As boy wizard Harry Potter takes on the evil Voldemort in the final movie of the epic series, angry Indonesian movie-lovers are casting hexes and curses on their government over yet another missed film.
A drawn-out tax dispute which has led US studios to boycott the country means fans there will miss out on “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2”, which had its world premiere in London on Thursday.
“We’re really angry and frustrated. The government doesn’t care and seems to be shutting its ears to our pleas. How much longer do we have to wait to watch quality movies in Indonesia?” Potter fan Febry Lumbantoruan, a 30-year-old human resources officer, told AFP.
The Potter movies have a devoted following in Indonesia, where thousands of fans play the wizard sport of Quidditch on Twitter, enrol themselves in wizard schools and cast charms and spells on one another on Facebook.
Since the boycott began in February, Indonesian movie lovers have missed out on blockbusters including “Black Swan”, “True Grit” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”. Cinema takings have plunged by 60 to 70 per cent.
The dispute began after Indonesia said it would tax movies based on box-office earnings, which the Motion Picture Association (MPA) — representing US studios such as Warner Bros, which makes the Potter films — rejected as prohibitively high.
Officials said last month that a new tax regime had been put in place for foreign films, charging by the minute, in response to the MPA’s protests.
But that has yet to lure US movies back to Indonesian screens.
Desperate fans are even booking flights to neighboring Singapore and Malaysia to catch the film on the big screen.