COMIC-CON 2010: ‘Harry Potter’ fans ‘disappointed’ by Warner Bros. panel

July 24, 2010 | 10:17 p.m.

Tom Felton

On Saturday, the boy who lived became the boy who did not show up.

While Warner Bros. did not commit to appearances by cast members for its Hall H presentation of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” the studio teased fans in its description of the event, which promised “a program created just for Comic-Con fans… Don’t miss it!”

That was enough to draw thousands of Potter enthusiasts, some of whom camped out overnight or arrived before dawn to secure their places in line. Some were even hoping for a glimpse of Daniel Radcliffe, who, of course, plays the title character.

The program started well enough with footage from the double-feature conclusion of the series, the first installment to be released in November, the second next in July.

After the brief trailer, actor Tom Felton walked onstage to thunderous applause. Felton, who plays Draco Malfoy throughout the eight-movie series, said the experience of starring in the franchise was “better than any sentence I can conjure up. It’s bizarre to think I started when I was 12.”

When the 10-minute interview was over — and no other cast members turned up — the audience that had packed the 6,500-seat hall appeared to collectively deflate.

“Overall, it was disappointing,” said Demi Boyd, an 18-year-old from Oceanside, Calif., who had been waiting since 5 a.m., dressed as Professor Trelawney, a character played by Emma Thompson in the films. “The footage they brought was only about half new. The rest I had seen before. If Tom Felton hadn’t shown up, it would have been terrible.”

Boyd added that she felt Warner Bros. exploited the “Harry Potter” fan base to promote two other films that were shown alongside “Deathly Hallows,” including “Sucker Punch” and “Green Lantern.”

“They used the fans to try to promote their other two movies, which are not as well known,” Boyd said. “Given that this is Comic-Con, I think they could have pulled something better together.”

 — Alex Pham

Photo: Tom Felton being interviewed onstage at Comic-Con. Credit: Alex Pham / Los Angeles Times


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8 Responses to COMIC-CON 2010: ‘Harry Potter’ fans ‘disappointed’ by Warner Bros. panel

  1. walt kovacs says:

    boo hoo
    it is comic con…not potter con
    if you were disappointed, dont come back….so that real comic book fans can attend again

  2. Demi Boyd says:

    Hey Walt…I love comic books too, I really was excited for green lantern and the marvel panel was SO exciting. I've been coming to the con for years. I was just had higher expectations for the panel, that's all. Don't hate :)

  3. sdfan13 says:

    Wow! My first time commenting and my post was removed. I guess latimes succumbed to the pressure from Warner Bros to remove posts critical of the Harry Potter presentation. I am disappointed that the latimes has clearly become a tool of the Hollywood studios.

  4. Musica1 says:

    I camped out from 6:00 pm Friday evening for the panel on Saturday, and I was not disappointed at all! The footage was great. I had seen some of it before, of course, but it was the first time to see it huge on a big screen instead of a small computer screen, and there was tons of new footage! I had heard Tom Felton was going to be there, so I was excited that he showed up. I thought he was fantastic, very personable and articulate. Also, Green Lantern looked fantastic, so was very happy to "sit through" that. I left right after the HPDH footage to go downstairs and get Tom Felton's autograph. All in all, it was an amazing showing by WB.

  5. Sam says:

    It seems odd to suggest that the LA Times would not publish a comment critical of WB when the article you are commenting on is directly critical of WB.
    BTW, no one is claiming this was supposed to be Potter Con. No one is asking that the entire convention be changed to reflect only the desires of HP fans. It does not mean however that Warner Bros. should have so cavalierly dismissed the event as inessential to the film's popularity. The last one comes out before Comic Con next summer, so this was the last HP film event to happen at Comic Con. It's always disappointing to have a movement built by fans so clearly appropriated by corporate exploitation, but it's even more galling that they couldn't be bothered to come up with anything special for the final HP panel at Comic Con. Instead, they banked on HP fandom to gloss over any insulting lack of thought or consideration, and did as little as possible. Why shouldn't people be upset, considering how hard it is to get in?

  6. sdfan13 says:

    My wife and I waited since 2am to see the Harry Potter presentation suffering a sleepless night in tortuous lines. There were hundreds of devoted HP fans making the same sacrifices to experience something worth the hype and dedication. Unfortunately, Warner Bros tricked all of us into thinking they were grateful for the billions of dollars that HP fans have spent on this franchise and instead gave us easily the worst presentation of the entire Comic Con. With only 10 min of banter with Tom Fenton and an okay clip, the show was over. I think all of us were shocked and trying to convince ourselves that this was a worthwhile endeavor. With a few hours of perspective, I am now convinced that the most devoted HP fans and moviegoers were bamboozled by WB for whatever sinister motive.

  7. sdfan13 says:

    I cannot fathom an excuse for such a pathetic demonstration promoting one of WB's most lucrative franchises. If I were an investor in WB, I would seriously question the wisdom and competence of those who took such a great opportunity as the comic con for marketing 2 major films to its most valuable demographic and flushed it down the toilet. Whether it was laziness or malice that made them disappoint hundreds of devoted fans, it is clear to me that WB takes its customers for granted. I also question why no other cast or crew member aside from Tom Fenton could spare 30 min to show some gratitude.

  8. ann says:

    sdfan13 – dude, if you actually were an HP fan you'd know how to spell Tom Felton's name. Also, WB clearly and repeatedly announced prior to Comic-Con that there would be NO CAST MEMBERS appearing at the panel so to even get one was MORE than what was promised (aka none).

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