Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has had a bumpy road since its launch. An official statement from Scholastic reported that, “Scholastic has sold more than 2 million copies in North America in the first two days of sales,” with the key phrase being that these sales are “unprecedented for a script book.” Yes, for a script book these sales are record breaking, but it is nothing compared to the 8.3 million copies sold at the Deathly Hallows release.
However, this is to be expected. The New York Times points out the Cursed Child is a script and not an actual book even though it is “being billed as the eighth book in the Harry Potter series.” What is actually happening here? J.K. Rowling is giving her audience a little taste of the Harry Potter plot without actually producing a book.
There is nothing inherently wrong with this kind of business strategy. The company makes money, Rowling makes money, and the audience is happy- for the most part. Those who aren’t are lashing out because they want another book, and not merely a script.“Rowling, you owe your fans a BOOK!”
Is this claim actually true? Does Rowling owe anybody anything? Fans, usually the die-hard ones, sometimes develop a kind of ultra-clingy mindset. They constantly demand more and more and simply expect the writer to produce amazing content consistently. See what is happening with George R.R. Martin as well.
The only thing that would suggest that the Cursed Child controversy is legitimate is if the Harry Potter industry was advertising it as an actual book. Here the waters get murky because even a script is a book in the sense that it is bound and has pages. The cyinc would argue that the industry used the term “book” loosely to fool the casual article reader that The Cursed Child was actually the 8th installment of the Harry Potter book series.
If this was the true intention of J.K. Rowling’s business team then any fan has the right to feel taken advantage of by the corporate machine that is now the Harry Potter Universe. But at the end of the day, J.K. Rowling gave the world a gift when she created the wizarding world we all love. Maybe this recent event was a bit tacky, but I would never go as far to say that Rowling owes us anything. Is it not the height of greed to demand more from someone who has given us so much?
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