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The eighth and final installment of Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter movie franchise opens July 15. The films have made more than $6 billion at the global boxoffice while worldwide book sales of the Potter saga total more than $450 million.
Warner Bros. Pictures paid $100 million for Leavesden Studios, where it filmed the movies, and here are some juicy facts and figures about the Potter phenomenon direct from the studio, the filmmakers and the crew.
HARRY POTTER REALLY WORKS HIS WAND
1. Daniel Radcliffe wore out 60-70 wands during the making of the Harry Potter films.
2. Every wand that you see in any of the Harry Potter films is created on-site. No two wands are alike…not even the Weasley twins’!
3. Wands are 13-15 inch long and haven’t changed in length, so the actors have had to grow into them over the years.
4. Dumbledore’s wand was a very elaborate design, even though its significance of being the Elder Wand was far from being known when made.
EYEGLASSES, TITANIUM BROOMS, AND THOUSANDS OF COINS
5. Radcliffe has been through 160 pairs of glasses during the shooting of all the Harry Potter films
6. Forty versions of Salazar Slytherin’s locket had to be created to accommodate Ron and Harry’s failed attempts to destroy it.
7. Five 32-ton trucks’ worth of polystyrene were needed to create all the rubble for Deathly Hallows.
8. To keep brooms light-weight and aesthetically on spec, aircraft-grade titanium is employed in their structure.
9. 900 Memory Vials were made for the cabinet in Dumbledore’s Office.
10. 250 paintings have been created for the Marble Staircase
11. Producers David Heyman and David Barron were immortalized in portraits for the Marble Staircase.
12. 210,000 coins were made for the Gringotts bank scene for the final two films alone.
A TRAIN NAMED OLTON
13. The steam engine’s real name is the Olton Hall and it was built in April, 1937.
14. It is designated “Hall” class steam locomotive no. 5972.
15. Max Speed – chimney first: 65mph, tender first 45mph
16. It can pull a maximum of 27,275 pounds behind it.
17. The engine is 13 feet and 5/8 inches high and is 8 feet, 11 inches wide.
18. The carriages date back to the 1950s.
19. Number of carriages – four (although could be increased if needed)
20. The 78-ton, four-carriage train was brought in from Carnforth, Cumbria
21. In railway speak, the actual name of the engine in Harry Potter is the ‘Hogwarts Castle’. The ‘Hogwarts Express’ is the name of the service route that takes students from Platform 9¾ to the school.
WHERE THE MAGIC HAPPENS: LEAVESDEN STUDIOS
22. Leavesden Studios was originally built as an aerodrome in 1940. Many airplanes were built there at the tail end of World War II.
23. As it is an old aerodrome, none of the stages are soundproofed.
24. The 200 acre Studio houses over ½ million square feet of covered production space and nine giant stages in excess of 145,000 sq. ft. The runway is 3000 feet long.
25. Apart from the Potter series, movies filmed here include Sleepy Hollow, Golden Eye, Star Wars Episode 1 The Phantom Menace and Mortal Kombat Annihilation
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