Green Lantern (movie)

The secret to Harry Potter's success

The secret to Harry Potter's success

At a screening in Columbia, a 16-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl emerged from "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" blissed-out but also fighting because he wouldn't kiss her during the movie — he didn't want to miss a single second of the action.

Parents with grade-schoolers and high schoolers, groups of college pals and young professionals out on dates blinked at the lobby lights and maybe blinked away some tears.

The scene was being repeated in theaters nationwide, as the final Harry Potter movie rolled out its final chapter this weekend — and audiences responded with explosions of bittersweet emotion and record ticket sales. "Harry Potter and...