Month's ago when the whole thing with Harry Potter was announced for Universal, I wrote:
“Universal are going to spend a whole lot of money on a Franchise that will be dead in 5 years. I've never liked either the books or the films but it's blatantly obvious that it's the books that really drive the franchises popularity as (for some reason) adults seem to enjoy reading them as well, and the last one is about to come out! Once the hoopla for the launch of that has died out (so way before the park rides are done) there's going to be very little interest in the franchise apart from when movies come out and that’s only if they manage to keep the main characters believable age wise.
Sure, kids will probably read the odd Potter book or maybe even the whole series when they get to the right age much like they still read the Famous Five or other children’s ranges but the adult readership will probably be ending and so will all the Potter buzz. I am so glad Disney didn't manage to ink this deal; between Potter and Pixar I would want Pixar without even thinking.”
And while I believed every word I said then, even I didn't expect the Harry Potter buzz to die out this quickly. The last film was released here in the UK last Monday. It was such a non event that I didn't even realise it was out until i saw it on a shelf the day after. In the past even the DVD releases were a big deal, advertised to death, shops opening at midnight to sell them etc etc etc; this one's release has come and gone with less hoopla than Shrek 3 and Hairspray's DVD releases which come out today.
The true test will be the next movie's theatrical release but I see this as a very bad sign for Universal; now people know what happens at the end, their passion for the story has been sated and the hysteria around the franchise is dying out.
By the time the park rides open, Harry Potter will be a fad of the past; they needed to open it in 2001 during Potters accent in popularity; 2009 is just too late.