Harry Potter: And the Billion Dollar Franchise

If you don’t know what this week is, be very very ashamed of yourself. Thursday night leads up to midnight, July 15: the opening of

Holy crap! Look how much money we made!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows worldwide. And to commemorate such an awesome occasion I am going to blog about Harry Potter every day. About the books, characters, universe, and my personal experiences with it.

There’s no doubt, Harry Potter is a phenomenon.

And Rowling has made quite a few galleons off of her fantasy series about a boy wizard who goes to wizarding school.

Of course, the biggest money maker is the eight-part movie series based on the novels, and the novels have sold millions of copies. She’s written supplements and a children story book based on the series. People can buy replica wands and robes and time turners. Harry Potter action figures. Sorting Hats. Personalized Hogwarts Acceptance Letters. Replica Invisibility Cloaks. Sheet music. Sweater Vests. Replica Marauder Maps. Scarves. Hogwarts earrings. Board games. Internet puppet shows. HP-themed mouspads!

Not to mention a really awesome theme park in Orlando!

J.K. Rowling is the 1062nd richest person in the world, which is quite feat indeed. Recently, she announced the release of Pottermore, “an interactive reading experience.” Whatever that means, I am stoked. As I said, what really sparked the money-maker was the advent of the film series, but the books have obviously sold well on their own. Because of the money that’s been made, it’s pretty obvious that the Harry Potter franchise has been the largest franchise based on a book ever.

It’s every writers dream to make billions of dollars off of their books, but J.K. Rowling worked hard. Harry Potter began on a train ride from Manchester to London. Rowling says,

“I had been writing almost continuously since the age of six but I had never been so excited about an idea before. I simply sat and thought, for four (delayed train) hours, and all the details bubbled up in my brain, and this scrawny, black-haired, bespectacled boy who did not know he was a wizard became more and more real to me.”

The first book was published in 1997, seven years after first coming up with the idea. That blows me away. Seven years. She says she spent 7 years forming the plots for the novels, so she was already sure what she wanted to do when she began. That is commitment right there, and it shows in her writing. There will be another post on how much of a BAMF J.K. Rowling is.

What I’m saying is, this series had humble beginnings, and now it is this awesomely immense franchise. Many things come to mind when one says Harry Potter, and no one can say it hasn’t helped kids read more books. These are books that people wait all night in line just to purchase. I will be among the hordes of muggles in wizard garb lined up in the late afternoon on Thursday, primed to see the epic ending of my childhood.

The thing is, even non-fans have heard of Harry Potter. Harry Potter has sparked parades and parties and protests and theme bands and courtroom dramas!

So, even a muggle knows… magic is definitely going on here.


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