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What started as a fairy tale for the kids soon became a staple diet for the whole generation. The Harry Potter franchise today has become synonymous with everything that one’s imagination beholds. From having an ideal hero (Harry Potter) to an ideal friend (Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley) to battling the ideal villain (Lord Voldemort- he who shall not be named), the seven series of the fantasy novels in the Harry Potter provides one with reel fantasies that you would definitely wish to have a touch of it in real life as well.
Written by British author J.K Rowling the cult fiction gained momentum when it was sculpted onscreen. The books have been made into an eight-part film series by Warner Bros. Pictures, with the seventh book split into two parts making it the highest grossing film series of all time.
Rowling coming from an impoverished background became a billionaire overnight and was touted as one of ‘the most powerful women in the world’ and so far the only author to become a billionaire. The series raked in unfathomable moolah with millions of fans getting hooked to it worldwide making ‘Harry Potter mania’ incurable.
The books chronicle the adventures of the bespectacled hero Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) and his best friends Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
The main plot of the story revolves around Harry's quest to overcome the evil dark wizard Lord Voldemort, whose aim is to conquer the wizard world and subjugate non-magical people, and who seeks to destroy all those who stand in his way, with Harry on the top of his ‘death’ list.
The franchise is a complete potboiler of fantasy, young-adult fiction, romance, mystery thriller and coming of age drama. But the main theme is death. The book series has sold about 450 million copies and has been translated into 67 languages. The last four books consecutively set records as the fastest-selling books in history.
The fantasy drew some of the most appealing moments from its fans. Penned down by some critics, it failed to dwindle the enthusiasm of die-hard Harry Potter fans who waited in long queues, even sleeping on the pavement at night, to grab the first edition of the fantasy novel every time it released.
According to Box Office Mojo the first seven films in the series grossed mammoth USD 2 billion in the US alone. Worldwide the franchise has grossed around USD 6.37 billion. The Harry Potter series surpassed the all-time blockbusters like James Bond (USD 5.07 billion), Star wars (4.41 billion), Pirates of Carribbean (3.69 billion), Shrek (2.91 billion), Lord of the Rings and Batman (2.65 billion).
Already a unanimous hit, the mania of Harry Potter had many waiting to become a part of it. With the fiction finding its way onto the big screen the Harry Potter series became ‘a fantasy turned into a business’ phenomena. Harry Potter along with its larger than life characters got spawned into eight video games, spells, quiz and antique articles.
In 2011, Warner Bros. announced plans to build a tourist attraction in the United Kingdom to showcase the Harry Potter film series. Warner Bros. Studio Tour London will be a behind-the-scenes walking tour featuring authentic sets, costumes and props from the film series. The attraction will be located at Leavesden Film Studios, where all eight of the Harry Potter films were made.
Warner Bros. stated that two new sound stages would be constructed to house and showcase the famous sets from each of the British-made productions, following a GBP 100 million investment. In October 2011, the series will be released in various ebook formats through "Pottermore." The films have led to the licensing of more than 400 additional Harry Potter products (including an iPod).
With business becoming an integral part of Harry Potter, the franchise rather than being raved can be taken up as a case study by the Management fraternity also. How the fantasy novels meant for kids aged between 9-11 years captivated the imagination of the young and old alike and become an overnight phenomenon paving its way to minting loads of money.
The young starlets in the movie catapulted to overnight fame and came to be recognized by their characters, walking and talking on the screen in flesh with British actor Daniel Radcliffe playing his alter ego Harry Potter. From endorsing fashion brands to being waxed in Madame Tussauds Hall of Fame, Radcliffe was the youngest millionaire in the world with co-stars Rupert Grint and Emma Watson following suit.
With the Harry Potter film series bearing a midas touch, it was evident that the wizadry had alternative potential as well. With business hopes galore each Harry Potter sequel had always something new to offer. Though it was run-of-the mill of good prevailing over the evil, the genuineness of the fiction laid in playing with the imagination of the people coupled with the true reality of life.
It dealt with overcoming the inner demons of oneself (that Harry Potter faced) which becomes easier if you have friends to stand beside you or a mentor to guide you through. The journey is long and arduous but ultimately to be crowned with success. The author brings out the same with her work and has left behind her a euphoria that is never going to die.
With die-hard fans bidding a tearful adieu to the last installment in the series- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part-2, there is still a tint of hope that it might not be an end after all and the bespectacled wizard boy will come up with some more brave and laudable antics in the near future.
“The Harry Potter franchise is a monumental cinema, awash with fantastical characters, gorgeous tones and breath-taking adventures that will resonate with every viewer, young or old since the books have generated a huge passionate following across the world.”
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