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Harry Potter and Pottermania

Pottermania is a global phenomenon. Reports on the success of the Harry Potter series in terms of popularity and sales abound. Harry Potter has broken so many records in terms of sales, making the headlines every time J. K. Rowling released a book. On cue, Harry Potter paraphernalia spring up in all department stores, bearing the current Harry Potter book title and even the previous ones. The success of Harry Potter is almost immeasurable. It is indeed a literary rebirth of consumerism. Just looking at the facts, in terms of sales, the impact of the Harry Potter series is evident.

In a survey done by the Nielsen Company since 1998, it has been found that the first six books of the Harry Potter Series have sold more than 22. 5 million copies in the United Kingdom alone. In the U. S. , records since 2001 show that a total of 27. 7 million copies of the six Harry Potter books have been sold. In China, a total of 2,005,660 book sales are recorded. In austral, records show a total of 4,584,576. In South Africa, book sales of Harry Potter have also reached 151, 798. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” the seventh and final volume of J. K. Rowling’s all-conquering fantasy series, sold a mountainous 8.

3 million copies in its first 24 hours on sale in the United States, according to Scholastic Inc. In the UK, a record breaking 1. 8 million copies in Britain were sold upon the 7th books release. No other book, not even any of the six previous Potters, has been so desired, so quickly. “Deathly Hallows” averaged more than 300,000 copies in sales per hour more than 5,000 a minute. The $34. 99 book, even allowing for discounts, generated far more revenue than the opening weekend of the latest Potter movie, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” which came out July 10.

(Italie, 2007 NY) Pottermania extend beyond the book sales. It also affects all other areas, economy wise The Nielsen Company reports the following statistics on Harry Potter sales: The first four Harry Potter movies combined, have grossed more than $3. 5 billion worldwide. The first film, “Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone,” is the fourth all-time highest grossing film worldwide. In Advertising, ad spend for all Harry Potter branded merchandise (including books, movies, DVDs and other promotional products) totals $269. 1 million from 1998 to date only in the United States.

Outside of the U. S. from 2000 to date, $119. 3 million was spent on total advertising for all Harry Potter branded merchandise in Canada, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Switzerland, and the U. K. In Music Sales, The four Harry Potter soundtracks combined have sold more than 1. 1 million copies in the U. S. and almost 100,000 copies in Canada since the initial release back in October 2001. There have been a total of 180,000 downloads of individual songs that tied to the four Harry Potter soundtracks. In consumer products More than $11.

8 million has been spent by U. S. consumers on Harry Potter-licensed trademark cookies, candy and gum products since June 2002. ( Nielsen Company, 2007) As can be surmised by the magnitude of Harry Potter sales, Pottermania has indeed created a wave for consumerism to ride on. In 2001, Forbes even put up a report on what the release of the Harry Potter movie will affect the stocks. It also enumerated the big companies such as AOL Time Warner, Coca Cola, Fossil, Johnson & Johnson, and Mattel and of course, Scholastic, that were cashing in on Harry Potter Merchandise.

Forbes stated that Sales are even stronger than expected, says Lisa Holton, senior vice president of global books at Disney Publishing Worldwide. “During Harry Week, sales basically doubled,” All of this comes at a time when sales are supposedly soft in the children’s book market, according to a February report by Publishers Weekly. The industry magazine said net sales peaked in 2000 at $1. 95 billion and began a decline that led to 2002 net sales of $1. 75 billion. The report credits the release of the fourth Harry Potter book with bolstering 2000’s sales.

It projects a sales increase to $1. 91 billion in 2006 from $1. 69 billion in 2003, citing a strengthening economy and additional Potter installments as factors in the improvement. (Chase, 2003) With all these figures, one can get easily lost in the consumer-frenzy that accompanies Pottermania. However, the big difference between J. K. Rowling’s books and other consumer-fads that preceded these are the primary impact these had on the society itself. Viewed from every angle, the miraculous sales of Potter books do create a phenomenon across the world publishing industry.

By now 270 million copies from this series have been sold globally, which is quite rare on the sluggish book publishing markets J. K. Rowling deserves the glory and wealth, for she dragged children back to reading from e-games and TV with her books. Movie copyrights and books have earned her 500 million pounds, put her among the only two writers on this year’s Fortune list. ( People’s Daily Online, 2005) Pottermania may be viewed as a product of consumerism but looking at the statistics, it is evident that the patrons of Harry Potter mainly focus on the books and not the other products that have the Harry Potter trademark.

Pottermania is indeed a rebirth but not of consumerism alone. It is a rebirth of interest and passion for children’s literature. J. K. Rowling’s books have created a phenomenon that only consequently affected the product sales and advertising companies. The biggest impact Pottermania has created is the in the imaginations of both children and adults who stepped into Harry’s world. The success of Harry Potter is tangible in the statistics and sales records but what is more significant is its success in drawing kids who live in such a visual and graphical age, to explore the world of books.

It is a rebirth of literature. It is a rebirth of interest in reading. It is indeed a rebirth of literary consumerism at his height. As J. K Rowling put it in an interview in 2006 “”I don’t think I’m ever going to have anything like Harry again,” she said. “You just get one like Harry. ” ( Buzzle Staff, 2006)

REFERENCES:

Buzzle Staff and Agencies. Rowling Says Last Book May Say Farewell to Harry. 28 June 2006. Buzzle. com25 April 2008. http://www. buzzle. com/editorials/6-28-2006-100704. asp Chase, Zac. , “Looking Up To Harry Potter”. 30 June 2003 Forbes. com.25 April 2008 http://www. forbes. com/2003/06/30/cx_zc_0630potter. html Chatfield ,Anthony “Harry Potter – Who Benefits? Lasting effects of a mega franchise” 28 June2007. Buzzle. com 24 April 2008 http://www. buzzle. com/articles/harry-potter-who-benefits-lasting-effects-mega-franchise. html Gisquet, Vanessa “Harry Potter’s Magic Money” 18 June 2003 Forbes. com. 25 April 2008 http://www. forbes. com/2003/06/18/cx_vg_0618potter. html##Static “Harry Potter Charms the Entertainment Industry” 11 July 2007. Nielsen Company. 25 April 2008. http://www. harrypotterfacts. com/

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