Then there is the mother of all Harry Potter websites, Pottermore, run by author J.K. Rowling and scheduled to open to the public in October. (It is in a closed beta beginning July 31.) Ms. Rowling has committed to unleashing her decades of research, thoughts, history, and stories that underpin the Potter universe – and share the material in an interactive, collaborative, online storytelling milieu.
Yet some educators suggest that when the smoke clears from the final film, the books will have worked a magic in the Harry Potter generation that extends beyond the franchise.
“I see this willingness to engage with a multiple-book series over many years with thousands of pages as an excellent precursor to the classics,” says Daniel Bonevac, philosophy professor at the University of Texas at Austin. He says he read the Harry Potter books with his own children, “and then we progressed to 'The Iliad' and 'The Odyssey,' ” he adds.
The series also provided great support for his children to dive into contemporary classics, such as “The Lord of the Rings,” he says.
Movie studios hope that Potter fans will open their hearts to other films based on current young-adult works, such as “The Hunger Games,” says Grae Drake, film critic for movies.com. Earlier efforts to migrate young adult fans to other franchises, such as “The Golden Compass,” or “Lemony Snicket,” were “not very successful,” she says.