["Hedwig's Theme" plays]
Micah: Because the last Potter film is the first to $1 billion, this is MuggleCast Episode 236 for August 2nd, 2011.
[Show music begins]
Andrew: This week's episode of MuggleCast is brought to you by Audible.com, the Internet's leading provider of audiobooks, with more than 75,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature, including fiction, non-fiction, and periodicals. For a free audiobook of your choice, go to AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast.
And by Hypable.com, a brand new entertainment website created by the staff of MuggleNet. Hypable is a MuggleNet for multiple fandoms: passionate, complete coverage for all the fandoms that we cover, now with over 40 fandoms including Glee, True Blood, Breaking Bad, The Hobbit, Doctor Who, Merlin, and many more. Visit Hypable.com for news coverage you can count on. That's Hypable.com - H-Y-P-A-B-L-E dot com.
[Show music continues]
Andrew: Welcome to MuggleCast Episode 236! We have a full panel today for what's going to be another big Deathly Hallows review show and also discussion of Pottermess - [clears throat] I'm sorry, Pottermore.
Eric: [laughs] Ooh!
Andrew: People on the panel this week include Ben.
Ben: Hello everybody!
Andrew: And Micah and Eric, and making his triumphant return after making his debut on the Part 1 review show and upsetting many people, [laughs] Richard Reid is back to give his review of Part 2.
Ben: Did he take...
Richard: And to upset many people once again.
Ben: Did he take a big, like...
Ben: ...all over the film?
Andrew: [laughs] Pretty much. And it was funny because it was his first MuggleCast ever, so people were all PO'd about how somebody just showed up on MuggleCast...
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Andrew: ...and dumped the film.
Ben: Well, I mean, I'm all for stirring the pot.
Ben: Some people have these little worlds of Harry Potter is at - like these movies are a hundred percent flawless and that's just not the case.
Andrew: Mhm. So, we'll be talking about that in a little bit. But first, Micah, we have one news item to discuss today.
Micah: Yeah, Deathly Hallows - Part 2 passed the $1 billion mark at the box office. As of right now, it is currently number eight all time, just over $1 billion and I'm sure that number is going to go up later on today.
Andrew: Will it pass $2 billion? That's the new question.
Micah: I don't think so.
Eric: Unless - yeah. There's not going to be a second grand opening, right? I mean...
Eric: I will say, the thing it has above the other films is that it's still in theaters, right? So, they can't go up, only it can.
Andrew: It may pass Alice in Wonderland, which is $1.24 - sorry, $1 billion, $24 million...
Andrew: ...which is [laughs] just a ridiculous amount of money.
Eric: That is a lot of money. I mean, that is a recent movie. I don't feel like - I mean, was there a website just like us in the Alice in Wonderland fandom that was just as excited as we are about Potter passing a billion? Because it's so odd to think that a film so recently has been right where Potter is right now, because we want to think that this film is breaking all sorts of records, right? I mean...
Richard: Didn't Avatar pass a billion as well?
Andrew: Yeah, it passed $2 billion, it's almost at three.
Eric: That was a couple of years ago, wasn't it now? How old is...
Micah: Well, it was re-released too, wasn't it?
Eric: Oh, it was.
Andrew: It was. And plus, it was 3D, everybody had to see it in 3D.
Micah: Yeah. The other thing, though...
Richard: I saw it in 2D.
Micah: You've got to think, though, that Part 2 is going to make another $100 million, won't it? I mean, that's not that far out of reach.
Andrew: Right, because it's only been about two weeks. So...
Micah: So, you're looking at it passing Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. I mean, I think it'll make it all the way up to number three if it keeps on this trend.
Andrew: It is the number one Potter film of all time. It beat Sorcerer's Stone which had peaked at $97.4 million, so beat it by a long shot. And yeah, so that's good news. I mean, it was kind of predicted. I think the reasons everybody saw it - it made so much - was one, it was the last film. I think a lot of people were just struck by the curiosity of the franchise and decided, "Hey, okay, I'll go check out the last one." Plus, the reviews were so great on Rotten Tomatoes. I think it averaged 98%.
Ben: Is it still up there?
Andrew: Still up?
Ben: Is it still like 98%?
Andrew: Yeah, let me see. 96%. So, that's great. [laughs]
Eric: Yeah. I mean, if Toy Story 3 only had - you said, 93%?
Andrew: No, no, no. Toy Story 3 had like 99% or 100%.
Eric: Oh, okay.
Micah: Did you write...
Eric: Yeah. But that's...
Micah: ...all those reviews?
Andrew: [laughs] What? No.
[Ben and Richard laugh]
Ben: I'm just shocked that this has gone - I mean, eight films. That's over a decade. That's a long time to be able to keep something like this going, is it not?
Eric: You're talking about staying relevant?
Ben: Well, I mean, not just staying relevant. Imagine had they really, really messed up Movie 4 or something. Would they have been able to carry it this long? Would people have come back for Movie 5? I feel like they played their cards nearly perfectly. I mean, there are some things people aren't going to be happy about, but you can't please everybody. But I think they did a remarkable job of keeping people interested and - I mean, I guess that's the power you have when you have one of the biggest movie studios and some of the best marketing minds behind your brand.
Ben: It really gives you the ability to do that.
Eric: But still, I think you're right. To not blow it so badly that nobody would come back. I feel like they could have done that, right? I mean, they could have blown it.
Andrew: Well, the Potter fans still would have come back, because you look at how loyal they are to J. K. Rowling, "Queen Rowling," you know?
Ben: [laughs] As she's called.
Andrew: [laughs] Yes.
Eric: Well, I mean, [laughs] if she had withdrawn her support, though, from the series...
Andrew: She wouldn't have, though.
Eric: Yeah, that's true, that's true.
Ben: That would have been a better feud than some of the more recent ones we've seen, like the whole Vander Ark stuff or whatever.
Ben: If there was a big battle between Jo and Warner Bros...
Eric: Films versus... [laughs]
Ben: ...over the rights and stuff, that would be epic. That would be fun to watch.
Andrew: Mhm. So, yeah, congrats to them. I'm sure Warner Bros. was - I wonder if they had a little party once they passed $1 billion.
Ben: So, Warner Bros. is owned by Time Warner, like a big conglomerate, okay? So, say this movie profits $700 million. Of course the shareholders get paid, but does anybody know who, like, Jo Warner is?
Ben: The dude who gets most of the money off of this? Or is there one dude who gets most of it?
Andrew: Well, there is a president of Warner Bros. I think a lot of it goes back into the company.
Ben: Yeah, of course.
Eric: Well, doesn't Disney own Warner?
Ben: No, they don't.
Eric: Disney owns a lot, or Warner owns Disney or something. They're always buying things, too, even the new Marvel Studios...
Richard: Disney owns Marvel, yeah.
Eric: Yeah, Disney owns Marvel now and it's just - it's all one big company in the end, so if a film like Harry Potter does this well, then I guess - I don't know. The ball keeps on rolling, people can go home, feed their families, and they put it into new projects, I think.
Richard: I see that Apple now has more money than the US government. I wonder if Harry Potter...
Richard: ...or Warner Bros. [laughs] have more money than the US government.
Eric: That's the thing, is everybody is going to - eventually, these companies - everybody's going to have more money than the US government, and nobody is going to lend it to the US government.
Richard: That's the next milestone. It's not a billion dollars, it's going to be, are you richer than America?
Andrew: Before we continue with today's episode of MuggleCast, we'd like to remind you that this episode is brought to you by Audible.com, the Internet's leading provider of audiobooks, with more than 75,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature and featuring audio versions of many New York Times Bestsellers. For listeners of this podcast, Audible is offering a free audiobook to give you a chance to try out their great service. One audiobook to consider is The Hunger Games, the first in a trilogy of the same name. The series is hotter than ever right now because filming for the movie adaptation recently got underway. It's one book and film series you are not going to want to miss. So, for a free audiobook of your choice, such as The Hunger Games, go to AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast. Again, that's AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast.
Andrew: All right, let's talk about Pottermore. Who got a registration?
Ben: I didn't and I was going to say something. I don't know if this logic is correct, but some of you jimmies out there...
Ben: ...tweeting about it, "Oh, I've registered for my tenth username."
Ben: "Which one should I choose? Should I be Weasley1Off24..."
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Ben: "...or should I be DumbleDip44?"
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Ben: It's like, geez, all those names sucked. Why don't you just choose one of them and let other people get registrations, because now I don't have a registration and I am not happy about it.
Micah: Neither do I, Ben. I'm not happy about it, either.
Eric: You're not happy about it?
Ben: Thanks for all your ten usernames, folks.
Andrew: Luckily, there will be six more days where you can go in and grab one. I have to be honest, I did grab three because I wanted the name that I liked.
Ben: You're one of them!
Andrew: [laughs] I did not - well, I ended up with CastleCloak3. That was my original anyway, because I forgot my other two.
Andrew: What? Why are you blaming me? It was the coolest one of the pack!
Ben: What were the other ones?
Andrew: [laughs] I can't remember.
Andrew: Richard and Eric, you guys got in, too, right?
Eric: No, no, I didn't.
Richard: I did.
Andrew: Oh, no.
Eric: I didn't even see the Magic Quill. Oh, Richard did?
Richard: I did, but I can't remember my username, either.
Ben: Now why won't they let you choose your usernames? Because they don't want people competing for, oh, I want to be...
Richard: They could at least remind you of what your damn username is in the e-mail they send you.
Andrew: Yes. It's child safety reasons, so people can't put in their real name or put in like "LosAngelesDweller32," you know?
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Eric: Yeah, people can track it.
Andrew: Yeah. So how it worked was, actually - it was kind of inconvenient for those in America. It went live - what's happening is each day this week Pottermore is opening up another X amount of Beta registrations that you can - that are up for grabs. The first batch went up Sunday night at 4:00 AM Eastern Time which is of course [laughs] very inconvenient for everybody in America. Richard got his because it was morning his time over there in the UK. And I had set my alarm for 1:00 AM Pacific Time because there were rumors that it would be going live sometime after midnight. And honestly the whole process is really - it's...
Andrew: ...intense. [laughs] It's cumbersome, yes.
Andrew: You have to solve a clue that's posted - it was posted just on Pottermore.com. I thought it was going to be hidden or something, but it wasn't. On - so the clues on Pottermore.com, you have to figure out the riddle and...
Ben: Is it better or worse than the Sorcerer's Stone DVD?
Andrew: I'd say it's just as annoying.
[Andrew and Richard laugh]
Micah: Can we try and figure the riddle out here for those of us who...
Andrew: Yeah, sure. The clue was, "How many breeds of owl are featured on the Eeylops Owl Emporium sign? Multiply this number by 49."
Eric: Oh cool.
Andrew: Now, I guess this is in the book or whatever, I can't remember, but the answer was two forty...
Richard: It's in "Diagon Alley," yeah.
Andrew: The answer was 245 because you multiply the number by 49. Yeah, so there were five owls on the sign, so you multiply that number by 49. That's 245. So then you take that number...
Ben: Well, was that a difficult thing to find out if you looked in that chapter?
Eric: No, probably not.
Andrew: Probably not, but I didn't have the book. I was waking up at 1:00 AM. [laughs]
Ben: Wait, you don't have the book?
Eric: Yeah, then you've got to bring your book with you to the site. Wait a minute, though - correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't JK Rowling in her intro video - weren't you supposed to go to Pottermore, enter your e-mail address, and you'd be entered to be...
Eric: ...one of the million who got the Beta?
Ben: That's what I thought.
Eric: What is it with this question, with these clues, and this hunt?
Andrew: Well, that was the other issue. That was the other issue. Everybody submitted their e-mails for basically no reason. I don't think an e-mail even went out explaining all this.
Richard: That was for something else. So that - to sign up for originally, was just so they would e-mail you today, to say that the Beta was now open for submission.
Andrew: But did they?
Richard: No, they didn't.
Eric: I have not received that e-mail yet.
Richard: [laughs] They just didn't in the end, it was...
Eric: So JK Rowling is collecting e-mail addresses for something.
Andrew: And you take that number and you insert it at the end of Quill.Pottermore.com. So then you go into your address bar, you type in "quill.pottermore.com/245." Then it forwards you to Sony.com which is where the Magic Quill is "hidden."
Eric: The Magic Quill?
Andrew: And from there, the quill is like floating around, and you have to grab it. And if you don't grab it, it says, "You didn't grab it, try again." So imagine me sitting there at 1:00 AM - I was sleeping for three hours. I have one eye on the screen, the other eye is in pain from this bright light shining in my face, and I'm trying to hit this damn feather that keeps moving around, very slowly because it's Flash and Flash sucks!
Richard: It sucks even more when there's two hundred million people trying to do it at the same time.
Eric: Servers are crashing, right? Not loading. Rebooting, resetting.
Andrew: Yeah, it's like people are having a hard time. And then - so then you just click this quill and then the sign-up process begins, and that part was relatively okay. So anyway, this is going to be happening every day. It turns out you didn't even really need the clue, though. I mean, once you knew that it was on HarryPotter.com? I mean, really?
Andrew: It's going to be on MuggleNet. No, just kidding.
Eric: [laughs] Yeah. But that's...
Ben: So if people are already making eight usernames, to have backup usernames and all that, does this mean people are going to get sorted into a house, and if it's not the house they want they're just going to go to one of their other accounts and undermine the whole integrity of the system, the Pottermore...
Eric: [sighs] Yeah, it does undermine the integrity. They were supposed to prevent against that. At the Pottermore panel at LeakyCon, they were asked that question specifically and they said, "No, there's only one shot, ever."
Andrew: Now - well look, in fairness to them, they can't stop people from creating multiple usernames. I mean, that's not possible, really.
Richard: I'm selling my other ones on eBay, so...
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Eric: Your names must be so much better than everybody else's, Richard. What names did you get?
Andrew: Yeah, which - he said he forgot.
Andrew: That was the issue. My first user account kind of went bonkers, so that's why I set up a second and third one because it gave me an error when I tried to click the confirmation e-mail which, by the way, I had to wait a half hour before so it's going on like 2:30 AM, I just want to go back to bed. I have to be up at 6:00 or 7:00. And - so then I forget my username because you can submit with multiple - with the same e-mail address for multiple accounts. But then it just sends me the username for one and it's just like - my third one was the one I wanted! It had like "unicorn" in it. I wanted something with "unicorn."
Andrew: Yeah! It was upsetting.
Ben: [in a sad tone] My third one!
Richard: [in a sad tone] Yeah.
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Andrew: I have extras, Ben.
Ben: Between you and Richard...
Ben: ...you guys have like eight, and the rest of us are sitting here with zero.
Ben: This is not equal.
Richard: But I'm willing to sell you one though, Ben.
Andrew: Start the bidding at five cents! Five cents!
Eric: Do you take PayPal?
Richard: I do!
Andrew: So what happened was it went live like I said at 4:00 AM Eastern, and it was closed by about 6:00 AM Eastern. It was all done, so it was about two or three hours that it was open. They had all filled up. So again, this is going to be happening every day this week through Saturday, so you have plenty of chances.
Richard: And it's a different book each day. The clue is from a different book. So today was about Philosopher's Stone, tomorrow is about Chamber of Secrets.
Andrew: And apparently, the questions are going to get easier as well.
Micah: Yeah. Well - and will you always go to Sony.com?
Richard: [laughs] I'm going to try that.
Eric: I'm sure it'll be somewhere else.
Andrew: Yeah, I imagine it may be on the official Harry Potter website, Scholastic - sort of like where all the owl banners were. That's my guess.
Micah: Yeah, but it's not like MuggleNet has a hidden registration page that's waiting to go live.
Richard: Or do we?
Andrew: The people who are involved with this have major corporate deals. [laughs]
Micah: Yeah. I was going to say, guarantee the site would crash.
Eric: Yeah. Did you say though - they hit a limit, right? So this is how they're letting the million fans in. They're essentially capping each day how many people can register, right?
Andrew: So, it's about 120,000 each day or so...
Andrew: ...that are able to get in. And I think the reason they did it so early US time is so that they didn't crash the site - the US people didn't crash the site, even though people were still up to get on it.
Eric: Well, because if the US were awake - see, why does the site - like JKRowling.com, or Pottermore.com - why does it crash? I mean, it's JKRowling.com!
Richard: JKRowling.com never crashes.
Eric: Well okay, but it's JK Rowling's new website, Pottermore. Why does it crash? Shouldn't they spend a little...
Richard: Because they don't have enough servers to handle the load.
Eric: But they have to have anticipated this. It's something they've been working on for four or five years now.
Andrew: Well, that's the thing that actually got me, and I was talking to this about Richard yesterday - or talking to this with Richard yesterday. JKRowling.com never crashed, ever. It was always up. The Book 7 title, the quotes from Book 6 or whatever - never had a single issue, and then this! It just seems like it keeps being plagued by different issues, and what they just need to do is hire the people who kept JKRowling.com online. [laughs]
Richard: But remember, the people who kept JKRowling.com online was a professional tech company. It was custom built for her.
Andrew: The site.
Eric: But if you're talking about doing something right - Pottermore is guaranteed following. Pottermore is going to break the Internet. I mean, it's guaranteed, right? So, why not spend top dollar and construct this from the ground up to make sure that a million fans - I mean, even when you are registered now, I hear that you're not going to be allowed on the site to Beta-test it at the same time as a certain amount of other people because, again, they don't want it to crash. But I'm just saying, why are they having these issues at all? It's not like they can't afford more bandwidth.
Micah: I think it's just...
[Andrew and Richard laugh]
Eric: What's the...
Micah: Pottermore.com funding is tied to the US debt crisis, so...
Ben: Yeah. Well, I don't think they - perhaps they didn't - whoever is administering their setup over there doesn't - didn't really understand what they were getting into, or...
Eric: Yeah, somehow!
Ben: I doubt that - these issues are not going to persist because particularly come this fall when the site is fully live and open to the public. There's no way they can be having it go down all the time, and I doubt that JK Rowling is going to stand for that.
Ben: I mean, when you're paying somebody - I imagine she's paying out the wazoo to have this all done, and maybe it's like - do you think Sony is hosting it or something?
Eric: Well, I don't think JK Rowling is paying for it. I mean, I think the buzz around it is going to pay for it, you know what I'm saying? I think Sony agreed to go into this. They're investing money in...
Ben: Yeah, but that's Jo's money, regardless, at the end of the day. She's paying people to - she paid people to build it. Richard, can you ping their server with your hacker skills? Can we hack into Pottermore live here on MuggleCast?
Richard: I don't want to risk breaking it further.
Ben: Everyone is really going to love Richard. He's like, "The movie sucks," and he's about to hack into Pottermore.
[Andrew and Richard laugh]
Andrew: Richard wants to get in on the Pottermore server team.
Andrew: I thought you did!
Eric: Can you blame him?
Eric: Maybe he could improve it.
Andrew: Yesterday, you were like, "You should connect me with them." [laughs]
Richard: I just wanted to play early, I don't want to work for them. [laughs]
Andrew: Oh, I see. Oh, okay. All right. Well again, so new clues are going to be posted every day, so keep an eye on - now here's where the fan community comes in, because Pottermore is not telling you when these clues go live. So...
Eric: That's BS.
Ben: And not only that, but Pottermore doesn't give you the answers to the clues, so you can rely on your friends on Twitter and the comments on MuggleNet to not have to solve the riddle yourself.
Andrew: Right. That's what we're - yeah, so...
Andrew: Right. [laughs]
Ben: I mean, doesn't that kind of take the fun out of it though? It's like, "I'm going to go search Twitter and find out what the answer is."
Andrew: But here's why we do it: people - some people just want to get in the dang site. They don't want to sit there, and divide and multiply by 49, and then go to Sony's site. I mean, they're going to have to do that anyway, but they just want to sign up and it's so - and here's the other thing: it's going to be on the internet anyway, so why not us do it too? It's going to be on Tumblr and Facebook.
Ben: Everyone is doing it!
Eric: I just thought I already signed up for Beta, and if I didn't get the e-mail, then I wasn't one of the lucky million. I accept that.
Eric: None of this clue thing. I'm tired of the clues. Come on!
Micah: It's all misleading.
Ben: How many signups did they get? Did they announce that?
Richard: Well, it must've been...
Andrew: In the e-mail?
Ben: Like that initial one.
Andrew: Yeah, you know what? They said it at the LeakyCon panel, I'm forgetting.
Andrew: But Jo's video on YouTube has had over a million views, and there's definitely been a lot of interest.
Ben: Well yeah, that and everybody entered like eight e-mail addresses.
Richard: That original signup didn't work for ages.
Andrew: Right, the e-mail signup didn't even work, initially.
Ben: Oh, that's right! I never actually signed up, I don't think. I remember when it came out it didn't work, and then I just went to bed.
Eric: Well, it's people crashing the server. So this is the preparation you're talking about, for them to prevent this sort of thing from happening in the future, although it's still going on.
Andrew: Anyway, there's still a lot to look forward to, so keep an eye on MuggleNet and Hypable. We'll be keeping you guys updated. People cannot spend all day on Pottermore, waiting for Betas to open up, you know?
Andrew: So that's why we're helping.
Ben: But they will, though! That's the thing.
Ben: That's the reason they can delay it ten hours, because Harry Potter fans - Harry Potter is like addiction. Not addiction, but it's like a - people have such a high affinity for it.
Eric: It's a way of life.
Ben: Yeah. They'll wait around ten hours, it doesn't matter. They can jerk our chains all they want.
Andrew: [laughs] I just - for fun, I asked to people who follow us on Twitter, Twitter.com/MuggleCast, what username did you get? Because you get to pick from one of five. And the usernames are basically two nouns put together plus a number. So, JoeRayes said - [laughs] this guy has like twelve!
"FeatherCloak3, WingWolf56, RainFelicis13, PhoenixSeer124, WizardWitch53."
That's kind of a cool one.
Eric: Ooh! WizardWitch!
Micah: This is all one person?
Andrew: [laughs] Yeah.
Micah: Ben, are you writing these down? We can e-mail these to Melissa and have them banned from the site.
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Andrew: HenryMcNinja has the name SeekerEcho52.
Andrew: Johndra has MidnightSun101, which is actually very interesting because that's a thing out of Twilight.
Eric: Yeah, it's the unwritten novel.
Andrew: Yeah. NHShavalia has SilverThestral53. That's a cool one! CareBear has FeatherSun168.
Eric: Now, the cool thing is if I'm remembering correctly from the discussion at LeakyCon, you're going to be able to ring up these friends if you have their username and duel them. There's going to be like a wizard duel. So just like...
Andrew: Yeah, that's cool.
Eric: ...where you log into Facebook and you see you have pokes pending, you're going to have duels pending, where you can duel your friends.
Andrew: Hennyhplover has SpiritPumpkin144. See, why didn't I - why wasn't I offered these names?
Andrew: Yeah, that's great! [laughs]
Ben: You have poor taste in Pottermore names, Andrew.
Eric: To be continued.
Ben: It sounds like a pet name or something.
Eric: We'll find out what you get, Ben, and what I get.
Eric: And what Micah gets.
Ben: I guess now I've got to go with my first username because I've [censored] about it for everybody else...
Ben: ...and their nine usernames.
Andrew: Don't be hypocritical now, just go with it.
Ben: Well, I'm not going to broadcast the fact that I registered twelve times.
Ben: That's not something I'm going to tell everybody.
Eric: I see.
Richard: Oh, I just remembered my name. [laughs]
Andrew: What is it?
Richard: It's NoxDust142.
Ben: That's a good one. I like that one.
Eric: Yeah. That's awesome!
[Andrew and Richard laugh]
Andrew: [imitating Eric] "That's awesome!"
Ben: You got a vote of approval from Eric.
Eric: That's like extinguishing fairies, their fairy dust.
Eric: Nox extinguishes light. You're just like going around, stepping on fairies. That's Richard.
Andrew: Oh my goodness. I'm trying to load up my other name. I'm trying to look at my conversation with Richard from last night.
Andrew: WalnutNight, yeah!
Eric: WalnutNight? I love it.
Andrew: WalnutNight188. Yeah, and I said to Richard, "That's currently my favorite."
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Eric: That's pretty cool.
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