July 10, 2004

Phoenix Paperback On Sale in UK

Thanks to iHP reader Joe N. for telling us that the UK paperback version of Order of the Phoenix is on sale now! For all the U.S. readers, the US paperback version will go on sale August 10.

Posted by M17 at 07:02 PM

Time Warner Benefits from Potter

As if there was every any doubt? The Harry Potter movies have pushed Time Warner's earnings to a whopping $961 million, as Newsday reports...

An outstanding box office showing for "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," the third Potter film, has validated the firm's decision to acquire the rights to the popular series of books by author J.K. Rowling. This success follows "Return of the King," the third film in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, which in Time Warner's most recent quarter helped earnings more than double to $961 million.

Posted by M17 at 06:44 PM

British PM Opts for Potter-style School System

Britain's Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has announced a five-year plan to revamp Britain's state-run school system. In his plan, students will be seen in uniforms and in school "house" systems similar to those in the Potter novels. The article, from WebIndia, reports that teachers have mixed reactions to this proposal. You can read more at the link.

Posted by M17 at 06:40 PM

NZ Herald Interviews Mike Seresin

The New Zealand Herald has a new interview of Harry Potter cinematographer Mike Seresin:

Over the next couple of weeks Alfonso and I got to know one another a bit better and he said 'Do you want to do it?' and I said 'Yeah, I've got bugger all to do so why not? Have a bit of fun, earning Warner Brothers' money'."

That bit of fun turned into a 18-month commitment - last week Seresin was in Los Angeles helping the transfer of the film to the upcoming DVD.

You'll find more of the link above at the link above.

Posted by M17 at 06:35 PM

Happy Birthday, Fiona Shaw!

Best wishes on her birthday to Fiona Shaw, who plays Aunt Petunia Dursley in the Potter movies, who turns 46 years old today!

Thanks to iHP reader Mrufula for the tip.

Posted by M17 at 06:30 PM

John Cook's New HP Cartoon

John Cook writes:

I've posted a new Harry Potter cartoon. This one answers the question of why all the evil wizards get placed in Slytherin.

You can see it here! Some of the punchlines sent in are pretty funny, so head on over to check it out.

Posted by M17 at 01:16 PM

J.K. Rowling Apperaing at Edinburg Book Festival

On J.K. Rowlings website, Rowling has posted that she will be appearing at the book festival held in Edinburg. There she will be reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix to small audience as well as answering some questions on August 15. Tickets are available by ballot only.

Click here to find more information on attaining tickets.

Posted by at 07:51 AM

July 09, 2004

Rowling Receives Honorary Degree

From Newsround:

JK Rowling has received an honorary degree from the University of Edinburgh, recognising her huge contribution to children's literature.
JK studied to be a teacher at one of the university's colleges and wrote lots of the Potter books in the city.

At the ceremony, the University described why they had awarded her with the honorary degree, calling her a publishing phenomenon.

"Receiving this honorary degree is a particular pleasure," said JK.

"To receive such a tribute from the city I now call home, and to be in such distinguished company, means a lot to me," she added.

Check out the link for a pic, and iHP sends our congratulations to Rowling!

Posted by Jasen at 04:12 PM | TrackBack

Harry Potter Music For Your Ears

The London Symphony Orchestra will be playing music from the Harry Potter films as part of their 15-city US concert later this year.

Posted by Jasen at 04:09 PM

July 08, 2004

'Harry and the Potters' set to Perform Around the US

Two brothers will be traveling to various sites across the US, performing songs based on the Harry Potter books:

Together they are Harry and the Potters, two brothers -- Paul, 25, and Joe, 17, DeGeorge -- who are on tour this summer playing songs based on and inspired by Harry Potter. The band plays mostly free concerts, with the exception of benefits and "normal" non-library collaborations with other bands, Paul said. Not surprisingly, the DeGeorge brothers are huge fans of J.K. Rowling's best-selling novels.

"What really amazes me is (the Harry Potter books have) become this thing that's crossed so many generations," Paul said. "It gives kids a way to relate to adults in a way that they never could before."

Source: The Daily Northwestern

Their full tour schedule can be viewed here, thanks to Leaky for the link.

Posted by M17 at 09:11 AM

Pets, Harry Potter Eliminated from Standardized Tests

A little off-topic, but for all you students (especially the younger ones), the next time you take a standardized test, you aren't likely to see questions about a pet named Pete, or anything about Harry Potter... that's because these things are some "test taboos." More details at The Journal News.

Posted by M17 at 09:05 AM

More Potter Books, Less American Readers?

While there isn't a direct link between Harry Potter and the amount Americans read, a new survey has this interesting bit:

Fewer than half of adult Americans read novels, short stories, plays or poetry, according to a new survey released that details a dramatic decline in literary reading habits. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) report, "Reading at Risk," showed an overall drop of 10 percentage points - representing a loss of 20 million potential readers - from 1982 to 2002...

Despite the much-touted influence of J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" books and Oprah Winfrey's Book Club in reviving reading among children and adults, the NEA survey showed the rate of decline in readers had actually accelerated from five percent to 14 percent since 1992.

More from AFP via Yahoo! News.

Posted by M17 at 08:52 AM

New Interesting Ponderings Page Online

After several months of collecting, we finally have enough questions to add to our new Interesting Ponderings page. Check it out at the link!

Posted by Jasen at 07:48 AM | TrackBack

Concert To Play Harry Potter Music

For all you folks in Pleasanton, California, The Pleasanton Community Concert Band will be performing music from films including "Mary Poppins", "ET", and of course, "Harry Potter". Check out this link for more details.

Posted by Jasen at 07:46 AM | TrackBack

July 07, 2004

Edinburgh University Awards Rowling With Degree

From Scotsman:

The multi-millionaire, who now lives in a Georgian mansion in the city with her husband and two children, was collecting one of the universityís highest accolades, the degree of doctor honoris causa.

When her degree was announced in February, she said: ďI am delighted and honoured to be receiving an honorary degree from the University of Edinburgh, my adopted home city.Ē

The writer will pose with her scroll for photographers at 3.15pm after the ceremony in McEwan Hall, Bristo Square, a university spokeswoman said.

iHP wishes congratulations to Ms. Rowling on her new degree!

Posted by Jasen at 10:42 PM | TrackBack

Just a Reminder...

Just a reminder that USA readers can watch Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone on the ABC Family channel this Sunday, July 11, at 4:30PM Eastern/Pacific & 3:30 Central, and again at 8:00PM Eastern/Pacific & 7:00 Central. The movie will feature additional footage not shown in theaters!

Posted by M17 at 07:36 PM

Of Fads and Harry Potter

In response to an earlier post this week about Jesse Scott, youth correspondent to The Lance Free-Star, who bashed Harry Potter fandom and all those associated with it, a new Minute Musings has been made to discuss his perspective on HP fans.

As Scott says:

On another note, "Harry Potter" is such a chick flick.

There is not one normal male I've met who is obsessed with Mr. Magic the way the female population is.

Do we have your attention? Bring it this way to Opinari.

Posted by Jasen at 06:37 PM

What's In A Name?

From Daily Record:

HARRY Potter author JK Rowling has admitted she gets most of her characters' names from phone directories, baby-naming books and even war memorials.

The writer said she likes collecting unusual words and names.

She explained: 'I take them from all sorts of different places. I really enjoy reading lists of them. For me, its like casting an eye over a pile of unwrapped presents.'

She also revealed she never wastes words, as she'll use one of the first Potter chapters she ever wrote, but didn't use up till now, in the next book.

Posted by Jasen at 03:15 PM

Pirated PoA In Hong Kong

Pirated DVDs of the latest Harry Potter movie are already on sale in Hong Kong days before the boy wizard officially arrives to cast his spell on local cinemas.

Discs of ``Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,'' some with Korean subtitles, were sold in a Hong Kong market for about $20 each (US$2.6), the South China Morning Post said Tuesday.

Read more at Utusan Online.

Posted by Jasen at 03:06 PM

Harry Potter: "America's recent lame fad"

So says Jesse Scott, a youth correspondent for The Free Lance-Star who offered his rather shortsighted views on Harry Potter in a recent opinion article:

"There is not one normal male I've met who is obsessed with Mr. Magic the way the female population is. When "Potter" arrived, I hadn't heard so much female hype since "Little Women" came out in 1994.

Why do various females love the movie-made geek, when they shove him aside in real life? If a realistic geek asked these females out on a date, the ladies would blow him off and tell him to go get a scoliosis examination."

Scott concludes his article with the note, "My friends, the time will soon come when this "Harry Potter" garbage has no place in our society."

Read more at the link above!
Although, I'm not sure you'd really want to...

Posted by iruhkoi at 09:05 AM

More info on Chinese Ban on Potter

iharrypotter.net first brought you this story three days ago, but as it hits the mainstream press we bring you more details on the Chinese ban of the Prisoner of Azkaban movie; from Sky News:

Ten-year-old Yang Kun said that the first two movies were "frightening and really good" and rebutted the government's concerns, arguing that "Harry teaches kids to be brave and helps them solve their problems."

Told that he would not be able to see the new Harry Potter film this summer, 14-year-old Yan Yajun was outraged. "I think that's wrong", he said. "They shouldn't stop kids from watching what they want to watch. Harry doesn't have a bad impact on kids; he teaches us things."

Exactly how "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" might negatively influence Chinese children has not been explained by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television the government bureau responsible for the ban.

Harry Potter's young Chinese fans seem unlikely perpetrators of violent or anti-social acts. On a recent afternoon at the Xinhua Bookstore in downtown Beijing, primary school-aged children flocked around the shelves displaying all five Harry Potter books. A sales assistant attested that the books are top sellers.

The children all avid readers, and, according to those parents present, good students seemed confused and worried by the suggestion that Harry Potter might be a negative influence on their development.

Ten-year-old Yang Kun said that the first two movies were "frightening and really good" and rebutted the government's concerns, arguing that "Harry teaches kids to be brave and helps them solve their problems."

Told that he would not be able to see the new Harry Potter film this summer, 14-year-old Yan Yajun was outraged. "I think that's wrong", he said. "They shouldn't stop kids from watching what they want to watch. Harry doesn't have a bad impact on kids; he teaches us things."

Read more at the link above!

Posted by iruhkoi at 08:55 AM

July 06, 2004

TIME For Kids Interviews Radcliffe

On July 1, the mag spoke to Daniel Radcliffe about playing Harry in the films. Here's an excerpt:

TFK: Whatís it like to see yourself on screen?
Daniel: Itís really weird. Itís very surreal, because Iím, like, 30 feet high.

TFK: How many times did you see the first two movies?
Daniel: We have a ritual each year. The first time I see this third film, it will just be me, David Heyman, my mom and my dad. Then Iíll have a screening for all of my family and friends. And then Iíll go to the premieres. There are two premieres. So I see each film about four times. It gets very tiring after a while.

Read the rest here!

Posted by Jasen at 12:50 PM | TrackBack

FAQ Updated At JKR.com

Thanks to reader Ashley for informing us that the FAQ poll at J.K. Rowling's official site about a certain Mark Evans has been answered.

Posted by Jasen at 12:41 PM | TrackBack

Julie Walters a Powerful Person

Actress Julie Walters (aka Molly Weasley in the Potter movies) top the list of the 40 most powerful figures in TV drama.

The Birmingham-born actress heads a top 40 compiled by the Radio Times.

David Jason, James Nesbitt and Dame Helen Mirren are among the big names on the list. But a panel of industry experts voted Walters, 54, "top of the heap". Last year she won a Bafta for her role as a middle-aged actress who bedded a toyboy in The Wife of Bath, one of the BBC's updates of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.

"Her track record of success across different channels is all the more remarkable for being combined with a buoyant film career, which guarantees her position as an above-the-title name who can deliver critical acclaim and ratings success," the magazine said.

Source: ic Birmingham

Posted by M17 at 12:39 PM

Latest Opinari Mailbag Question Responses

We've posted the responses we received from the latest Opinari Mailbag, so you can check those out and the newest Mailbag question right here!

Posted by Jasen at 12:11 PM | TrackBack

Box Office Update

This weekend in the UK, PoA conjured up 1.2 million pounds, bringing its total to 42 million, but the film dropped to second place right after "Shrek 2".

Meanwhile in the US, "Spider-Man 2" (Spidey you rule!!) took over the box office with another $22 million Sunday, with PoA taking in $1.7 million in seventh spot, bringing its domestic total to $223 million.

Posted by Jasen at 11:35 AM | TrackBack

July 05, 2004

New Role For Radcliffe?

Daniel Radcliffe has apparently been tipped to star in a planned film about the Second World War. No official confirmation has been made at this time.

Posted by Jasen at 07:23 PM | TrackBack

David Thewlis To Set Sail In "The New World"

Christian Bale (BATMAN BEGINS), David Thewlis (HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN), Noah Taylor (TOMB RAIDER) and Q'orianka Kilcher have all accepted roles in THE NEW WORLD, the 17th century-set drama/adventure to be directed by Terrence Malick. The film follows the events after the founding of the Jamestown colony in 1607 and the friction between the New World settlers and the Native American people.

Sounds interesting. More from The Hollywood Reporter.

Posted by Jasen at 03:48 PM

Capitalist Neo-Liberal or An Anti-Globalist Lefty?

The New Zealand Herald has this interesting article:

PARIS - In the sober columns of Le Monde, a debate is raging which slices to the heart of the political and philosophical concerns of the early 21st century.

Is Harry Potter a capitalist neo-liberal? Or is he an anti-globalist lefty, concerned by the fate of the humble and the oppressed?

The opinion pages of the centre-left, French daily - more often occupied with human cloning or Third World debt - have, over the last three weeks, been examining, in high Marxist-structuralist manner, the political subtext of the works of J. K. Rowling.

The Great Debate was launched on June 4 by Ilias Yocaris, of the Institut Universitaire de Formation de Maitres (secondary teacher training school) in Nice.

Yocaris, one of the people responsible for training the next generation of French teachers, complained in Le Monde that the "fantasy universe of Harry Potter is ... a capitalist universe".

The five Harry Potter books - enormously successful in French translation - are stiffed with "neo-liberal stereotypes" which caricature approvingly the "excesses of the Anglo-Saxon social model", Yocaris said.

Thus all representatives of the state (the Ministry of Magic) are lampooned as ridiculous, or incompetent or sinister. Harry goes to a "private" school, whose "micro-society" is a "pitiless jungle" which glorifies "individualism, competition and a cult of violence".

Public institutions are unable to protect individuals: Harry Potter and his friends find that they have to break the magical state-imposed rules constantly to protect themselves from evil forces.

Yocaris says that the Harry Potter books are an example of the totalitarian universe imagined by George Orwell, come to life. "Capitalism is now trying to shape, after its own taste, not only the real world, but the imaginary world of its consumer-citizens."

Now Le Monde has published an equally erudite reply to Yocaris' thesis.

Far from being a capitalist lackey, Harry Potter is, in fact, the first fictional hero of the anti-globalist, anti-free market, pro-Third World, "Seattle"generation, according to Isabelle Smadja.

More at the link!

Posted by Jasen at 03:38 PM | TrackBack

The Ministry of Magic is NOW OPEN!

iharrypotter.net is extremely excited to announce its latest feature, the MINISTRY OF MAGIC. After weeks of behind-the-scenes development, it's finally online and available for your use; click here to navigate over to a fully functional replica of the Ministry of Magic floor plan and view information about every department and known ministry employee.

Watch out for flying memos, and don't forget the passcode!

And after your visit, be sure to give us your feedback in our discussion forums! Speaking of which, as part of the release of the Ministry of Magic Interact feature, we've also got a completely redesigned forum theme---check it out!

Posted by iruhkoi at 09:40 AM

New Wizard of the Month At JKR.com

Thanks to Alex for letting us know that JKRowling.com has up a new Wizard of the Month, who's reminiscent of a certain Kiss band member:

Donaghan Tremlett, band player with the popular wizarding band The Weird Sisters

Posted by Jasen at 08:07 AM

July 04, 2004

New British Adult Edition Covers

CBBC Newsround reports that Bloomsbury, which publishes the British versions of the Harry Potter books, will be releasing new "Adult" edition Potter novels featuring new covers. The article says that the changes to the covers are "to make them look more like the recent Order of the Phoenix one."

The new versions are expected to be on sale July 10, 2004. See them at the link above! Thanks to Darkmark for the tip!

Posted by iruhkoi at 08:09 PM

Book 6 Domain Names Registered

CBBC Newsround reports that domain names related to the title of Book 6 have been registered by companies tied to JK Rowling, including Warner Bros., Seabottom Productions Limited, and Lightmaker (the company that runs www.jkrowling.com).

Domain names that have been registered include harrypotterandthehalfbloodprince.com, harrypotterandthehalfbloodprince.net and halfbloodprince.org. Read more at the link above!

Posted by iruhkoi at 06:15 PM

Penn State Hosts Potter Potions Science Program

from PennState Live:

The first session of Penn State's Action Potential Science Experience, "Another Wizard's World: Potions," wraps up today (July 2) in the chemistry department of the Eberly College of Science. Registrations are being accepted for a new Harry Potter-themed program, "The Adventure of the Apprentice's Stone," which will take place July 12-16 and again July 26-30. Information is available on the Web at http://www.ScienceCamps.psu.edu

More than 90 children, aged 9 to 14, already are enrolled in the first session, which allows Harry Potter fans to experience these stories first-hand. The program is back by popular demand this year after more than 130 young people filled the camp last year. Children will create all kinds of potions-slimy, gooey and fizzy-learn about levitation, and mix their own special elixirs and magical brews.

Read more at the link above!

Posted by iruhkoi at 07:42 AM

Stephen Fry Worried About Book 6

Actor and narrator of the British versions of the Potter books Stephen Fry is "anxious JK Rowling's next Harry Potter book will be too long for him to narrate."

Ireland On-Line reports that Fry "isn't interested in the new book's plot, but he's dreading the amount of time it will take for him to record, if it's as "meaty" as the author has suggested."

"I would have my legs cut off if I gave anything away. But I think we can probably say that this next one is probably not going to be longer than the Order of the phoenix - 29 hours of listening if you buy the tapes or CDs. That's a lot of studio time reading!"

In fact, whenever I see Jo Rowling, I've just become completely banal and vulgar - I'm not at all interested. I don't care what the story is, who lives, who dies, just 'How long is it going to be?"

Posted by iruhkoi at 07:38 AM

China Bans Azkaban Movie for Summer

from The Seattle Times:

...amid growing concern it is losing touch with an increasingly rebellious youth, the government recently announced a series of steps to bolster social, ethical and moral standards among underage Chinese. (...)

The government has also banned the release of all new foreign films ó including "Spider-Man 2," the third installment of the "Harry Potter" series and "Shrek 2" ó during the school break this summer...

Read more at the link above!

Posted by iruhkoi at 07:17 AM

"Knight Bus" Replica Wins Best Looking Boat Award

A boat race in Lake Ellyn, Illinois inspired some to design a replica of the Knight Bus; from the Daily Herald:

After seven gallons of purple paint, 300 sheets of cardboard and a couple of weeks of hard work, the triple-decker "Harry Potter Knight Bus" rolled up to Lake Ellyn Saturday ready to race.

The bus, manned by 40 kids and adults in capes, took to the water with 62 other boats in Glen Ellyn's 12th annual cardboard boat regatta.

Hundreds turned out to see the boats attempt to navigate a two-turn, 200-yard course without sinking.

What happened? Visit the link above to read more!

Posted by iruhkoi at 07:07 AM