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Harry Potter's Next Chapter? J.K. Rowling Launches ‘Pottermore’

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Just as it seemed like the era of "Harry Potter" was drawing to a close, the creator of the blockbuster series has launched a new website called "Pottermore."

In keeping with the tradition of the franchise, the website, which launched yesterday, www.pottermore.com, is still quite mysterious; other than two owls, all it says is "Coming Soon," with Rowling's signature.

Clicking on one of the owls brings you to a YouTube pagewith a countdown clock to "J.K. Rowling's announcement," which is six days away — Wednesday June 22.

What will Rowling announce? A new book? Scholastic, which published the series that's sold 400 million copies worldwide, said the announcement is not a new book. Speculation is swirling that it could be a virtual 'Harry Potter' world, some sort of interactive website or massive multiplayer game. Or it could be the long-awaited news that Scholastic will offer the books as e-books.

The timing is strategic, we're just a month ahead of Warner Brothers releasing "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2." This eighth and final film wraps up a phenomenal run for the studio: the first seven movies have grossed $6.4 billion in ticket sales world wide, plus billions more from DVD sales and other home entertainment revenue.

Warner Brothers would certainly love another book to turn into yet another movie. But even if "Pottermore" doesn't yield another title, it could rev up excitement for the brand to drive people to theaters en masse. And in the meantime we'll be waiting and watching the countdown clock.

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