2008 – Year in Review

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Find our year in review for 2008 here.

The Numbers:

  • MuggleNet news posts: 630
  • MuggleNet page views: 38,014,008
  • MuggleNet seen in: 227 countries
  • MuggleCast downloads: 2,790,981

The Stories:

January
January 2 – MuggleNet was hacked by, in Emerson’s words, a group of “sexually frustrated men.” The website came back online three days later.


January 5 – Warner Bros. announced that all of their films, including the Harry Potter series, would only be produced in Blu-ray and DVD. This announcement immediately ended the HD-DVD/Blu-ray war because Warner Bros.’s commitment to Blu-ray gave Sony’s new high definition DVD format the majority of movie distributor supporters.


January 13 – Rumors from within the Half-Blood Prince set began to swirl over the possibility of Deathly Hallows being split into two films.

February
February 10 – Jim Dale won a Grammy Award for his reading of the Deathly Hallows audiobook.


February 11 – The Deathly Hallows film split rumor continued to gain momentum. The Daily Telegraph spoke to Potter producers about the possibility. While nothing was confirmed, it was clear that the producers were interested in the split happening.


February 19 – Confirmation of Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince director David Yates directing Deathly Hallows was accidentally announced by children’s book author Lois Lowry.

March
March 12 – After many rumors, Warner Bros. officially announced that Deathly Hallows would be split into two separate films.


March 21 – The Potter fandom proudly learned that the hilarious Potter Puppet Pals won Best Comedy at the 2007 YouTube Awards.


March 24 – RDR Books requested J.K. Rowling’s presence in New York City at the Lexicon copyright case.

April
April 1 – MuggleNet created several fake news stories and posted them throughout the day to celebrate April Fools’ Day.


April 14 – J.K. Rowling, RDR Books, and Steve Vander Ark testified in court during a three-day trial. Throughout the week, numerous reports and statements surfaced in what turned into a very critical one for the Potter fandom.


April 22 – EA Games, creator of all the Harry Potter video games, announced that a Half-Blood Prince game was in development.


April 25 – ComingSoon.net reported that the release date for Deathly Hallows – Part 1 was set for November 19, 2010.


April 25 – Warner Bros. announced Harry Potter: The Exhibition, “a state-of-the-art exhibition highlighting artifacts from the Warner Bros. films based on J.K. Rowling’s beloved book series,” to open in spring 2009.

May
May 1 – For the first time in a decade, the weekly New York Times Best Seller List didn’t hold a single Harry Potter book.


May 28 – It was revealed that J.K. Rowling wrote a short Potter prequel for an upcoming Waterstones charity auction. The story involves James and Sirius three years before Harry’s birth.

June
June 4 – Rumors of a Harry Potter MMORPG started to pick up pace when a representative at Warner Bros. confirmed that the company is looking into the possibility.


June 5 – J.K. Rowling spoke at Harvard’s commencement ceremony. As the Harvard Crimson reported, J.K. Rowling “called on members of the class of 2008 to use their capacity to empathize and their experiences of failure to conquer apathy.”


June 10 – J.K. Rowling’s Potter prequel sold to a ghost bidder for £25,000.

July
July 2 – Fans became excited when many new, exciting, and official photos from the Half-Blood Prince film appeared in Empire Magazine.


July 12 – Jim Dale spoke at Portus 2008 to a huge audience of his fans. He became the first person involved with the Potter books to speak at a Potter fan conference. For close to an hour, Jim read excerpts from the Harry Potter books and entertained the crowd with his lively narration and signature voices.


July 18 – The very first trailer for Half-Blood Prince premiered with the IMAX version of The Dark Knight. To the disappointment of many, it was very short and didn’t include any video.


July 29 – The first Half-Blood Prince teaser trailer made its way online and played in front of The Mummy in theaters.

August
August 14 – Warner Bros. announced that they would be delaying Half-Blood Prince until July 17, 2009. The news shocked fans and many speculated over why the decision was made.


August 19 – Alan Horn, President of Warner Bros., issued a statement to fans explaining why the decision was made. It didn’t go over well with fans.

September
September 2 – Development of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park continued in Florida.


September 7 – MuggleNet’s Eric Scull attended an early screening of Half-Blood Prince in Chicago, where Warner Bros. screen-tested the film in front of an audience. A couple of days later, he published a spoiler-free report to let fans know about the experience.


September 8 – The judge in the JKR/RDR books trial decided to halt the publication of the Lexicon because of its copyright infringement. RDR had to pay $6,750 in statutory damages.


September 9 – Electronic Arts officially announced the delay of their Half-Blood Prince video game. The news was expected after Warner Bros. delayed the film.


September 20 – Motivated by its record on child poverty, J.K. Rowling donated £1 million to the Labour Party.


September 22 – Scholastic announced that Deathly Hallows would be released in paperback on July 7, 2009.


September 22 – Warner Bros.’ case against the makers behind Hari Puttar was turned down by Indian courts, saying that Warner Bros. waited until the last moment to bring it to court.

October
October 20 – J.K. Rowling announced that she’ll be hosting a Beedle the Bard tea party in Scotland on the day of its release.


October 26 – A new international teaser trailer leaked online. The trailer included lots of new scenes we hadn’t seen before and ran for about 90 seconds.


October 29 – David Heyman discussed the Half-Blood Prince delay a little more and revealed that the film was just about complete.

November
November 8 – An illustration display appeared in Cedar Rapids with close to 100 pieces of artwork from Mary GrandPré – some of which had never been seen before. The exhibit was on display until February 5, 2009.


November 11 – In an interview with MTV, Emma Thompson revealed that she would not return as Professor Trelawney in Deathly Hallows because of another project she had scheduled.


November 13 – An excerpt from Prince Charles’s birthday book revealed J.K. Rowling’s favorite scene from Deathly Hallows.


November 14 – Warner Bros. released a new Half-Blood Prince trailer exclusively for fansites. The trailer premiered on the big screen in front of Twilight. Ironically enough, Twilight took Half-Blood Prince‘s first release date (November 21) after the delay was announced.


November 20 – Preparation for Deathly Hallows filming got underway in Lochaber.

December
December 3 – The Associated Press revealed that eight million copies of The Tales of Beedle the Bard would be released worldwide.


December 3 – Scholastic unveiled an original handwritten copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard in New York City. MuggleNet was present to report for the fans.


December 4 – J.K. Rowling’s The Tales of Beedle the Bard was released in the US and UK. To the dismay of some Potter fans, many bookstores did not hold midnight release parties like they did for each book in the Potter series.


December 6 – ABC Family aired several Half-Blood Prince sneak peeks during their presentations of the first two Potter films.


December 9The Tales of Beedle the Bard became the fastest selling book of 2008, according to The Telegraph.


December 11 – The first stop for Harry Potter: The Exhibition was announced for Chicago, opening on April 30, 2009.


December 17 – Scholastic announced that The Tales of Beedle the Bard sold 2.6 million copies worldwide in the first week on sale.


December 24 – In a first for the Harry Potter fandom, MuggleNet opened a social network designed specifically for Harry Potter fans.


December 30 – Daniel Radcliffe was named Broadway.com’s Star of the Year.