Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, Part 1, the seventh—and penultimate—movie in the Harry Potter series, opens November 19, nearly nine years after the first film debuted and more than a dozen years since the arrival of J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter book. The release of each Potter film has coincided with a sales boost for the books series, although the jump in sales has decreased substantially with each subsequent movie release.
Online buzz for Harry Potter in general has seen spikes around the movie trailer and impending opening of the movie.
First Film Drives Biggest Spike
During the four weeks following the November 2001 big screen debut of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, sales of the corresponding book more than tripled over the previous four weeks to 956,700 units. 223,200 Sorcerer’s Stone books were sold in the week of the movie’s debut alone. The excitement carried over to the entire series, with all four books then out seeing a sizeable increase in sales.
The most recent Harry Hollywood incarnation, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, had a less dramatic effect on the book brand at its July 2009 box office debut. All Harry Potter books saw an uptick in sales but on a lower scale: Half-Blood Prince sold 50,400 units the four weeks following the movie’s debut, compared to the 33,800 books purchased the four weeks prior.
2010 and Beyond?
The Harry Potter films demonstrate the close relationship between book and movie sales. A hugely popular book creates a ready market for an adapted film. At the same time, movies can have a dramatic effect on the sales of their book counterparts. However the scale of impact of film adaptations on book sales and their ability to introduce new readers to the book series can diminish over time as a film series draws to an end.