Harry Potter: Films, Books etc

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ng 10.8 million copies. Title unknown Story time: 1997 to ???? (possibly 1998) Release: unannounced date (probably worldwide) As of 1 January 2006, over three hundred million (300,000,000) copies of Harry Potter books have been sold worldwide.

The books have become popular enough that bookshops worldwide now hold simultaneous "release parties" on the day Harry Potter books are released, since the earliest time the books can be sold at retail is 12:01 a.m. GMT (or the equivalent local time at the point of sale).

The Harry Potter books have been translated into many languages. For the English language, there exists an adapted American English version of each book, with lexical changes like "football" to "soccer", "video recorder" to "VCR", "do his nut" to "go ballistic" and "rubbish bin" to "trash can" and spelling changes like "defence" to "defense".

In 2001, two slim spin-off volumes called Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander and Quidditch Through the Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp were published. These were supposedly reproductions of two Hogwarts textbooks owned by Harry, complete with notes scribbled in the margins by Harry and his friends. These were written by J. K. Rowling with proceeds going to Comic Relief.

Regarding the existence of Harry Potter novels beyond the seventh, Rowling has said that she might write an eighth book some day. If she does, she intends it to be a sort of encyclopaedia of the wizarding world, containing concepts and snippets of information that were not relevant enough to the novels plots to be included in them. She has also said that she will not write any sort of "prequel" to the novels, since by the time the series ends all the necessary back story will have been revealed. It is currently unknown, despite rumours, if Rowling will allow other authors to write novels set in the Harry Potter Universe not concerning Harry.

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The films Movie Poster for Goblet of Fire Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone (Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone in the United States) Release: 16 November 2001 Director: Chris Columbus Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Release: 15 November 2002 Director: Chris Columbus Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Release: UK: 31 May 2004, USA: 4 June Director: Alfonso Cuaron Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Release: 2005; Philippines and Indonesia: 16 November; Singapore, Malaysia, Sweden: 17 November; UK, USA, and other countries: 18 November; Australia: 1 December; Hong Kong: 22 December; Russia: 23 December Director: Mike Newell Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Release: Expected 1 June 2007 Director: David Yates Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Release: Unknown Director: Unknown Harry Potter 7 (title unknown) Release: Unknown Director: Unknown The first three films ranked 1st [2], 2nd [3], and 2nd [4] respectively in worldwide box office grosses for their years of release. They grossed a total of over $2.6 billion worldwide. [5]

Controversy The books have provoked various kinds of controversy.

Accusations of promoting the occult Some religious groups have attacked the books for allegedly promoting witchcraft or undermining Islam and Christianity. Most of this controversy has occurred in the parts of the United States where religion plays a prominent role in public life. Some claim that children who read the books may begin to view the miracles of God as simply another form of magic. In the United Kingdom, Harry Potters country of origin, the controversy has been minor.

According to the American Library Association, the Harry Potter novels have been among the 100 most frequently challenged in United States libraries between 1990-2000. The complaints allege that the books have occult or Satanic themes, are violent, and are anti-family.

Some highly conservative Christian groups in the United States have denounced the series for promoting witchcraft and Satanism. "It contains some powerful and valuable lessons about love and courage and the ultimate victory of good over evil," said Paul Hetrick, spokesman for Focus on the Family, a national Christian group based in Colorado Springs. "However, the positive messages are packaged in a medium witchcraft that is directly denounced in Scripture." [6]. The official exorcist of Rome, Father Gabriele Amorth, believes that the Harry Potter books can be a bad influence on some children by getting them interested in the occult of witchcraft (see Christian views on witchcraft).

Chick Publications produced a comic book tract called "The Nervous Witch" about two teenaged girls who get seriously involved in occult witchcraft and become demonically possessed as a direct result of reading Harry Potter books.[7]

It has been argued that when Pope Benedict XVI was Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith he also condemned the books in a letter expressing gratitude for the receipt of a book on the subject, stating they are "a subtle seduction, which has deeply unnoticed and direct effects in undermining the soul of Christianity before it can really grow properly." [8] (It can be noted here Pope John Paul II was reputed to like Harry Potter and also promoted it; see further down.) However, no evidence is provided that those "they" which are "a subtle seduction" actually refer to the Harry Potter books, nor is this at all clear from the original German text of the Cardinals letter, which in any case shows signs of being dashed off in rather a hurry. Monsignor Peter Fleetwood, a Vatican priest, wrote that these remarks were misinterpreted, and that the letter was likely to have been written by an assistant of the then-cardinal. [9]. Indeed, the letter appears to have been written by an underling, but was issued under the Cardinals signature. This letter and a second that allowed publication of the first have been posted to the Internet by Gabriele Kuby, who had sent her book, Harry Potter - Good or Evil, attacking J.K. Rowlings best-selling series about the boy wizard, to the Cardinal.

However, other Christian readers have pointed out themes in the Harry Potter books which reflect values exemplified or preached by Jesus. Lily Potter sacrificed her own life to save her child (John 15:13). Harrys Muggle guardians attempt to keep him from knowing of his gifts, yet he is taken away and sent to learn to use his powers responsibly (Matt. 5:1316). Harry comes close to death in several stories, yet is more determined than ever to fight evil. It is also said in the books that love is the strongest magic (1 Cor 13:13). Some Christian bookstores even sell the Harry Potter series. J.K. Rowling is on record saying she did not emphasise Christian ideals in the book because her goal was never to preach or dictate a philosophy of life, but to tell a story; besides, if she had, intelligent readers would be able to guess important plot details.

Other members of the Catholic Church gave the series their approval, saying that it is imbued with Christian morals, and that the good versus evil plot is very clear. The late Pope, Pope John Paul II, praised the books for their message about the evils of racism and genocide. Christian Congregationalist minister John Killinger also argued that rather than corrupting childrens minds, the novels encourage young readers to follow the teachings of Jesus. The book The Hidden Key to Harry Potter: Understanding the Meaning, Genius, and Popularity of Joanne Rowlings Harry Potter Novels, written by John Granger, a Reader in the Orthodox Church, claims to uncover Christian themes in its analysis of the story. Granger also cites the fact that Rowling is a professed member of the presbyterian Church of Scotland.

The controversy was spoofed on the television show The Simpsons. In one episode, ultra-Christian Ned Flanders "reads" Harry Potter to his sons and says, "...and Harry Potter and all his wizard friends... went straight to Hell for practising witchcraft." His sons cheer and Ned throws the book into the fireplace. Harry Potter was also parodied in The Onion, when an article titled "Harry Potter Books Spark Rise in Satanism Among Children" satirically reported the thousands of children attracted to the dark arts and denying religion due to the books. As reported on Urban Legends Reference Pages, some who were unaware that the article was a pastiche employed it as evidence in the demonisation of the books. The entire action and reaction is recorded on this page.

Accusations of plagiarism Rowling prevailed in a lawsuit alleging copyright infringement, filed by Nancy Stouffer, writer of The Legend of Rah and the Muggles and allegedly of Larry Potter and His Best Friend Lilly. "Muggle" is wizarding jargon for non-magical people. US District Judge Allen G. Schwartz rejected Nancy Stouffers claims that she was plagiarised, and fined Stouffer $50,000 for "submission of fraudulent documents" and "untruthful testimony", but stopped short of having Stouffer criminally charged with perjury. Stouffer was required to pay a portion of the attorneys fees incurred by Rowling, her US publisher Scholastic Press, and Warner Bros. Films.

While no known legal action has been taken, a Bollywood (Indian) film called Aabra Ka Daabra: School of Magic, was released in 2005 and was claimed to have been &q