NEW YORK – Harry Potter hopes to cast a powerful spell over the four major TV networks — and get one of them to shell out $70 million for the rights to air an upcoming flick.
The astounding sum reportedly being asked for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is more than twice what NBC paid when it forked over $30 million for the privilege of broadcasting Titanic.
"It's obscene," one network exec, who has already turned down the offer, told Time magazine.
A spokesman for Warner Bros., which is making the $110 million flick, insisted no figure has been set.
But the spokesman admitted the movie studio has had "informational" meetings with network brass at Fox, NBC, ABC and CBS.
The Harry Potter movie is based on the hugely successful first book in author J.K. Rowling's series about a boy wizard who attends a magic school to develop his powers.
What makes the $70 million price tag especially jawdropping is that Warner wants to make the deal four months before the movie is released.
That means any network that buys it could be stuck with a colossal, money-losing turkey if the film gets bad reviews, and tanks at the box office.
NBC made its Titanic deal after the Leonardo DiCaprio smash was released to critical raves and grabbed monster box-office receipts.
The networks have been shown a 15-minute reel of scenes from Harry Potter, but won't be allowed a peek at the finished movie before a deal is struck.
Some movie analysts say that Potter, no matter how good or bad it is when it hits theaters this November, will make a mint because of the series' worldwide legion of fans.