by Justine MAGAUD BONILLA
On June 26, 1997, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was published, written by British novelist Joanne Rowling*. The seven books of her saga were later translated into nearly 80 languages and sold over 500 million copies worldwide. Adapted for the cinema, the adventures of the young wizard were a box-office record for 10 years. The first film, which premiered on December 5, 2001, recorded 9,929,337 tickets sold in France. Directors as talented as Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuaron, Mike Newell and David Yates have succeeded one another in bringing J.K. Rowling’s novels to life.
If the last chapter of the saga -Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2- came out in cinema almost 10 years ago (on July 13, 2011), the magic enthralled the fans of the saga just as it had done on its first day. The Harry Potter phenomenon has the unique feature of having made an impact on all generations on all continents.
Two new films set in the Harry Potter universe were released in 2016 and 2018. The Fantastic Beasts saga takes place some 60 years before the arrival of Harry, Ron and Hermione’s generation. The films, a third installment of which will be released in 2022, were written by J.K. Rowling and directed by David Yates (who is the director of the last four Harry Potter films). They have been very successful at the box office, with nearly 4 million admissions in France for each film. Adapted from a directory of magical creatures written by the author of Harry Potter and published in 2001, the saga has been a great success and reminds us that the craze around Harry Potter is not about to end.
Several Universal Studio amusement parks have opened a section dedicated to the Harry Potter universe. We can find the Wizarding World of Harry Potter parks in Orlando, Hollywood and Osaka. The enthusiasm around the saga is such that, on average, the attendance of Universal Studio theme parks has increased by 32.1% after the opening of a section dedicated to the adventures of the wizard. The Hollywood park even saw its attendance increased by 112.3%.
The filming studios of the movies that starred the trio Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, located in the suburbs of London, have been open to the public since 2012. They welcome 6,000 visitors a day, who come from all over the world to discover the secrets of the films, admire the model of Hogwarts, take a walk on the Traverse path or drink a butterbeer.
A play written by Jack Thorne from an original story by John Tiffany, Jack Thorne and JK Rowling was first performed at the Palace Theater in London on July 31, 2016 and has since been staged in several countries such as Australia and the US. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, directed by John Tiffany, takes the audience on a journey through time. The play is set 19 years after the era in which the last film takes place. We can discover the adventures of Albus Severus Potter, son of Harry and Ginny Potter, as he enters Hogwarts.
To extend the immersion in the wizarding world, Czocha Castle in Poland has been converted into the College of Wizardry, offering fans of the saga a unique 4-day experience. Attendees are divided into different houses, follow the same courses as Hogwarts students, attend a welcome ball inspired by the Three Wizards Tournament ball, and can join a dueling club or play Quidditch.
But you don’t have to go to Poland to play the favorite sport of wizards. Muggles -meaning people without magical powers -have adapted this sport, originally played on flying broomsticks, to our world. The rules for Muggle Quidditch were established in 2005 at Middlebury University in Vermont, USA. A first intercontinental Quidditch tournament was held in Oxford in 2012. This first tournament was won by the American team. Two competitions are organized annually by the International Quidditch Association:the European Quidditch Cup and the European Quidditch Games. So, if the fans have made their farewells to the cast of Harry Potter almost 10 years ago, the enthusiasm surrounding the films remains the same and is being transmitted to new generations. This worldwide craze has not finished yet, many stores based on the world of Harry Potterare still opening today in France and through the world. The characters created by J.K Rowling more than 20 years ago still enchant the fans of the first hour as well as the children who discovered the saga well after the release of the last movie.
Justine MAGAUD BONILLA
*ndlr : we condemn the transphobic tweets and speech that JK Rowling spread. If you want to know more about this subject : https://www.madmoizelle.com/jk-rowling-transphobe-1055687 (in French)