Fans Line Up for "Harry Potter"

East Texans are lining up to get into nearly sold-out shows of "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," based on the third book in the series by J.K. Rowling.

The movie is now showing on four screens at Hollywood Theatres in Tyler.

"Six for 'Harry Potter,'" Kay Ann McKinney, a Tyler mother in line for tickets, said.

The three main characters -- Harry, Ron, and Hermione -- are teenagers now. They're starting their third year at Hogwarts with some frightening news: "Sirius Black has escaped from Azkaban prison."

"I like the scary stuff," James Peters, an avid young fan from Chandler, said. "I think they need to get it scarier because since they're getting older, they're going to have to bring more older audiences."

"I'm really excited about this one because they're all, they always get better," Amanda, James' 16-year-old older sister, said.

Critics say the third "Harry Potter" film is a movie for adults, too because it's darker and more personal than the first two movies.

"You kind of get caught up in the magic of it all," Theresa Dyre, a Canton mother of five, said. "My youngest, she's three. She asked me, just cover her eyes when it gets scary."

The book came out in 1999. It's an international bestseller. According to Barnes & Noble in Tyler, the movie's release has led to only a modest increase in book sales in recent weeks.

With strong critical praise, this third movie is expected to come out on top at the box office. If you want to get a good seat, theatres are encouraging people to line up early.

"Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" is 2.5 hours long and rated PG.

Julie Tam, reporting.