Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Harry Potter, Boy Wizard, is King of All Media

A few facts and tidbits about the Harry Potter-mania, building toward a crescendo this weekend:

* says it has received 1,383,311 pre-orders for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, as of 7pm Wednesday night.

* In addition, Amazon has named Falls Church, Virginia as the "Harry-est town" in the U.S.: it has bought more copies of Deathly Hallows per capita than any other town in America. It lists the "Harry-est" state as District of Columbia (even though it's not a state). (The five top actual states are: Vermont, Utah, Washington, Massachusetts, and Maine.)

* While it might not be the "Harry-est" town in America, Crawfordsville, Indiana may be the country's Harry Potter Central. It's rumored that that's where the book is being printed. Employees of the RR Donnelley & Sons printing plant have been instructed not to comfirm or deny questions about whether Harry Potter is indeed in the house.

* The film of the fifth Harry Potter book, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," has pulled in more than $159 million dollars... in just seven days.

* Lots of bookstores and other places are holding Harry Potter parties on Friday night going into the wee hours. (My almost-17-year-old niece in New Mexico will be one of them.) Perhaps the biggest one will be in New York City, where a block-long street fair will be held in front of the headquarters of Scholastic, Inc., Harry Potter's publisher, in trendy Soho. The party goes from 5 to 11 pm.

With all those late-night Harry Potter parties taking place Friday, be prepared to run into a lot of bleary-eyed young people stumbling around on Saturday. And if there's a teenager behind the counter at your local coffeeshop or convenience store, be sure to count your change twice.

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