I'm optimistic, but I have no idea why they decided to split this book, in particular. The first third or so of the novel can be accurately summed up as "Harry, Ron, and Hermione search for things, but don't find them. Interpersonal drama ensues." I maintain that the structural device of a school year at Hogwarts was basically the only thing that gave shape to Rowling's first six books, and without that ready-made architecture she produced a book that is, to put it kindly, loosely structured. I still like it, though, and the reviews give me high hopes for it visually--and was Half-Blood Prince gorgeous, or what? Bruno Delbonnel isn't shooting this one, but, still.
In response to the question(s) above, not everything in life is about religious studies, in particular. I won't argue for the Harry Potter books specifically because it's useless to set a specific book/series against the entire field of theology. But there is a good argument for literature (or narrative art) in general: reading it and thinking about it engages the parts of the mind that respond to human creativity and the need to make patterns and narratives out of our experiences; it helps us think more deeply and more widely about the world and about what it means to be human (to use a tired cliche that is nevertheless true). And books in particular make us think about language--our primary form of communication--in ways that nothing else does: Why use this word and not that word? What are the general stylistic tendencies of this or that book or passage or author? What does the style add to our understanding of the characters and themes, or vice versa?
And yes, I know Harry Potter books aren't Milton. But "popular" books are constructed in exactly the same way as "literary" works (sometimes, they're both: see Homer or Dickens), and as the HP books are ultimately children's novels it's best not to demand that they be Milton (or whatever). They do have, to me, literary strengths: the world-building is extremely inventive and impressive, they are highly entertaining (successful entertainment is not easy to create, and is a triumph of construction as much as anything else is) and occasionally have real emotional heft, as in the elegiac, haunted Half-Blood Prince. I loved them as a child/teenager, and still enjoy them.
And no, I don't expect that Paul went to the Coliseum. But that's not a valid comparison--you haven't shown that reading popular novels and watching violent death are equivalent in any way. The more proper comparison would be, well, reading. And Paul did that; it's common knowledge that his writings contain multiple references to the (secular!) Greek poets of his day. In addition, the Bible itself is a literary work (calm down, everyone; that doesn't preclude it being historically accurate, when it means to be); indeed, it is one of the very bases of the Western literary tradition (even among nonbelievers), and no one's knowledge of literature is anywhere near complete without it. So if what we believe that God spoke to us through a work of literature, literature itself is clearly not an idle pastime.