Nielsen examines Harry Potter impact on entertainment industry

MUMBAI: With the release of the new Harry Potter movie Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix as well as the upcoming book release on 21 July of the seventh and final book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, US media research firm Nielsen has released a multi-dimensional overview into the young wizard‘s strong impact on the entertainment industry.

Since 1998 when Nielsen began measuring book sales in the UK, the six Harry Potter books have sold more than 22.5 million copies in the UK alone. In the US the Harry Potter titles published after 2001 have sold more than 27.7 million copies.

The first four Harry Potter films have grossed more than $3.5 billion worldwide. The first film, "Harry Potter and The Sorcerer‘s Stone," is the fourth all-time highest grossing film worldwide.

In the US ad spend for all Harry Potter branded merchandise (including books, movies, DVDs and other promotional products) totals $269.1 million from 1998 to date. Outside of the U.S. from 2000 to date, $119.3 million was spent on total advertising for all Harry Potter branded merchandise in Canada, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Switzerland, and the UK.

All three Harry Potter DVDs/Videos - Sorcerer‘s Stone, Chamber of Secrets, and Prisoner of Azkaban - debuted at number one and remained the number one family film for the first 3 weeks of each release. The Warner Bros. "Harry Potter Order of the Phoenix" Web site drew 446,762 unique visitors in May. On blogs, the final book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is generating more ‘buzz’ than the latest movie installment.

The four Harry Potter soundtracks combined have sold more than 1.1 million copies in the US and almost 100,000 copies in Canada since the initial release back in October 2001. There have been a total of 180,000 downloads of individual songs that tied to the four Harry Potter soundtracks.

Since 2002, the Harry Potter movies have aired on US television a total of 366 times. A recent survey of moviegoers shows that 51 per cent of persons age 12+ are aware that the new book is coming out next month. 28 per cent of persons 12+ in the US have read one or more of the previous Harry Potter books, and 15 per cent have read all of the Harry Potter books-to-date.

More than $11.8 million has been spent by U.S. consumers on Harry Potter-licensed trademark cookies, candy and gum products since June 2002. Audio titles of the Harry Potter series have been popular, with total sales of more than 1.34 million audio copies in the U.S. (818,000) and the UK (525,000) to date. In the UK, audio releases of Harry Potter and Sorcerer‘s Stone have sold the most volume to date (128,280 units). Since 2001, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (452,000 units) and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (349,000 units) are the best-selling audio books in the US.

Since 2000, international advertisers have spent $659,019 promoting the Harry Potter books (print books and audio books), with the bulk of the ad dollars going towards audio books ($543,412). The top spending category outside the U.S. has been theatrical releases ($57.3 million). Ad spending for Harry Potter among DVD/Video releases came in second at $31.9 million. Advertisers for video games spent $11.8 million and toys/games spent almost $11.6 million, while advertising for Harry Potter magazines reached $3.8 million.

Cross Promotion in the US: The Harry Potter brand has partnered with products as diverse as bubble bath to electronic games to cross-promote and sell more merchandise. In total, $54 million was spent promoting Harry Potter products excluding the core businesses of books and movies over the last seven years. EA Games Harry Potter & Goblet of Fire Entertainment Software spent the most reaching more than $4.5 million. Other notable promotions include: EA Games Entertainment Software Harry Potter Quidditch World Cup ($3.2 million), Mead Harry Potter School Supplies ($3.1 million), EA Entertainment Software Harry Potter & The Sorcerer‘s Stone ($2.3 million), and Harry Potter & Chamber Of Secrets Playsets Polyjuice Potion Maker ($2.0 million).

In 2007, two Harry Potter movies aired on Disney in the US averaging approximately 2.8 million viewers. The last broadcast network (ABC) to carry a Harry Potter movie was "Harry Potter And The Sorcerer‘s Stone in April with approximately 4.2 million U.S. viewers.

59 per cent of persons age 12 and older are aware that the fifth movie in the series is coming out this month.

57 per cent of persons 12+ have seen one or more of the previous Harry Potter movies.

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