Explosive sales for newest 'Harry Potter' tale: 2 million and counting

Harry Potter's appeal continues, with huge sales numbers coming out from the release of 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,' a book version of the script used in the West End play.

Joel Ryan/Invision/AP
'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' is currently playing at the Palace Theatre in London.

“Harry Potter” fans in Canada and the United States picked up 2 million copies of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” over the past two days, a continuation of the pattern seen in the huge sales of the original “Potter” series. 

The latest installment in the "Harry Potter" series is not a novel, but a book version of the script used by the cast and crew of a play currently running in London's West End.  It was released on July 31, a date Harry fans know as his birthday. 

The play is credited to Jack Thorne and is based on a narrative by Mr. Thorne, director John Tiffany, and “Potter” author J.K. Rowling. 

The enormous sales figures echo the extraordinary success of the original seven-part “Potter” series, published by Scholastic between 1998 and 2007 in the United States.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” the seventh and then-final book in the series, became the fastest-selling work ever after its publication in the summer of 2007. (The sales for “Child” don't match the initial numbers for “Hallows.”) 

Lily Zalon, a high school senior in Connecticut at the time of the release of the final “Potter” film in 2011, told the Monitor at the time that the first book “became my entire childhood.”

The “Potter” books “shaped my moral views, my understanding of how people should treat each other, and how we should behave in the world," Ms. Zalon said. “It's a pretty good guide to being a decent human being.” 

Sales for the latest installment show that Harry Potter's appeal hasn't waned, even as a new film set in the world of Harry (though taking place decades earlier) approaches, the November movie “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”

“J.K. Rowling has proved that she still has the magic touch,” Guardian writer Alison Flood wrote following the sales of “Child,” while USA Today writer Maria Puente writes that the numbers “reflect … the huge appetite that remains among Rowling's fans in her global audience for anything having to do with Harry Potter and with her name attached.”

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