HBO Max releases Return to Hogwarts


HBO Max releases Return to Hogwarts

A special episode of the Harry Potter franchise "Return to Hogwarts" will be released on HBO Max on January 1, 2022. How does the economy of the wizarding world work and how much did J.K. Rowling get for the story "about the boy who survived"?

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What you need to remember about the "Harry Potter" universe

The Harry Potter film series consists of eight parts based on the books about the "boy who Survived" by the English writer J. K. Rowling. The film adaptations were produced by Warner Bros.
The main action of the series takes place in England in the 1990s. The main character is Harry Potter, who finds out on his 11th birthday that he is a wizard, and receives an invitation to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The plot centers on the confrontation between Harry and the dark magician Voldemort.

In 2016, the continuation of the book series was published — the play "The Cursed Child". Rowling acted only as her co-author, while the main work was conducted by writer and screenwriter Jack Thorne and director John Tiffany. The action takes place 19 years after the completion of the main cycle of novels.
Economics in the world of "Harry Potter"

In the world of J.K. Rowling, gold, silver and bronze coins are used for economic transactions — galleons, sickles and knuts. One galleon is equal to 17 shekels or 493 knats. According to Rowling, in the real world, one galleon could be exchanged for about £5 ($6.65).

The main bank is Gringots, where only goblins work. The functions of Gringots are fairly standard: storing savings and valuables, exchanging money from Muggles (people who do not have magical abilities) for money from wizards. Goblins also control the fulfillment of one of the main rules: magic money cannot be conjured or forged.

Education at Hogwarts School for young wizards is free, all costs are borne by the Ministry of Magic, a government agency that controls the world of wizards.

HBO Max releases Return to Hogwarts

The largest trade center is Kosoy Lane. Most of the magic shops are located here, specializing, among other things, in goods necessary for studying at Hogwarts. In addition, cafes, bars and small shops are also available in the village of Hogsmeade, which Hogwarts students are allowed to visit from the third year.
In the magical world, electricity, electronic equipment and radio communications are practically not used, so there is not a hint of phones or computers. In the fourth book, this was explained by the incompatibility of electronics with magic.

How "Harry Potter" was filmed

The entire saga was produced by David Heyman (in his filmography "Gravity", which won seven Oscars, and "Once upon a Time in Hollywood" by Quentin Tarantino). The directors of different parts of the cycle were Chris Columbus (he also directed the cycle "Home Alone"), Alfonso Cuaron (two-time Oscar winner), Mike Newell (winner of the BAFTA Award for Best Director) and David Yates (worked on the popular TV series "Purely English Murder"). Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson played the three main characters: Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. For them, it was their first large-scale experience in cinema.

The prototype of the Hogwarts school of magic was Alnwick Castle, located in the north of England in the county of Northumberland. His exteriors featured in some scenes of the first two films. There are guided tours to the castle, the price of an adult ticket is £15.05 (1,473 rubles, or 3.01 galleons of Gringots). But the interior of Hogwarts was filmed at Oxford University: in the dining hall of Christ Church College, the library and some corridors.

The Leavesden Film Studios complex with an area of 80 hectares was chosen for studio work. Previously, "Golden Eye" from the James Bond series, "Sleepy Hollow", as well as "Star Wars: Episode I — The Hidden Menace" were filmed here. After the completion of the Harry Potter saga, a Warner Bros. theme park attraction was opened on the studio's territory. Studio Tour London — The Making of Harry Potter.

Magic wands are one of the main magical attributes of the series. So, about 80 copies of Harry Potter's wand were made for Daniel Radcliffe. And since the third part, its design has been slightly changed. An average of six copies were enough for all the other actors. By the way, none of the characters have the wand design repeated.

J.K. Rowling, who was directly involved in the filming of the series, set a condition for the studio: all actors must be of British origin. An exception was made only for the fourth part, but even there it was justified by the plot: magicians from all over the world came to the international Triwizard Tournament.
In total, films from the series were nominated for the Oscar 12 times. "The Philosopher's Stone" and the second part of "Deathly Hallows" fought for three at once. Nevertheless, the cycle has not received any awards.

How the magic world is monetized

The Harry Potter brand, according to The Times, is estimated at over $12.78 billion (1.9 billion galleons of Gringots). In 2021, a rare first edition of the book "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" was sold at auction for $471 thousand (70.8 thousand galleons of Gringots). This copy became the most expensive among the commercial books of the XX century.Sales of Harry Potter souvenirs, according to Deadline, annually bring copyright holders $7 billion (1 billion galleons). As of 2011— when the final part of the movie series was released, video sales brought Warner $3.9 billion (586.5 million galleons). Another $1 billion (150.4 million galleons) — sales of TV rights, $1.5 billion (225.6 million galleons) — video games. The publisher of the most popular video game series was the American developer company Electronic Arts, which also owns licenses for The Lord of the Rings, James Bond and Star Wars.

How much does J.K. Rowling earn

The first book in the series "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" was published in 1997. The first edition of Bloomsbury Publishing was only 500 copies, and Rowling's advance barely exceeded $ 1 thousand (150 galleons). She took this step because other publishers did not want to print a fantasy novel written by a woman for a long time. The true potential of the series was seen by the American publishing house Scholastic Press — in the same year it paid the writer $ 105 thousand (22.6 thousand galleons).

In 2019, Rowling was recognized as the highest paid writer in the world. Revenues from book sales, profits from theme parks and box office receipts of the final part of the epic brought her $92 million (13.8 million galleons). In 2021, The Sunday Times estimated Rowling's total fortune at $1.1 billion (165.4 million galleons).

As of February 2018, the number of books sold in the series amounted to about 500 million copies, with total revenue of $7 billion (1 billion galleons). This is the best-selling series in history. The novels have been translated into more than 80 languages, including Urdu, Hindi, Bengali, Welsh, Afrikaans, Latvian and Vietnamese. The first part was also translated into Latin and Ancient Greek.

In 2020, Rowling found herself at the center of a scandal because of her Twitter post that "menstruating people" and "women" are the same thing. The writer was immediately accused of transphobia, fans of the saga even demanded to remove her name from the covers of their own books. The Internet scandal had real consequences.

So, the staff of the British publishing house Hachette, who worked on the release of Rowling's new work "Ichabog", announced a boycott of her. Actors Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson publicly condemned the writer's position and supported representatives of sexual minorities. Rowling was not invited to the HBO Max special episode dedicated to the anniversary of the first film of the franchise, and she did not appear in the published trailer. Earlier, sources in the Western media reported that Radcliffe allegedly expressed readiness to return to the role of "the boy who survived", only if the writer would not take part in the project. There are no estimates of how the incident could affect the condition of the author of "Harry Potter" yet.

Michael Zippo

Sources: HBO

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