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The troubling timing of Book 7

by David Haber

The official release date of the final Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the ly Hallows, was announced yesterday. The book be available at midnight in English speaking countries all over the world on July 21, 2007.

This date is troubling to me for several reasons. We were hoping that Book 7 could be released on July 7, which would have been 7/7/07. That's only two weeks earlier than the release date announced yesterday. Could two weeks mean that much in the span of the five months left to go before the book has to be on shelves? Couldn't someone have worked overtime a few days to make the 7/7/07 date?

But the disappointment that we have apparently missed getting Book 7 on 7/7/07 is not the main reason I am troubled by the announcement of the book's release date.

The fly in the potion is the fifth Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The movie is scheduled to open in movie theaters on Friday, July 13. A movie premiere cannot be rescheduled, all the theaters have been booked. Someone, presumably the movie company, did not want the movie opening and the book release to be on the same weekend. So, this means the book could have been scheduled to come out the week before, or the week after. Why did they pass up the once in a lifetime opportunity to release the book on 7/7/07 to allow the movie to come out first, pushing the book's date to the following weekend instead?

I can only think of one reason, and it doesn't make me happy.

From the standpoint of the movie company, the release of the last book on the week previous to the release of the movie could have been great publicity for the movie, and a great lead-in of excitement for the movie the following week. The only reason I can think of that the movie company would not want the book to come out first is if they felt the book would NOT offer it a positive pre-publicity buzz. What has me worried today is, the movie company could only think that would be the case if Book 7 has a very unhappy ending, which would turn off people from wanting to see any Harry Potter movie afterward.


Dumbledore's Army in the new Order of the Phoenix movie

Does the movie company know something we don't know? Would they make this decision on a guess, a guess that, if wrong, means they squandered inestimatable free pre-publicity for the movie?

Or is the timing of the final Harry Potter book in relation to the release date of the fifth Harry Potter movie a major clue which tells us that Harry Potter and the ly Hallows have a very unhappy ending? And for the movie company to think fans would be upset enough by the book not to want to see a movie, does that unhappy ending include the of Harry Potter?

It looks to me as if it does. For a long time now, I have been hoping that Harry does not in the final book. But as we get closer and closer to July 21, especially because of things J.K. has said, and the way she reacted to our reaction to Dumbledore's , I'm starting to think less and less that Harry gets to live happily ever after. And now the timing of the last book in relation to the movie seems to be just one more final nail in Harry's .

Do you think the timing of the book coming out the week after the movie, and not before, means that Harry Potter s at the end of Book 7?

And, what does this mean for the future of the Harry Potter movies? After Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix comes out, there are two more movies remaining to be made. If Harry does at the end of the books, would you be so unhappy that you'd never want to see another Harry Potter movie again? Do you think they'd stop making the movies now if fans are unhappy about the ending of the story?


   Reader Comments (188)


Published February 2, 2007

This article is Copyright © 2007, David Haber, and may not be reproduced on other web sites or in print, in whole or in part, without expressed permission


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