Thousands of diehard Harry Potter fans skipped school Friday afternoon and queued up for the premiere of their hero's first film.
Some had permission from their principals and parents, while others simply took the initiative – a bit like the movie's hero, the orphan who discovers he is a wizard.
"I've been waiting for this movie for a year now," said one teenager in Montreal.
Halloween appeared to have returned to some streets, as youngsters dressed as wizards and witches lined up for what they hoped would be a big treat.
Afterwards, many gushed praise for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, which is based on the first of a series of best-selling books by J.K. Rowling.
"I expected the movie to be good, but it was better," said one girl. "It was amazing."
But not everyone was as enthusiastic. "I think they should have had all the characters," complained one boy. "They should have made it longer, that way they could have included more detail."
It opened Friday in about 4,000 cinemas across North America. Anticipating big box office sales, Famous Players set aside a block of more than 335 of its 875 screens in Canada – the largest opening of its kind in the country.