Leaky's 2009 Year In Review: Part TwoLeaky
December 31, 2009, 03:00 PM
Here now is Part Two of Leaky's 2009 Year in Review of Harry Potter news! Part One is posted below. Enjoy!
Part Three due shortly!
After years of planning, the time had come for LeakyCon 2009, our very first Harry Potter fan conference. In the lead up to the event, two LeakyCon songs and our official schedule were published. For four days, witches and wizards from all over the world gathered in Boston, MA for the conference, which raised several thousand dollars for charity organizations. Over in the UK, "Deathly Hallows" filming continued in Wales, which produced first looks at Dobby, Bellatrix, and Griphook. The "Half-Blood Prince" media storm kicked up with advance screening promotions, new photos, and a featurette. It was then announced the "Half-Blood Prince" soundtrack would arrive on July 7th, while four TV spots hit the airwaves. May was topped off by news of Chris Rankin's return as Percy in "Deathly Hallows" and the casting of teenage Dumbledore.
During the month of June, Harry and the Potters reached a milestone, their 500th show, which they performed in Norwood, MA. The "Half-Blood Prince" media buzz revved up in June, with clips of the Pensieve and Aragog, along with previews of the full "Half-Blood Prince" soundtrack. News of bonus content on the soundtrack grew excitement further, as did behind the scenes photos and film premiere contests. It was also during this month that we received the first rumors of an opening date for the Harry Potter theme park and a confirmed 2010 LEGO Harry Potter game release. With an official running time of 153 minutes, the "Half-Blood Prince" film would quite literally rock into D-Box enhanced theaters in less than a month. More on the split of the "Deathly Hallows" films and recently filmed Snatcher scenes were also in the news, as were details about the New York premiere of "Half-Blood Prince." The fandom also got its first-ever unofficial musical production when StarKid Potter published "A Very Potter Musical" on YouTube. The musical was an instant success, and its opening number has now been viewed just shy of a million times. Word then came that Potter conference Azkatraz would feature Rupert Grint's "Cherrybomb" as part of their special events programming. The month topped off with the first five minutes of HBP in German, an early review of the film, and casting updates.
July 2009 saw the release of the "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" film. Preceding the premieres, an HBO first look, press photo calls, and rounds of television interviews started the ball rolling. After premieres in London and New York, the film arrived along with scores of clips and images. Red carpet interviews from both sides of the pond accompanied Leaky's full set report. Grossing $22 million from over 1,000 sold out midnight screenings, HBP brought the franchise over the $1 billion mark. At the start of the month, we also received new concept art for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and more info about the sort of rides expected. On July 7th, the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows paperback was released, with the traditional fandom welcoming ceremony: a midnight release party. Warner Bros. and Universal officially announced that the Harry Potter theme park would open in "Spring 2010." Resulting from the slew of HBP interviews, "Deathly Hallows" news such as the Weasley wedding rehearsals, Kings Cross filming, and the return of Broadbent and Staunton was revealed.
The second half of the month began with a treat for stateside Potter fans: the ITV special "J. K. Rowling: A Year In the Life" aired on US television network ABC. This was followed by confirmation that Nicolas Hopper would not score "Deathly Hallows," but Gary Oldman would return as Sirius. While Bill Nighy talked Scrimgeour, producer David Heyman supposed the final battle of Hogwarts sequence would total thirty minutes. Sentencing news for Jamie Waylett and an Azkatraz recap from Lev Grossman helped wind the month down. All told, the sixth Potter film grossed upwards of $627 million by month's end. Finally, each July ends with the birthdays of two very important people: Harry Potter and J. K. Rowling. As ever, artist Frak used his talents to show our wishes of good cheer to these two.
More theme park news kicked off August, this time with video of Hogwarts Castle being constructed at the site and talk of a possible Quidditch element on the site. "Deathly Hallows" film news about the Lovegood house followed, as did further evidence that extended editions of the first two Potter films were on the horizon. August also saw slight updates to JKRowling.com and the introduction to Potter Pundits on PotterCast. We then learned Dudley would make his return in "Deathly Hallows" and filming of the Seven Potters and Escape from Gringotts would soon be underway.
Part Three due shortly!