Elisabeth Oktofani & AFP
As the world lined up to catch the final Harry Potter movie, Indonesian fans were left to take comfort in an announcement by Cineplex 21 that the film would be screened in Indonesia, just not anytime soon.
It was a dispiriting weekend for Indonesian fans of the boy wizard as “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” opened around the world, smashing box-office records as fans camped out and held parties to mark the finale of one of the most successful movie franchises of all time.
The movie smashed the US single-day box office record with a whopping $92.1 million in opening-day sales. That was easily better than the previous record holder, 2009’s “The Twilight Saga: New Moon,” which took in $72.7 million on its opening day.
Industry experts predict Potter and his wizarding friends will set the opening weekend record in the United States. “The Dark Knight,” the last film in the Batman series, hauled in $158 million on its opening weekend in 2008.
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” has now opened in almost all countries. Indonesian screens, however, remain bereft of Potter and other Hollywood blockbusters.
By all accounts, the Hollywood film boycott over a royalty dispute and the subsequent government ban on major film importers that began in February are nearing an end.
Djonny Sjafruddin, head of the Indonesian Cinema Companies Union (GPBSI), told the Jakarta Globe on Thursday that all the issues had been resolved, clearing the way for films to begin arriving here.
“We’re now only dealing with technical issues,” he said, such as films going through censors and having subtitles added.
Over the weekend, Noorca Massardi, a spokesman for Cineplex 21, the country’s biggest cinema chain, told the Globe in a text message that viewers could check the Cineplex 21 Web site to see which Hollywood movies would be playing soon.
In addition to Harry Potter, the Web site also lists “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.”
But Djonny warned fans not to be overly optimistic. “Although they have appeared on the list of movies coming soon, that does not mean they will come very soon,” he said.
“It could be one week, two weeks or even a month before they are screened.”
Djonny said Hollywood films could begin arriving here in as little as 10 days, but he could not yet give an exact date.
“Our priority is ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2’ because of high demand from the audience,” he said.
The boycott, he added, has already led to about a 60 percent drop in cinemas’ revenue.
Shafiq, a member of Indo Harry Potter, an online fan community with 6,000 members across the country, flew to Singapore for the movie’s opening last week. Shafiq told the Globe he was positive that Harry Potter would be screened in Indonesia.
“The only question now is when exactly will it be shown? We are really curious about it,” Shafiq said.