LOS ANGELES _ The movie magic is over for “Harry Potter.” The bite will be gone from “Twilight” when the final film’s released in November.

It now falls to “The Hunger Games,” based on to the best-selling trilogy by Suzanne Collins, to launch the next great film franchise.

It’s a worthy heir. This story is not only a big literary success – where parents and their children are reading the books – it has spawned numerous websites and merchandise.

The books – “The Hunger Games,” “Catching Fire” and “Mockingjay” – are huge. The first novel has been on the New York Times best-seller list for more than 180 consecutive weeks since publication.

Even “Twilight” writer Stephenie Myer blogged that the story kept her up for several nights in a row because she couldn’t stop thinking about it even after she finished the books.

On midnight Thursday, the first film in the series will make its assault on the box office. Advance ticket sales through the online site Fandango show that three out of every four movie tickets purchased are for the film. More than 1,000 showtimes have already sold out across the country. Although marketed as a book for young adults, Fandango’s reporting 46 percent of advance tickets are being purchased by those 25 or older.

What is “The Hunger Games”?

In the trilogy, Collins tells the story of Katniss Everdeen, one of 24 teens selected to compete in the televised Hunger Games in a future where the United States has been divided into 12 regions all under the tyrannical rule of The Capitol.

Cameras capture every life-and-death moment as the players battle until only one is left alive. The games were established as a way for the government to remind citizens who is in charge.

“The Hunger Games” is anchored to an existence that can already be seen today in the unending flood of reality TV shows.

Lenny Kravitz, who plays Cinna in the film, says what makes the books and movie so interesting is that while they are set in the future, so many of the issues are current: reality television, violence, the 99 percent versus the 1 percent.

After reading the script, co-star Donald Sutherland, who plays President Snow, thought this could be one of the “most important films ever.”

Oprah network pulls plug on Rosie’s show

NEW YORK – Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network is pulling the curtain on “The Rosie Show” after five months on the air.

The show premiered in October to about 500,000 viewers but lost about half that audience within days of its debut.

Recently, it changed the format from taping before a studio audience to a one-on-one interview setting with celebrities such as Kathy Griffin, Chelsea Handler and former Illinois first lady Patti Blagojevich.

In a statement released by OWN, Winfrey thanked O’Donnell. She called O’Donnell “an incredible partner” who worked to put on the best show “every single day.”

O’Donnell also was quoted as saying she loved working with Winfrey and in Chicago and “wished” the show had better ratings.

The final episode will air March 30.

Comedian Gallagher due out of coma today

LEWISVILLE, Texas – The comedian Gallagher is expected to be out of a medically induced coma today after suffering a heart attack in a suburban Dallas bar.

Gallagher’s promotional manager, Christine Scherrer, said Friday that the 65-year-old is being slowly taken out of sedation. She says he had two stents replaced after collapsing Wednesday night at Coach Joe’s Hat Tricks in Lewisville.

Marc Cummins, the bar manager, says the comedian collapsed in his office about 20 minutes before he was due to go on stage at 9 p.m.

Last March, the comedian best known for smashing watermelons with a sledgehammer suffered a minor heart attack after collapsing during a performance in Minnesota. His full name is Leo Anthony Gallagher.