2009 – Year in Review

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Find our year in review for 2009 here.

The Numbers:

  • MuggleNet news posts: 970
  • MuggleNet page views: 63,074,123
  • MuggleNet seen in: 227 countries
  • MuggleCast downloads: 2,590,981

The Stories:

January
January 4 – In the first of what will be several photo ops for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park this year, Tom Felton spent a day with his girlfriend at Universal Studios Orlando.


January 7 – The MPAA gave Half-Blood Prince a PG rating for “scary images, some violence, language, and mild sensuality.” It surprised fans because Order of the Phoenix received a PG-13 rating in 2007.


January 18 – A Half-Blood Prince trailer leaked via a Japanese fansite. Lots of new scenes were revealed. We later learned that the trailer was an incomplete version.


January 24 – In a period of just over one month, MuggleNet’s Harry Potter social network MuggleSpace passed the 10,000 member mark. The quick growth exemplified the power of the fandom!


January 28 – The Associated Press revealed that David Holmes – a stunt double for Daniel Radcliffe – was seriously injured on the set of Deathly Hallows, just days after test shooting started. We later learned that David could return for work.

February
February 3 – J.K. Rowling was inducted into France’s prestigious Légion d’honneur (Legion of Honor), in which the honorary title of “Knight” was bestowed upon her. The event took place at the Élysée Palace and France’s president Nicolas Sarkozy was there to welcome the author into the Legion.


February 6 – A Warner Bros. representative confirmed that Deathly Hallows would begin filming in mid-February and run through spring 2010.


February 8 – Daniel Radcliffe completed his role in Equus as Alan Strang and said that he hopes to return to theater in the future.


February 9 – Mary GrandPré opened an exhibit of her work at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art. It included over 100 sketches by the Harry Potter Scholastic illustrator.


February 11Goblet of Fire composer Patrick Doyle spoke at the University of Syracuse about his work with the franchise and with MuggleCast in an interview conducted after his Syracuse event.


February 11 – Daniel Radcliffe and Tom Felton visited injured stuntman David Holmes in the hospital.


February 24 – Warner Bros. announced that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 would be released in theaters on July 15, 2011.


February 25Harry Potter: The Exhibition‘s time in Chicago was extended to early September due to high demand.

March
March 3 – Tom Felton created his own Twitter account, marking the first time a major star in the Potter franchise connected with fans via social media.


March 4 – The killer of Robert Knox – the actor who played Marcus Belby in Half-Blood Prince – was convicted of murder. The killer received a life sentence.


March 5 – Warner Bros. released a surprise Half-Blood Prince trailer exclusively to fansites.


March 7 – Mary GrandPré spoke to MuggleCast in her first fansite interview. In it, she discussed the inspiration behind each cover, the most challenging design, her future work, and much more.


March 9 – The first photo from the set of Deathly Hallows appeared online. It depicted Daniel Radcliffe shooting scenes in a forest.


March 15 – Reports revealed that Daniel Radcliffe’s stunt double David Holmes was paralyzed.


March 31 – It was revealed that J.K. Rowling would attend a dinner with First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama.

April
April 1 – MuggleNet released a series of fake news stories for our 2009 April Fools’ Day prank.


April 8 – J.K. Rowling decided to step down from MS Society Scotland after seeing changes in the organization that she could no longer support.


April 8 – Jamie Waylett was arrested on charges of drug possession after being caught with cannabis in his cat. An investigation of his home revealed more cannabis and machines to cultivate the substance.


April 9 – MuggleNet’s own Emerson Spartz got engaged to girlfriend Gaby Montero. Emerson proposed in front of 21,000 people at the Chicago Bulls/Philadelphia 76ers game.


April 16 – The final trailer for Half-Blood Prince was released online. Plenty of new footage was revealed!


April 25 – The first shots from inside Harry Potter: The Exhibition were released online. The images showed what fans can expect when they attend.

May
May 5 – MuggleNet announced its second book, MuggleNet.com’s Harry Potter Should Have Died.


May 6 – The Health and Safety Executive of the UK told the production studio behind Harry Potter to improve safety. The message came after stuntman David Holmes was seriously injured on set.


May 26 – The running time for Half-Blood Prince was revealed at 153 minutes.

June
June 7 – The IMAX release of Half-Blood Prince was pushed to July 29 due to agreements already in place with Paramount for IMAX showings of Transformers.


June 9 – Michelle Obama and her children visited the Potter set after being personally invited by Daniel Radcliffe.


June 21 – An acting troupe produced and released A Very Potter Musical on YouTube. It went viral for several months and was a huge hit with Potter fans for its great music and funny dialogue.


June 24 – Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry set a new one-day record of 19,995 attendees thanks to Harry Potter: The Exhibition.


June 26 – The first review for Half-Blood Prince appeared online from Hollywood.com. They noted it had Oscar potential.

July
July 4 – BBC revealed that Rupert Grint contracted the swine flu and was recovering. Rupert had a full recovery and joked about his run-in with the swine flu in later interviews.


July 12 – MuggleNet posted its video interviews from the UK and US premieres of Half-Blood Prince.


July 15Half-Blood Prince set a midnight release record with $22.2 million in ticket sales.


July 15 – Hopes for John Williams to score Deathly Hallows began to soar when Half-Blood Prince composer Nicholas Hooper revealed that he won’t return for the final film.


July 16 – We learned that Half-Blood Prince pulled in $58.4 million during the first 24 hours at the box office.


July 16 – Jamie Waylett pleaded guilty to cannabis possession after being caught harvesting the illegal drug in his home in June.


July 16Half-Blood Prince set a world record with $104 million worth of ticket sales in the first 24 hours in theaters globally.


July 21 – After months of rumors, Emma Watson announced that she’ll be attending Brown University, starting in the fall.


July 21 – Jamie Waylett was ordered to do 120 hours of community service for growing cannabis plants in his home. He issued a statement apologizing to Potter fans as well as to those at Warner Bros.


July 22 – It was announced that Harry Potter: The Exhibition would move to Boston and open on October 25.

August
August 19 – Joshua Herdman revealed at a Potter fan conference that current plans for the Deathly Hallows split have it occurring right after being captured by the Snatchers and right before heading to Malfoy Manor. It was the first time we heard from a cast/crew member about where the films will be split. Herdman also revealed that they’ll be taking Jamie Waylett’s character out of the films.

September
September 4 – Ian Rankin revealed that the last time he saw J.K. Rowling, she was working on a Potter encyclopedia and drawing out family trees.


September 15 – Universal Studios Orlando announced several new sketches, videos, and details surrounding the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park. They also confirmed that it would open in spring 2010.


September 25 – To the surprise of many, J.K. Rowling joined Twitter. She said that she created the account to put an end to all fake ones and revealed that “pen and paper are her priority at the moment.”


September 30Half-Blood Prince broke the $300 million mark in the US and reached over $900 million worldwide.

October
October 1 – The month of October marked the tenth anniversary of MuggleNet.com. To celebrate, the website released several anniversary features throughout the month.


October 2 – President George W. Bush’s former speech writer claimed that J.K. Rowling was denied the US Presidential Award by the Bush administration because the Potter books promoted witchcraft.


October 5 – J.K. Rowling said at a fashion show that she was working on something but it wasn’t Potter.


October 26 – A single mother in the UK was asked by Warner Bros. to change things up at her Halloween party because she did not receive permission to sell tickets for the small event at her home.

November
November 2 – The building where J.K. Rowling wrote Sorcerer’s Stone re-opened as a cafe again after it had been turned into a Chinese buffet years earlier.

December
December 1 – The first official photo from Deathly Hallows was released by USA Today. It depicted Harry, Ron, and Hermione walking somewhere in London.


December 2 – David Yates commented further on the bare Deathly Hallows scenes, noting that Dan would be bare twice. The first time would come in the aforementioned visions Ron has, and the second time would occur in the King’s Cross scenes. He also revealed that his favorite scene is one not found in the book.


December 5 – The first trailer for Deathly Hallows appeared online after premiering on the Half-Blood Prince DVD. It included an intro by David Yates and David Heyman that revealed additional behind-the-scenes footage.


December 8 – It was announced that Harry Potter: The Exhibition would next be moving to Ontario, Canada, for an April 9 opening.


December 12 – Daniel Radcliffe and David Barron hosted a digital community screening of Half-Blood Prince for fans who had a Blu-ray copy of the film. Fans were able to watch the film live with Dan and David and ask them questions.


December 12MuggleCast won the Best Entertainment award at the 2009 Podcast Awards. It marked the third year our podcast received a Podcast Award thanks to the support of our listeners.


December 17 – The Half-Blood Prince DVD topped US and UK sales charges after a successful first week on store shelves.


December 17 – Emma Watson was named the most profitable actress of the decade.


December 22Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince‘s grand box office totaled over $900,000,000.


December 22 – J.K. Rowling easily earned the bestselling author of the decade.


December 24 – Six out of the seven Potter books took a place in USA Today’s Top 10 Books of the 2000s.


December 29 – In Yahoo Movies! Top 10 Most-Viewed Trailers of 2009 the Half-Blood Prince‘s trailer earned the No. 5 spot.