Harry Potter Tid-bits, edu-bits, and web-bits

WB: Harry Potter Films Now the Top Grossing Franchise of All-Time
Variety is reporting tonight that Warner Brothers has announced the Harry Potter film series
are now the top-grossing film franchise in movie history. Amassing a staggering ” $4.47 billion worldwide,” the series about the boy who lived has surpased the box office totals for all 22 of the James Bond films, as well as the six “Star Wars” films.

UPDATE: Warner Brothers has now issued a press release to TLC with more on this achievement, and includes the following:

In addition to holding the franchise box office record, all five of the Harry Potter films have the distinction of being among the 20 top-grossing box office hits of all time. In making the announcement, Alan Horn said, “It would be an understatement to say we
are proud of the success of the Harry Potter films. We also want to congratulate all of the extraordinary actors, filmmakers and artists who have shared this remarkable cinematic journey with us.” Dan Fellman, Warner Bros. Pictures President of Domestic Distribution,
said, “It is a thrill to see the Harry Potter franchise reach this unparalleled mark, and, with two movies yet to come, it is amazing to think what heights the franchise could reach by the end of the decade. Veronika Kwan-Rubinek, Warner Bros. Pictures President of International Distribution, added, “This worldwide box office record once again proves that the appeal of the Harry Potter movies knows no border, no age limit, and no language barrier. Each of the five films has captured the hearts and sparked the imagination of audiences everywhere.”

Reports Variety:

Bond, which dates back to 1962, has generated $4.44 billion worldwide and the “Star Wars” pics have pulled down $4.23 billion since the first release in 1977.

For its part, Fox says that the “Star Wars” franchise would, with adjustment made for inflation, actually translate into $6.21 billion; MGM had no comment about what Bond’s adjusted B.O. would be.

And domestically the “Star Wars” franchise still far outpaces the boy wizard. All told, the “Star Wars” pics have grossed $2.18 billion, while the “Harry Potter” franchise has grossed $1.41 billion. But then there are still two more “Potters” to go.

And all three have generated millions upon millions in downstream ancillary coin for their
studios, once homevideo and TV revenue are added into the tallies.

The final two Harry Potter films have yet to be released, with Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince set to begin principle photography in a few weeks and due in theaters November 21, 2008. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows film is set for release some time in 2010.

The Leaky Cauldron: WB: Harry Potter Films Now the Top Grossing Franchise of All-Time
Also:

As announced previously, author J.K. Rowling is making three appearances here in the US on the “Open Book Tour,” with stops in New York, Los Angeles and New Orleans. On three of these appearances select schools were chosen to see the Harry Potter author at an appearance where she will read from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, answer questions and autograph copies of the final Harry Potter book for lucky schoolchildren. Last week the schools in New York City for
the Scholastic sponsored event with JKR on October 19 were announced, and today the 40 schools in Los Angeles, California were announced. According to CBS2, “a student from each of the 40 schools will attend the event based on an essay contest” at this appearance with 15 high schools, 15 middle
schools and 10 elementary schools all part of those chosen to participate in this event on October 15. To see the entire list, click here.

Schools from Orleans parish chosen to participate in the New Orleans, Louisiana event to be held October 18 will be announced this Wednesday, September 12.

The Leaky Cauldron: LA Schools to see JRK on Open Book Tour Announced…

I wish Warner Bros. had done a more “comprehensive” version of the harrypotter.com. I’ve wondered about that for a long time. They have so much $$ for it, and could really REALLY capitalize on the idea of virtual/dynamic world.

Of all properties- with THOUSANDS of evangelist brand devotees… they could have really, REALLY made bank with a clever, exciting web-strategy to engage online users. The site as it is now can be considered “fun” for a noob viewer. But it gets flashy (stuck sometimes), the games are so-so, and there isn’t actually an entry point for a long-term user.

You can enable cookies to remember several things– like your house, your pet, your plant, and your wand… but there’s no community element to it. It started with the 1st movie, and every new installment they plunk new flashy features onto the old ones– so you get a mix of various HP movie styles in one web world.

Like Star Wars and Star Trek– HP fans are dress-up kids (or adults). Look at all the people who dress up for the movies & the book releases. I mean– heck, I was dressed like a wizard-trying-to-blend-in-with-the-muggles in that charity-shop-chic. At the release of book 7– there were school kids from gryffindor, hufflepuff, ravenclaw, slytherin, there were quidditch players, professors, Rita Skeeter, and lil Harry’s.

HP fans are EAGER for escapism. A world to dive into– it’s the SAME love that people have for Pirates and why Pirates of the Caribbean Online will be so awesome!!!

Harry Potter fans created many HUGE, POPULAR, PROFITABLE sites, like dissendium.com (which managed to create an interactive experience from a fan perspective for the Tri-Wizard Tournament), The Leaky Cauldron (my personal fave– these peeps get flown all over the world to speak about their HP obsession), and mugglenet.com which managed to get a POPULAR BOOK published based on their theories for book 7!!!

And for WB to have such an amazing, excitable audience eager for the wizarding world at their fingertips– and NOT provide a suitable online atmosphere to truly benefit (both audience & corp) from? Tut tut. As it is– it’s a marketing website with a few smile-worthy elements, but mostly just so-so information based on the next book installment.

How great would it be to see WB & Scholastic pair up to make an uber-world? …I can just see it now… *insert dreamy sigh* It’s like a community director’s dream!

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