‘Harry Potter’ Looks to Cast a Pre-Holiday Spell

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I

It’s a big day for both wizards and muggles as the holiday movie season kicks into high gear with the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1. The film features visual effects by Baseblack, Double Negative, Cinesite London, Rising Sun, The Moving Picture Co., Framestore and Vine.

The first part of the concluding chapter in the series is set to open in more than 4,100 theaters and also will be playing in IMAX.

Its sole major new competitor is the thriller The Next Three Days, which opens in about 2,500 theaters. The concluding part — and the final film outing for the franchise, is set for July.

Holdovers that will make the weekend competitive include DreamWorks Animation’s Megamind and action film Unstoppable.

The boy wizard has only a few days to work his magic before Disney enters the Thanksgiving holiday fray with its stereoscopic 3D animated feature Tangled, set to open Wednesday in about 3,500 cinemas.