The West Coast is finally going to get punch drunk on Butterbeer. Warner Bros and Universal Studios have formally announced that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the theme park attraction which has been doing gangbusters business in Orlando, Florida, will be getting a counterpart at Universal Studios in Hollywood. That's right, just because the theatrical franchise concluded with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 doesn't mean that JK Rowling's world of the Boy Who Lived can't continue to be a cash cow with golden teats. Not only will Hogwarts and Hogsmeade show in Los Angeles, but the original location is also set for an expansion. The space previously occupied by the Jaws Amity Island attraction at Universal Studios Orlando will soon be home to Harry Potter's London, Diagon Alley, and The Hogwarts Express.
A new 35-second "For Your Consideration" trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 makes it absolutely clear that Warner Bros would very much like to win a few awards for the Boy Wizard's final adventure, and they've got an Oscar campaign up and running to make that happen. Since its release over the summer, the final adaptation of JK Rowling's phenomenally popular novel series has grossed well over a billion dollars globally, earning accolades from critics and audiences while cementing Harry Potter as the biggest franchise of all time (not adjusted for inflation, of course). A Best Picture nomination and a few acting nods would no doubt make for a big-ass peacock feather in that already stylish cap.
The release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 on Blu-ray and DVD is just around the corner on November 11th. With its release, fans will finally be able to own all eight films adapting the novel series by JK Rowling, and in time for the holiday season, no less. When Warner Bros first announced the Blu-ray release date over a month ago, the press release included the news that, as of December 29, 2011, the studio would cease shipping not only Deathly Hallows, but all eight films, from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone on back. Though the news has been floating around for over a month, Warner Bros has reiterated that its serious: the Harry Potter franchise will disappear from Blu-ray and DVD for an unspecified amount of time at the end of this year.
This summer, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 capped off the decade-long, eight-film franchise in appropriately epic fashion, essentially demolishing Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry while becoming the biggest film of the series. The series which, not adjusted for inflation, is now the biggest franchise of all time. Prior to the last film's release, the tagline was simply, "It All Ends," but of course we seasoned consumers knew that wasn't exactly true, since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 still has it's Blu-ray and DVD release on the way. Today, Warner Bros officially announced that the film arrives in stores on November 11th, along with Harry Potter: The Complete 8-Film Collection.
Way back when Warner Bros first announced that the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the adaptation of JK Rowling's final novel, would be divided into two separate films, many Potter-philes decried the move as a cheap ploy to continue making money hand over fist on one of the most profitable properties of all time. Now, though, both critics and audiences seem most appreciative that the series has been drawn out and done justice. Not only that, Warners has indeed had an unprecedented commercial success, with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 earning a staggering estimated $168.5 million since Friday. That massive haul gives the final Potter film the domestic title of highest-grossing opening weekend of all time, among a few other records, as well.
There's no confusion about who the star of the Harry Potter series is, since the Boy Who Lived has his name right in the title of all eight films adapted and all seven of the novels by JK Rowling from which they were adapted. Over the last decade, we've watched as Harry went from a neglected orphan living a thoroughly un-magical life to the central figure in a full-on wizarding war, and we've seen Daniel Radcliffe go from an adorable moppet of a kid to a leading man carrying one of the biggest franchises of all time. While Harry's heroic destiny was never terribly in doubt, in the final film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, a far less likely character completes his journey from the butt of every joke to a hero of Hogwarts: Neville Longbottom, played in all eight films by Matthew Lewis.
Ever since he first slowly dripped venous dialogue at a pint-sized Harry in the Potions classroom back in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, it's been arguable that, for all the perfectly-cast British actors in the Potter franchise, Alan Rickman as Severus Snape is the most impeccable of all. He doesn't simply chew the scenery, he slowly masticates each and every line with a relish that shows onscreen. If there's been complaint about the cinematic Snape, it's that there's just not enough of him. While the action-packed goings on go on in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, we'll have the opportunity not just to spend some more time with the Death Eater and freshly appointed Hogwarts headmaster, but we'll actually get some closure on his ambiguous relationship with goodness and decency.
A new featurette promoting the franchise finale not only shows plenty of new footage, but also includes interviews with author JK Rowling, director David Yates, producers David Heyman and David Barron, Daniel Radcliffe, and of course, Alan Rickman.
In less than 48 hours, a whole lot of Americans will have already seen Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, and in doing so partaken in their last new Potter film. Since the end of this decade-spanning eight film series is finally coming to a much-anticipated end, it is absolutely imperative that we cram in every possible nugget of perspective-inducing Harry Potter information to properly convey the enormity of this occasion. It's not another batch of pictures or even yet more posters of Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and/or Ralph Fiennes wielding wants. No, this is a handy inforgaphic which conveniently and eye-pleasingly presents a plethora of numerical stats related to the entirety of the Potter franchise.
In just a few days, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 will close out the decade-spanning film franchise while most assuredly raking in enough money for Warner Bros to fill a pool with gold coins, Scrooge McDuck-style. To prime themselves for the impending finale of the series, Potter fans the world over are watching all the previous installments of the series, starting with 2001's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and working up to Deathly Hallows: Part 1. If you want to put the final adventure of the Boy Who Lived into the proper context but don't have a cumulative 1,048 minutes to spare, the WB has courteously provided a new video featurette that serves as a nostalgia-inducing retrospective running through the cinematic adaptations of JK Rowling's novels. It clocks in at a handy five minutes and change, so there's no excuse not watch. Unless, of course, you're waist-deep in revisiting the films themselves.
If you have an acute case of Potter-fever, then the only real cure is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, but the big event's release is just about a week away. Besides, the conclusion of the franchise based on JK Rowling's novels has serious side effects, like uncontrollable weeping and post-series depression. To treat your potentially-fatal fever until July 15th, your doctor is going to prescribe these six new clips from Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Beware, though, if you're allergic to spoilers, even if you've read the books you'll be seeing footage from all over the film, including pivotal scenes and a good joke or two.