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Potter and Depp go head-to-head

LAWRENCEVILLE - It's the age-old question, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" or "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?"

OK, so maybe it's just a day old, but it's a question that has parents and kids alike deciding whether to go out to the movies or stay at home and get to work on J.K. Rowling's new 672-page novel.

"Harry Potter!" a young, grinning Sydney Reese responded when asked which she was more excited about. "I like Harry Potter a lot."

But Sam Gudger, 9, and his mother Felicia said they've been counting down the days until "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" came out, not Harry Potter.

"We read the books and have been really excited about it coming out," Felicia Gudger said.

"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," which is based on the Roald Dahl book, began showing at theaters on Friday.

Also on Friday were Harry Potter parties at local book stores celebrating the midnight release of the sixth book in the popular series.

In some families, there's a split over which they're more excited about.

"I'm ready to see 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,'" said Jay Hill, 12.

But her mother, Teresa Hill, 38, said she can't wait until Amazon delivers her Harry Potter book to their house today.

"I'm so excited to find out what happens," Teresa Hill said. "I'm going to be reading all weekend long."

However, the two groups are not mutually exclusive and just because families have a lot of reading to look forward to doesn't mean they won't go out to the movies.

Brittney Crabtree, 17, went to see one of the first showings of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" on Friday afternoon while wearing her Harry Potter shirt.

"I'm definitely more excited about Harry Potter coming out," Crabtree said. "But I thought 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' was really good, too."

Crabtree, who described herself as a Harry Potter "fanatic," said that she was also planning on going to a Harry Potter release party on Friday night.

At the Regal IMAX theater at the Mall of Georgia, where "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" is playing, workers believed that the Harry Potter book wouldn't take away from the number of the people who would come see the movie, but that the two would actually compliment each other.

Many of the families leaving "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" on its first day agreed, saying that they were also Harry Potter fans and planned to read the new book as well.

"With 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' in the afternoon and Harry Potter at night, it's been a big day," Crabtree said.