I don't really fall in the Harry Potter target age group, although I'm sure people of all ages would debate that there even is a target age group. I read all the books, but not with any sort of rhythm or intense longing to read the next. But a lot of people I know did, and have gone through the years reading all the books and seeing all the movies religiously. I remember my little sister going from basic that's-pretty-cool enthusiasm to full-fledged waiting-outside-Barnes-and-Noble-at-midnight-for-the-new-book fandom. A younger cousin of mine spent his entire weekend vacation up north at the cottage reading the first book when it came out, unable to put it down for water sports or nerf gun fights -- that's kind of when I realized it was a big deal.
For my little sister, her interest waned a little bit over the years. On the other hand, I work with a lovely lady who is the same age as my little sister, and is so fantastically in love with the series that she not only knows just about every trivia fact there is to know, she has not one, but two Harry Potter-inspired tattoos (and where those could easily have gone wrong, they are actually really great; one is the symbol of the Deathly Hallows, the other the last line of the last book).
I thought the last film felt almost like a meditative reflection on the whole series. Granted, there's so much going on, so much to have to know for any of it to make any sense whatsoever -- but I think I appreciated this one the best of any. Of course I won't give anything away.
My beautiful sister and I got "stylized" versions of Harry's glasses at a face-painting table that gave you a choice between the glasses or a lightning bolt. I'm sure I didn't see a single other person with glasses. ;)
A couple girls I know are die-hard fans, so they had a movie marathon that spanned from 11am to around 8pm (I joined in around 6:30), when they packed up their laptop with the HP7P1 (the code, I learned), and took off to the theatre to save seats. 8:30pm and we were saving seats for a movie that began at 12:02am! That was a first for me... even for last year's midnight showing I didn't sit around quite that long.
It seemed a more subdued atmosphere this time. There were plenty of people in Hogwarts costumes, and a pretty impressive Voldemort running around. I even spotted a Whomping Willow. Last year, the place was like a pep rally -- everyone was dressed up, but the excitement was almost palpable. It was loud; kids were chanting and singing. There was a little bit of chanting this time, but nothing like last fall. And I wondered if it was due to the overbearing knowledge that this was the last of them all; it was the end.
And it's funny how even me, the "relatively interested, I liked the books alright" kind of Harry Potter enthusiast, felt the real weight of The End upon its arrival. The phenomenon is so huge, it would feel like being left out if I weren't a part of it.