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The Harry Potter™ books

News in the media: 2004-2006

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Developments during 2004:

  • 2004-JUN-4: The next Harry Potter movie, "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban"  premiered in the U.S. and Canada. It is based on the third book in the projected series of seven. Warner Brothers has made available a trailer which features Gary Oldman as Sirius Black and Michael Gambon as the new Albus Dumbledore. See: http://harrypotter.warnerbros.com
  • 2004-JUN-7: The Harry Potter 3 movie was been a tremendous success during its first weekend. It grossed U.S. $92.65 million. This is the third largest three-day opening weekend of any movie in history, behind $114.8 million for Spider-Man and $108 million for Shrek 2. Dan Fellman, head of distribution for the movie's distributor Warner Bros. said:
    "I guess audiences are still crazy about Harry....What's fabulous about the series is, I think, as the actors have aged, so has the audience, and that's created a bond between them. The other thing is, as the actors have gotten older, they've gotten better, so the performances are the best yet." The movie "reunites Daniel Radcliffe as Harry with Rupert Grint and Emma Watson as his allies at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as they unravel the mystery of an escaped sorcerer (Gary Oldman) linked to the deaths of Harry's parents."

Developments during 2005:

  • 2005-JUN-07: A cash prize awaits a real "Harry Potter." ABEbooks.com is attempting to track down the Harry Potters of the world. They have found four: A Latin teacher in Michigan, a retired seaman in Florida, a maker of children's videos in Texas, and a lawyer in the UK. Potters are invited to tell their stories on the ABE website. The story that the web site's visitors finds most interesting will win $1,000. An additional $1,000 will be donated to her or his favorite charity. 1
  • 2005-JUL-16: "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," the sixth book in the Harry Potter seven book series, is scheduled to be released. Many bookstores held parties on the evening of JUL-15, leading up to the sale of the book at midnight. 2
  • 2005-NOV-18: The movie: "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" opened across North America. Its run time is 2 hours and 30 minutes. It has been given a MPAA rating of PG-13, because of sequences of fantasy, violence, and frightening images.

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Developments during 2006:

  • 2006-MAY-02: Barna Group reports that more than 80% of American teens have personally read books or watched movies in the Harry Potter series. Among church going teens, the percentage is 77%; among born-again teens, the percentage is 78%. This is in spite of strong campaigns by conservative Christian faith groups against the books and movies. Many Fundamentalist and other Evangelical leaders have equated the imaginary, fantasy witchcraft in the books and movies with Wicca and other Neo-pagan earth-centered religions, and have feared the effect of both on their youth. Barna found that about one in eight teenagers indicated that the material increased their interest in witchcraft; they did not indicate whether this number refers to imaginary witchcraft or real Neopagan religion.

    The Barna report states:

"Overall, a majority of teens -- Christian or other -- are ingesting the mythology of the child wizard without any guidance from their parents or church leaders. Instead, teens are feeling their way through the spiritual themes either on their own or with the influence of their peers."

David Kinnaman, director of the research and vice president of The Barna Group, stated,

"While the Potter books generated an unprecedented following, it has been the movies that have helped propel the story into the mainstream of the Mosaic generation. But while the vast majority of teenagers and adolescents find entertainment value in Potter, most [conservative] Christian leaders and parents have responded by either condemning the series or ignoring it. That response hasn't worked because most teens still consume the stories -- along with dozens more like it -- but without the critical input that would help them make sense of the supernatural dimension described in the Potter universe." 3

References used:

  1. "Harry Potter 3 takes no prisoners," Associated Press. Published in the Toronto Star, 2004-JUN-7, Page B3.
  2. "Cash prize awaits Harry Potter namesake," The Toronto Star, 2005-JUN-07, Page C6.
  3. "Harry Potter Exposure Increases, Left Unchallenged," Christian Post, 2006-MAY-02, at: http://www.christianpost.com/

Site navigation: Home page > "Hot" religious topics > Harry Potter > here

Copyright © 2004 to 2008 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2004-JUN-1
Latest update: 2008-AUG-19
Author: B.A. Robinson

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