Enthusiastic Harry Potter fans turned out in droves at midnight Wednesday for the premiere of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Here’s a round-up of all the latest Potter news, including record-setting box office numbers, a fantasy tie-in promotion from Random House, and a trailer that’s being shown at Half-Blood Prince screenings that’s attracting attention in its own right.
• The film’s off a strong start: according to Variety, Half-Blood Princebroke the record for midnight showings, earning $22.2 million in ticket sales, which bested the previous record (The Dark Knight, from 2008). The previous Potter films have grossed almost $4.5 billion globally.
• Scholastic has just released the paperback edition of J.K. Rowling’s final HP book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which pubbed July 7 with a two-million-copy first printing. The Harry Potter books have sold more than 400 million copies worldwide.
• Random House is getting in on the movie action, distributing 44,000 DVD samplers entitled The Coming Attractions to theaters that are showing Half-Blood Prince. The samplers include games, excerpts and videos featuring eight Random House science fiction/fantasy titles, such as Michael Scott’s The Alchemyst, Christopher Paolini’s Eragon, Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass and Jan Bozarth’s Fairy Godmother Academy.
• Meanwhile, Harry Potter fans are getting a taste of one of the next big children’s book—based films in the pipeline. A trailer for Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, based on the Rick Riordan series, is being shown at screenings of Half-Blood Prince. Click here to view the trailer.