harrypotter.jpgA couple of days ago, James Rocchi detailed the seven biggest challenges facing the Harry Potter franchise. Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal chimed in with a couple more. Being the Dow Jones-lapdogs that they are, WSJ reporter Kate Kelly points out the obvious – it's all about money – but the fiscal problems are all wrapped up in the bigger problem of demographics.

There's no denying that the franchise has milked huge pools of money for Warner Brothers. That's great, but each picture has made slightly less money than the last, whilst costing slightly more to produce. Research shows that the youngest demographic has already abandoned the franchise, and Goblet, with its rumored darkness, should only continue that trend. The Potter pics thus have to gain older viewers as they lose the kids. Warners marketing drone Dawn Taubin isn't worried about making that happen. "Each book is a year later; everybody in the book is a year older," she says. "And so I think that the audience ends up trending a little bit older as well."

But how are we defining "older"? Are they talking about losing 3 year olds and gaining twenty-somethings? Does that even seen possible? In my highly scientific research, I've come to the conclusion that there's sort of a wide demographic, from about college-age to young-parent age, that pretty much missed the boat on all this Harry hullabaloo. At 25, I've *never* cared about these movies or book, and there's not a wizard love triangle that's going to change that – at the same time, I know people well into their 50s who can't get enough of this stuff. How do the filmmakers (as James pointed out, they seem to change with every film) tackle the age problem, without bleeding the fans they already have?