends I sometimes don't see for months on end. Babysitters? A precious commodity, reserved for special occasions.

And never mind that my wife already saw Deathly Hallows Part 2 at a midnight screening last Friday.

So anyway, I really didn't have much of a choice. The vacation was planned long in advance, as such things are when multiple rugrats have to be accounted for. My oldest daughter's summer camp took place last week, and the twins were being carted off to my sister's. Arrangements with friends in San Diego had already been made months before word of the Deathly Hallows screening came out, though I'd be lying if I said I didn't look at the summer release schedule and have a pretty good idea I'd be SOL.

Why, oh why couldn't my daughter's camp had been the week the Arthur remake came out? Well, because that wasn't summer, stupid...but why not the second week of June, thereby sparing me Green Lantern? Or the week of July 1, the better to miss Larry Crowne? Don't get me wrong, I'm not claiming Deathly Hallows, Pt. 2 is great cinema, but after sitting through all seven of the previous films, I need closure dammit.

And I hate being left out. It all goes back to childhood, when I was the last kid to see Empire Strikes Back. I guess the only thing to do now is try and spin it like I'm deliberately avoiding the movie, same as I did with Avatar.

Heh, that sure showed 'em.

Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar