For Hogwarts newbies or for diehards who need a refresher, here’s a brief summary of the previous six films:

“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (2001): The first in the series was directed by Chris Columbus, famous for family-friendly adventures such as “Home Alone.” The young Harry Potter is rescued from the neglect of his aunt and uncle and sent off to study at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Establishes the Potter universe. Daniel Radcliffe is Harry.

“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” (2002): Harry is warned not to return to Hogwarts, but he does — lucky for us — and begins investigating a series of strange attacks at the school. Also directed by Columbus.

“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” (2004): Harry comes face to face with Sirius Black, recently escaped from the wizards’ prison. Alfonso Cuaron (“Great Expectations”) directs.

“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” (2005): A magical object called the Goblet of Fire selects Harry to compete in a tournament between wizardry schools. Ralph Fiennes is fiendish as the evil Lord Voldemort, who returns to threaten the Potter universe. Mike Newell (“Four Weddings and a Funeral”) directs.

“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” (2007): Harry warns the wizard authorities, but they don’t believe Voldemort is back. British TV and film director David Yates takes over the series from here on out.

“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” (2009): Harry begins his sixth year at Hogwarts, discovers a book that belongs to the mysterious “Half-Blood Prince,” and begins to learn more about Voldemort’s past. One of the most beloved characters of the series meets a tragic end.