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Happy 20th Anniversary Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone; My Thank You Letter
Posted by Megs

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in the UK. Here is my love letter to the Potter series. While the book wasn’t released until 1998 in the States, I have been a fan ever since I first picked up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone when I was almost 11. It started off innocently enough, I would wait patiently for each new book and devour it. Then I started to buy every piece of merchandise I saw in the store, with my meager savings. Next came the films. By the time I was in high school I had found fan sites and decided I wanted to make my own. So I created DDNT which eventually turned into this very website.

At first Harry Potter was just something that I enjoyed with my sister and a few friends. But later on, as I started getting invited to press events, I made friends from all over the world, some of whom I have become extremely close with. I could not imagine my life without them and, if there was no Harry Potter, we never would have met. I am also a very shy person and meeting all these new people has helped me to come out of my shell. Little by little I’m gaining more self confidence to put myself out there.

I also owe my career to J.K. Rowling. If I didn’t start this website I never would have realized that I wanted to become a graphic designer. Now, 20 years after it’s publication I have graduated from college and been working for 7 years as a graphic designer and programmer. I’m sure many other people have a similar story, whether it’s becoming a writer because they admired her, or finding something else they loved through the series, many people owe their livelihoods to her.

Now with the theme parks and Fantastic Beasts films we have many more years of Potter to enjoy with friends and family. I know that if I ever have children they will read the books and fall in love with them just as I did. I foresee many family trips to Diagon Alley (and Hogsmeade!) at Universal Studios Florida where we can celebrate our love of the series with other like minded fans.

So thank you, J.K. Rowling, you’ll never truly know what you do for all your fans.

Filed Under: Books
Amazon Celebrates 20 Years of Potter-crazed Brits
Posted by Megs

Over the last 20 years fans of Harry Potter have been buying tons of books and merchandise related to the series. In honor of the anniversary, Amazon has released data revealing the UK’s buying habits of all things Potter! Some of the findings are as follows:

  • The UK is a nation of Gryffindors with scarlet and gold merchandise 11 times more popular than Hufflepuff products
  • The Potter craze shows no sign of slowing as print and digital book sales of Harry Potter have jumped 140 per cent from 2015 to 2016, due in part to the release of the Cursed Child
  • Brits hang on to wise Dumbledore’s every word, as Amazon reveals he is the only character to feature in the top five most highlighted passaged on Kindle
  • 180 different versions of the books have sold on Amazon.co.uk over the past 20 years with over 17,000 five star reviews
  • Brits have ordered enough of the bestselling Complete 8-Film Collection since its release in 2011 to watch the films for 975 years straight

The full press release, with lots more data, can be read below:

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Amazon has released exclusive trends data revealing what Harry Potter fans have bought, read, listened to and watched since the franchise first began.Simon Johnson, Director of Media, Amazon UK said: “The wizarding world of Harry Potter has captured the hearts of the nation and the world for the last 20 years, and we are thrilled to be able to celebrate the anniversary by sharing some of the fascinating facts and figures on British buying habits and the nation’s favourite wizard. From books to film, music to merchandise, the world of Hogwarts and Harry Potter is just a click away. Here’s to another 20 years of a nation potty about Potter.

Madam Pince would be proud

J.K. Rowling’s septology boasts over 17,000 five star reviews on Amazon.co.uk, with both Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets netting over 5,500 five star reviews each.

J.K. Rowling’s books have been translated into 79 different languages, with more than 180 different editions on sale on Amazon.co.uk over the past twenty years.

Demand for Harry Potter books is showing no signs of slowing with a jump in Amazon print and digital book sales of 140 per cent from 2015 to 2016. Jim Kay’s illustrated versions of the original series along with the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child could explain the UK’s renewed interest in the world-renowned wizard.

Southampton residents come out on top with the most Kindle downloads of Harry Potter books per capita. Three cities in Scotland, the country said to be where Hogwarts is secretly nestled in the northern highlands, also made the top ten list of places where the Harry Potter books have been downloaded most. The full list of cities is:

  1. Southampton
  2. Bristol
  3. Nottingham
  4. York
  5. Glasgow
  6. Manchester
  7. Edinburgh
  8. Milton Keynes
  9. Northampton
  10. Aberdeen

It would also seem that that the world hangs on to Dumbledore’s every word, as he is the only character to feature in the top 5 most highlighted passages on Kindle from the Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone ebook:

  1. “After all, to the well-organised mind, death is but the next great adventure.” – Dumbledore
  2. “Always use the proper name for things. Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.’” – Dumbledore
  3. “The trouble is, humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things which are worst for them.’” – Dumbledore
  4. “Scars can come in useful. I have one myself above my left knee which is a perfect map of the London Underground.” – Dumbledore
  5. “Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.” – Narrator

From page to screen

Despite the series first capturing hearts through literature, the magical world has leapt off the page and into the world of film. Brits have proved that alongside the books, they also love the film series, with Amazon’s bestselling product of the film franchise being the Complete 8-Film Collection. Since its release in 2011, Brits have ordered enough of this collection to watch the films for 975 years straight – more than enough time to grow a beard as long as Dumbledore’s.

The final instalment of the film series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, is the nation’s favourite film according to sales figures since the films were first available to buy on Amazon.

“Ah, music…A magic beyond all we do here!” – Dumbledore

The most streamed Harry Potter track on Prime Music and Amazon Music Unlimited since launch is the enchanting ‘Hedwig’s Theme’ – John Williams’ instantly recognisable opening theme in the first film – as Brits transport themselves to the world of Harry Potter through sound.

Although ‘Hedwig’s Theme’ has been played 80 per cent more than the next most popular theme, Brits have revealed their emotional side as ‘Lily’s Theme’ comes second. The beautiful choral piece reflects the story of Harry, his mother Lily, and Snape, and is the main motif of the dark Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Other songs in the top five include the jolly ‘Mischief Managed’, the simple ‘prologue’ melody played on a celeste and the iconic ‘Harry’s Wondrous World’ – recognisable in a number of the films in the franchise. The full top five Potter streams are:

  1. Hedwig’s Theme
  2. Lily’s Theme
  3. Harry’s Wondrous World
  4. Mischief Managed/A Window To The Past/Buckbeak’s Flight
  5. Prologue

Take a trip down Diagon Alley

Amazon has revealed that the UK is a nation of Gryffindors, with scarlet and gold products 11 times more popular than Hufflepuff products. Slytherin’s green and silver came in second, and Ravenclaw third, with Hufflepuff fourth.

Of all the cities saying Accio! for Harry Potter merchandise, Bristol came out on top. The top 10 cities for sales of merchandise – such as DVDs, posters, costumes and even temporary tattoos – per capita over the last 20 years are:

  1. Bristol
  2. Nottingham
  3. York
  4. Northampton
  5. Milton Keynes
  6. Leicester
  7. Cardiff
  8. Manchester
  9. Glasgow
  10. Derby

There’s no need for Polyjuice Potion here as in the last 20 years, Harry, Hermione and Dobby have ranked as the top 3 costumes purchased, followed by Voldemort and the dreaded Dementors.

Other best-selling products over the last two decades include:

Filed Under: Books
The Sunday Times Celebrates the Philosopher’s Stone 20th Anniversary
Posted by Megs

The Sunday Times has shared an article on the 20th anniversary of the release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone taking a look at how it’s changed people’s lives. They have also recorded a podcast to celebrate the anniversary.

We collaborated with them to write a difficult Harry Potter quiz! Visit their website to see if you can get all 10 correct!

Save

Filed Under: Books
Universal Studios Hollywood to Livestream The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle
Posted by Megs

To celebrate opening night of The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle, Universal Studios Hollywood on Facebook will host a Facebook Live event to stream the all-new “The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle” experience at “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” tonight, Friday, June 23 at 8:45pm PST. You can watch the livestream below at that time.

This brand new show will run multiple times a night through Labor Day at Universal Studios Hollywood.

As night falls on Hogsmeade village, the familiar sounds of Harry Potter music will resonate throughout “The Wizarding World of Harry PotterTM”.  Multiple times an evening, colorful projection mapping will illuminate Hogwarts™ School of Witchcraft and Wizardry with impressive dimensional animations that melodically dance across Hogwarts castle in tandem to a musical arrangement from of the Harry Potter movies.

Filed Under: Universal Studios Hollywood, Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Bloomsbury + British Library Create Books for 20th Anniversary Harry Potter Exhibition
Posted by Megs

As we posted way back in August 2016, The British Library will be having a special Harry Potter inspired exhibition in honor of the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Bloomsbury has collaborated with the British Library to create two magic-filled books to accompany the exhibition. Tickets for the exhibition, which runs from Fri 20 Oct 2017 – Wed 28 Feb 2018, are now on sale. To purchase tickets go to the British Library’s website.

The books will be released on October 20th to coincide with the opening of the exhibition. Harry Potter: A History of Magic (£30) will be available in hardback and e-book formats. Harry Potter: A Journey Through a History of Magic (£12:99) will be published in available and e-book formats. Both books are available for pre-order on the British Library’s website and there is international shipping.

In a unique collaboration between Bloomsbury and the curators of the British Library, two new books will be published by Bloomsbury and Pottermore this autumn to accompany Harry Potter: A History of Magic: The Exhibition. The exhibition will run at the British Library from 20th October 2017 until 28th February 2018 as part of the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stoneyear long series of activities.

Harry Potter: A History of Magic (Hardback) is the official book of the exhibition. In a unique collaboration between Bloomsbury and the curators of the British Library, the exhibition will unveil rare books, manuscripts and magical objects from the British Library’s collection, capturing the traditions of folklore and magic which underpin the Harry Potter stories. Visitors can marvel at original drafts and drawings by J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter illustrator Jim Kay, both on display for the first time. This book explores the amazing artefacts, manuscripts, original artwork and curators’ insights that make up the backbone of the exhibition. A comprehensive companion book, it will also feature essays on each section of the exhibition by cultural commentators, academics and respected writers as diverse as Major Tim Peake, Lucy Mangan, Steve Backshall and Anna Pavord. This is a beautifully produced, full-colour coffee-table book which will make the whole exhibition experience available to everyone.

Harry Potter: A Journey Through a History of Magic showcases selected items from the exhibition and is aimed at a family audience. It too explores the subjects studied at Hogwarts, and will contain spellbinding facts and information behind the real history of magic, alongside activities inspired by these subjects, creating a rich and rewarding book for families to enjoy for years to come.

The print editions will be published by Bloomsbury on 20th October 2017 and the eBook editions will be published by Pottermore simultaneously. Both print and digital editions will echo the contents of the exhibition, which takes visitors on a journey to where magic and myth began using an extraordinary range of wizarding books, manuscripts and objects, and combine fascinating treasures from the British Library’s collections with previously-unseen material from the Bloomsbury archive and J.K. Rowling. Both titles will be available for purchase from the British Library as well as general book retailers.

Filed Under: Books
Bloomsbury Launches Wizarding Wednesdays to Celebrate 20 years of Philosopher’s Stone
Posted by Megs

In honor of the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Bloomsbury is bringing back their very successful Wizarding Wednesdays competition by popular demand. The first week fans in the UK and Ireland can win a deluxe family ticket and early access to Warner Bros. Studio Tour London!

Wizarding Wednesdays originally ran in 2016 as part of the hugely successful film campaign for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and was enthusiastically embraced by fans in the UK. The competition will create multiple opportunities for fans in the UK to win the most exciting, money-can’t-buy-prizes from the Wizarding World. The prizes range from all across J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World and include exciting packages from Bloomsbury, Warner Bros., Pottermore, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, MinaLima, The British Library and many more.

The competition can be entered by heading to www.HarryPotter20.com/WizardingWednesdays. Winners are selected at random and fans need only register once to be in with a chance to win from the array of fantastic prizes offered over six weeks. Any lucky winners will not be eligible to win further prizes.

For a full list of the prizes on offer and terms and conditions go towww.HarryPotter20.com/WizardingWednesdays. Competition is only eligible for people living in the UK and Ireland.

You can also celebrate the 20th anniversary across social media:

Bloomsbury and Pottermore will work with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter on three exciting projects that will celebrate the 20th anniversary in different ways across each social media channel globally.

Because great books help people connect with one another, Facebook will surprise people on the 26th with a fun, special feature when posting or commenting about Harry Potter.

Instagram superfans and influencers will be sharing Instagram Stories of what Harry Potter has meant to them over the past twenty years using #HarryPotter20. The official Instagram account – @instagram (224m followers) – will be joining in the celebrations by featuring stories from some of the biggest Harry Potter fans in the community.

Meanwhile, on Twitter fans can join in the conversation with a specially-designed emoji for the world’s most favourite boy-wizard, revealed when they type in the official hashtag of the campaign #HarryPotter20.

The projects will each launch on Monday 26th June.

Filed Under: Books
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