News & Current Affairs

October 3, 2008

Rowling ‘makes £5 every second’

Rowling ‘makes £5 every second’

JK Rowling

JK Rowling has sold more than 400 million copies of her books worldwide

JK Rowling is the world’s highest-earning author, making more than £5 every second over the past year, US business magazine Forbes has announced.

The Harry Potter writer, who made a total of $300m (£170m) last year, wrote the first of her best-selling books about the boy wizard in 1997.

Her income was six times more than literature’s next-biggest earner, James Patterson, of Along Came A Spider fame.

The magazine described her work as “a children’s literary sensation”.

Potter franchise

A Forbes spokesman said: “It was wizardry that transformed JK Rowling from a destitute single mother on welfare into a best-selling billionaire.

TOP 10 BEST-PAID AUTHORS
1. JK Rowling – $300m (£170m)
2. James Patterson – $50m (£28m)
3. Stephen King – $45m (£25m)
4. Tom Clancy – $35m (£20m)
5. Danielle Steel – $30m (£17m)
6. John Grisham – $25m (£14m)
6. Dean Koontz – $25m (£14m)
8. Ken Follett – $20m (£11m)
9. Janet Evanovich – $17m (£10m)
10. Nicholas Sparks – $16m (£9m)
Source: Forbes magazine

“Over on the big screen, her Potter franchise has already generated $4.5bn (£2.5bn) at the worldwide box office – and she still has three more flicks to come.”

Since the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was published, the series has taken the world by storm.

The books have sold more than 400 million copies and been translated into 67 languages.

The final instalment of the series, Deathly Hallows, has sold 44 million copies since it came out last summer – including 15 million in the first 24 hours, the magazine said.

Elsewhere on the list was horror author Stephen King in third place, followed by Tom Clancy, best known for his 1984 novel The Hunt for Red October.

At number five was Danielle Steel, with John Grisham and Dean Koontz equal in sixth place.

Best-selling author of Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follett, was in eighth place, while Janet Evanovich, the writer behind the Stephanie Plum novels, was at number nine.

US writer Nicholas Sparks rounded off the top 10.

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August 16, 2008

Potter film release date delayed

Potter film release date delayed

Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson in Harry Potter

Order of the Phoenix was the top-grossing UK film in 2007

The release date for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince has been pushed back by eight months, to July 2009.

The sixth installment of the teenage wizard’s adventures was supposed to have its Royal premiere on 17 November.

Alan Horn, president of studio Warner Bros, said the decision was taken to guarantee the studio a major summer blockbuster in 2009.

He also blamed the Hollywood writers’ strike, which hit the film industry hard earlier this year.

Mr Horn said the strike, which ended in February, had “impacted the readiness of scripts for other films.”

Fantasy books

He said: “The picture is completely, absolutely, 100% on schedule, on time. There were no delays.

“I’ve seen the movie. It is fabulous. We would have been perfectly able to have it out in November.”

The move will mean a two-year delay between the film adaptations of books five and six in JK Rowling’s fantasy series.

But it will shorten fans’ wait between Half-Blood Prince and the final two installments of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which are being shot simultaneously next year.

It is thought actors Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson – who is celebrating getting straight As in her A Levels in English literature, geography and art – will reprise their roles.

The release date for part one is tentatively set for November 2010.

Royal performance

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince had been chosen for this year’s Royal Film Performance, on 17 November.

Last year’s performance was canceled amid controversy about the chosen movie, Brick Lane.

It was the first time the annual gala – held in aid of the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund (CTBF) – had been scrapped since 1958.

CTBF chief executive Peter Hore told the News he was “very disappointed” with the decision to shelve the Potter premiere.

But he was hopeful a Royal premiere would still go ahead this year.

He said: “The Royal Film Performance has been around for a long time and has a tradition of showcasing the best films. We are confident we will be able to do that again this year.”

Mr Hore added that he expected to make an announcement shortly.

August 8, 2008

Potter star used to crack crime

Potter star used to crack crime

Robbie Coltrane poster

The poster has been distributed around the local area

A wanted poster featuring Robbie Coltrane is being used by police in New Zealand to try to catch a teenage burglar who resembles the actor.

Detectives stressed the Cracker and Harry Potter star is not suspected of any crimes, but said the thief looks like a 16-year-old version of him.

The poster has been distributed to homes in the Christchurch area of the South Island.

New Zealand law bans the publication of pictures of juvenile criminals.

Below the heading ‘Wanted’ is the picture of Coltrane, underneath which are the words ‘Active burglar in this neighbourhood’.

Bicycle burglar

The text below explains that the photo is of Coltrane and continues: “Robbie Coltrane is not the burglar but imagine him aged 16 with lank greasy hair and you have the picture.

“He is 16-years-old, lives locally, travels by bicycle and burgles houses in your street.

“He will break windows to gain entry and ransack the property targeting electronic items, cash and jewellery.”

It explains the reason for the use of the Scottish star, who the New Zealand police describe as English.

“Because of the Children and Young Persons Act 1989 Police cannot show you a picture of the 16-year-old burglar operating in your neighbourhood,” it states.

Residents reportedly welcomed the leaflets and praised the ingenuity of the police. Coltrane was unavailable for comment.

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