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Backed by $320 million in

Posted by: Leaky
February 23, 2002, 02:47 AM

Backed by $320 million in box office sales and a legion of worldwide fans, just putting Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone into mass release this spring on DVD and VHS would be enough to create a major retail event. A major target of the retail effort will be in the supermarket channel, which has traditionally been weak in video sales. One idea that parallels Harry Potter book releases is a midnight release of the video to anxiously waiting Potter fans. "A lot of our 24-hour retailers are thinking of this kind of thing," Martinoff says. "The idea is creating a rush to the stores on May 28."

We have many reasons to thank JK Rowling. The power of a single mother's imagination is magical. Especially when it reaches the venerable and maybe toffee-nosed quadrangles of Christ Church college, Oxford, where the smoke of battle over state school admissions lingers. Who is tweaking the solemn ears of the college's bowler-hatted gents with a marvellous recall of Christ Church's 13 prime ministers and 11 governor generals of India? Why, young Harry, whose Hogwart's academy was filmed in the college. Go on the Christ Church tour (and very good it is), and you will find the custodians completely converted: mines of information on where young Potter sat for meals, which table was Gryffindor House's and which Slytherin's.

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