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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Is Harry Potter in Trouble?

It is times such as this that I'm glad that my kids largely ignore my work. My daughter and three of my sons are big time Harry Potter (photo) fans and if they knew what I was writing today, they would be upset.

The July 2nd issue of Business Week has an article entitled "The Twisted Economics of Harry Potter" and in it, the writer seems to be saying that the Potter books may have lost the magic touch. It makes this claim by looking at a few of its allies and partners:
* Scholastic -- stock for the educational book company is at a low we haven't seen in five years and the Pottermania is about to end. This doesn't bode well for the kid book distributor.

* Bloomsbury -- the worldwide publisher of Harry's book has taken a 74% plunge over the last year. It is down about 40% over the past year.

* Big booksellers -- Amazon.com and Wal-Mart have cut the price of the popular book in half trading in profits for more store visitors.

* Independents -- behind the parties in Harry's name there are big concerns that they won't sell many books if the major sellers are charging less than the actual publishers.

* Warner Brothers -- profits and sales are down both last year and the first quarter, but is expecting to bounce back nicely with the release of a new movie.

* Universal Orlando -- the park is in a position to invest $500 million on a theme park attraction based on Harry Potter. Let's just hope they choose a character that survives the last book.

The article implies that these facts may be indicative of a weakening interest in Harry Potter. I don't think so. True, Potter's story dragged on for years and the end is somewhat anti-climatic, no matter who dies. But I think the major indicators of "decline" mentioned by Business Week are tied to Potter in a most ironic way. It isn't because people are no longer interested in Potter, but that there is a genuine concern of a serious hang over for such companies when there is no longer a new book in the works.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Liz said...

Hahaha Dad!I read this one... I actually read your blog alot!

11:12 PM  
Blogger Kevin Price said...

Kids love to prove dad's wrong. She does read it more than most, I must confess.

11:51 PM  

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