“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2” over the weekend made $169,189,427, and that is only the beginning, the eighth film in the series outpaced even the most generous predictions this weekend, setting a new weekend record with an incredible $312.3 million at the foreign box office. What a send off!

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” is a fast-paced, awe-inspiring film. The action never stops, from startling revelations, declarations of love, to heroes coming out of the woodwork, or actually “Hogwarts,” this film is a blast to watch.

The Harry Potter films, like no other, garnered a multi-generational audience. The books ignited a reading frenzy for the young and old alike and actually got them talking to each other about the books and why they seemed so special.

Many churches grew concerned about the characters in Harry Potter because they studied witchcraft and used magic. Because of this, they discouraged the young people and children of their congregation from reading the books or viewing the films. Actually, the Harry Potter films are warm and fuzzy compared to other fantasy films that have captivated audiences in recent years.

From the very beginning Harry Potter was about love, friendship and undying loyalty. It was about fighting evil and corruption in a world that was so magical few of us could even imagine such a place. But one woman did.

Hats off to J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books; and she has one more treat for us so-called Potterheads. How about Pottermore? Yes, that’s right, more Harry Potter, not new stories exactly, but a great online reading experience that readers can participate in.

Recently, Rowling announced the full extent of her newest project, revealing Pottermore as a free-to-use website that will feature “extensive new material about the characters, places and objects in the much-loved stories,” all written by Rowling. She said it’s her opportunity to include all the things she didn’t put in the books. It is intended to supplement the “Potter” stories as they already exist, rather than create brand-new stories all unto themselves. According to Entertainment Tonight, this appears to be Rowling’s long-awaited “Potter” encyclopedia, but in an online and interactive form.

There are other features on Pottermore besides new reading material, including an online shop (where registered users can purchase exclusively the “Harry Potter” eBooks), new illustrations, and interactive “Moments,” which allow users to “move through the chapters” and experience places like Hogwarts and Diagon Alley firsthand. Exactly how those “moments” are experienced remains unclear just now.

“I wanted to give something back to the fans that have followed Harry so devotedly over the years, and to bring the stories to a new digital generation,” Rowling said in a press statement. “I hope fans and those new to Harry will have as much fun helping to shape Pottermore as I have. Just as I have contributed to the website, everyone else will be able to join in by submitting their own comments, drawings and other content in a safe and friendly environment – Pottermore has been designed as a place to share the stories with your friends as you journey through the site.”
Pottermore fully launches in October 2011, with registration opening on July 31, Harry’s birthday. That day will also feature an online challenge rewarding the first million people to register with early beta-testing access to Pottermore.

If you want to read firsthand J.K. Rowling’s announcement and to sign up for Pottermore exclusive information, go www.youtube.com/user/JKRowlingAnnounces. If nothing else, the graphics will amaze you.

Gail can be reached at hollywoodbychoice_gail@yahoo.com