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The Harry Potter™ books

News in the media: 2007 to now

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Developments during 2007

  • 2007-FEB-02:  The release date for the final book in the seven book series was set at 2007-AUG-21.  It can be safely ordered at

  • 2007-JUL-13: The fifth movie in the Harry Potter series, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" opened. Barnes & Noble gave a synopsis:

"Hard times hit Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, as the boy wizard warns of the evil Lord Voldemort's return, only to face skepticism and denial from the Ministry of Magic." 1

A plot outline published by IMDb states:

"With their warning about Lord Voldemort's return scoffed at, Harry and Dumbledore are targeted by the Wizard authorities as an authoritarian bureaucrat slowly seizes power at Hogwarts." 2

The box-office revenue on its day of release was $44.8 million in the U.S. and 74 million worldwide. Among all movies released on a Wednesday, this is the highest grossing movie of all time. 3 A movie trailer is available for viewing. 1

  • 2007-JUL-20: All or essentially all of the large bookstores (Borders and Barnes & Noble in the U.S.; Chapters and Indigo in Canada) stayed open in the evening and organized parties leading up to the sale of the book at one minute past midnight.

    The Internet is awash with spoilers. One site in Europe contains photographs that were allegedly taken of each page of the new book. The frenzy to learn its contents was fueled by a statement by the author that two leading characters died in the final book. There was considerable speculation that Harry Potter himself would be one of the two. Fortunately, this was not so. Harry and his two side-kicks all survived.

    Many young people identify with Harry. Among these tens of millions of children and youths there were certain to be a few who are mentally unstable. If Harry had died, there might well have been a rash of sympathetic suicides around the world.

    An unidentified online retailer started shipping books during the week before the official released. This caused publisher Scholastic to take legal action. The New York Times and the Baltimore Sun published advance reviews of the book on JUL-19. R.K. Rowling said in a statement:

"I am staggered that some American newspapers have decided to publish purported spoilers in the form of reviews in complete disregard of the wishes of literally millions of readers, particularly children. I am incredibly grateful to all those newspapers, booksellers and others who have chosen not to attempt to spoil Harry's last adventure for fans."

A spokesperson for the New York Times defended their book review:

"Our feeling is that once a book is offered up for sale at any public, retail outlet, and we purchase a copy legally and openly, we are free to review it. We came across a copy of 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' at a store in New York City and we bought it. We took great care not to give away the ending, nor to give away significant details about who lives and who dies, confining our review -- which, incidentally, had extremely high praise for both this final book and the entire series -- to broader-brush assessments of the tone and the writing." 4

  • 2007-OCT-19: J.K. Rowling outs Albus Dumbledore: J.K. Rowling, 42, started her first tour of the U.S. in seven years with an appearance at Carnegie Hall. She told the audience what some Harry Potter fans had long suspected: that she "... always felt Dumbledore was gay." He is the head of Hogwarts School. According to Rowling, Dumbledore fell in love with Gellert Grindenwald, another wizard. However, Grindenwald became more interested in the dark arts; Dumbledore was "terribly let down" and went on to destroy his rival/love. She said that that love was Dumbledore's "great tragedy. ... Falling in love can blind us to an extent." She said that he had changed the screenplay for the movie version of her sixth book "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." It had referred to Dumbledore's past female lover. She crossed it out and wrote "Dumbledore is gay" over the text. Her audience appears to have gone silent after her statement; then it erupted into applause. Rowling said that: "If I'd known it would make you so happy, I would have announced it years ago!" 5
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Developments during 2008:

  • 2008-AUG-07: Terminus, an academic conference focused on all things Harry Potter was held on 2008-AUG-07 to 11 in the Hilton Chicago Hotel in Chicago IL. They "... expect over 1,000 adult attendees at Terminus: academics, educators, librarians, writers, artists, professionals and fans from around the world." See:

  • 2008-SEP-08: J.K. Rowling won a lawsuit against RDR Books in Michigan. The company had prepared to publish the Harry Potter Lexicon by Steven Vander Ark. This would have been a type of encyclopedia of the Harry Potter books. U.S. District Judge Robert P. Patterson said that the lexicon would cause Rowling irreparable harm as a writer. Rowling and Warner Brothers Entertainment were awarded $6,750 in damages. Patterson said that: "Lexicon appropriates too much of Rowling's creative work for its purposes as a reference guide." 7

  • 2008-DEC-04: J.K. Rowling's new book "The Tales of Beedle the Bard" will be published. It is a group of fairy tales that supplement the Harry Potter series. It will be available in two editions: The Collector's Edition that is unique to includes a reproduction of J.K. Rowling's handwritten introduction, along with ten additional illustrations not found in the Standard Edition. Read reviews or order the Collector Edition safely from online book store. Read reviews/order the Standard Edition.

  • 2008: Warner Brothers decided to delay release of the sixth movie in the Harry Potter series, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" from 2008-NOV-21 until 2009-JUL-17. However, Entertainment Weekly (EW) will still featured the film on the cover of its fall preview issue. Both Warner Brothers and EW share the same parent company: Time Warner. Apparently, their intra-communication channels are not up to scratch. 6

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Developments during 2009:

  • 2009-JUL-15: The sixth movie in the Harry Potter series, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" was released on 2009-JUL-15. IMDb describes the plot: "As Harry Potter begins his 6th year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he discovers an old book marked mysteriously 'This book is the property of the Half-Blood Prince' and begins to learn more about Lord Voldemort's dark past." It grossed over $300 million in the U.S. alone during 2009. 8

Developments during 2010:

  • 2010-NOV-19: The seventh movie in the Harry Potter series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1" was released. The final book by this name was split into two movies. IMDb describes the plot: "As Harry races against time and evil to destroy the Horcruxes, he uncovers the existence of three most powerful objects in the wizarding world: the Deathly Hallows." Part 2 is scheduled to be released in North America on 2011-JUL-15.9

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Overview of the Harry Potter series:

The series of books has been translated into 67 languages and distributed worldwide. The first volume has even been translated into Latin and ancient Greek.

Impatient buyer in France have purchased English versions rather than wait for the French translations to become available. The fifth book was so popular that it became the first English-language book to ever top the bestseller list in France.

The North American versions of the books were slightly modified from the original British versions because many of the words and concepts contained in the books would not otherwise have been understood by young people there.

The Harry Potter films have been top-rank box office hits, with all six current releases on the list of highest-grossing films worldwide." 10

Universal and Warner Brothers opened "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" theme park at Universal Orlando in Florida on 2010-JUN-18. 10

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References used:

  1. "Harry Potter 5 movie trailer," Barnes & Noble, at:
  2. "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," IMDb, at:
  3. " 'Harry Potter' works box office magic in debut," Reuters, 2007-JUL-12, at:
  4. Mike Collett-White & Robert MacMillan. "Rowling angered as NYT reviews last Potter," Reuters, 2007-JUL-20, at:
  5. "JK Rowling says wizard Dumbledore is gay," Reuters, 2007-OCT-20, at:
  6. "Magazine in the dark," The Toronto Star, 2008-AUG-18, Page L6.
  7. Mark Hamblett, "Judge Blocks Book That Takes 'Too Much' From 'Harry Potter'," New York Law Journal, 2008-SEP-09, at:
  8. "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," IMDb, at:
  9. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1," IMDb, at:
  10. "Harry Potter," Wikipedia, at:

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

Copyright 2007 to 2010 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2007-JUL
Latest update: 2010-DEC-08
Author: B.A. Robinson

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