Debra Goldman's Consumer Republic

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Hype and Harry Potter are old friends.

Just last July, the fourth installment of J.K. Rowling’s children’s-book series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, was marked by midnight lines at the cash register, a phenomenon usually associated with hot toys and software launches. According to Salon’s calculation, Goblet of Fire’s take that first weekend was the equivalent of a $59 million opening-weekend gross for a movie.

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