J.K. Rowling’s wildly popular Harry Potter series is a collection of seven young adult novels which follow 11-year-old Harry Potter through his adventures at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Each book marks the passage of a new year at Hogwarts for Harry, as he goes on new adventures with his best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger and battles the evil Lord Voldemort. The release of Rowling’s series spans ten years, beginning with the publication of book one, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, on June 26, 1997 and continuing until the release of book seven, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, on July 21, 2007.
Due to popular fan reception, the series was later adapted into an eight-part film franchise featuring Daniel Radcliffe as the title character. In addition to these eight films, the last of which (Harry Potter and the Deathly
Hallows: Part Two) was released into theaters on July 15, 2011, another three-film franchise is in the process of being released based on the in-universe short text Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Fantastic Beasts was released worldwide on November 18, 2016, followed by its sequel Crimes of Grindelwald on November 16, 2018. The expected release date for the third Fantastic Beasts movie is tentatively set for November of 2020. In addition to its mark in the film world, the Harry Potter books have also inspired the Tony Award-winning stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and the opening of the “Wizarding World of Harry Potter” theme park in Universal Studios Orlando. All of this additional content works to keep J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World culturally relevant to young audiences. The effect of this new content on Harry Potter’s position as an international phenomenon is evident, as the now over twenty-year-old series continues to sell. According to a Pottermore news article written in February 2018, the Harry Potter series has hit “more than 500 million books sold all over the world, in 80 languages.”
“500 million Harry Potter books have now been sold worldwide,” Pottermore News, Last modified February 1st, 2018. https://www.pottermore.com/news/500-million-harry-potter-books-have-now-been-sold-worldwide.