(February 15, 2001 – New York, NY) – Warner Bros. will launch the official “Harry Potter” Web site, www.harrypotter.com (www.harrypotter.co.uk in the United Kingdom) on Friday, February 16, 2001. The much-anticipated site offers a rich, dynamic environment that will evolve and grow over time as exclusive features and elements are added, including interactive fan opportunities, games and the latest information and news updates on the “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” feature film. “The enchanting characters and vivid imagery of the ‘Harry Potter’ books have captured the imaginations of millions of fans worldwide,” said Kevin Tsujihara, Executive Vice President, Warner Bros. New Media. “The Web site will amplify the reader’s experience and provide a great entrée to the world of ‘Harry Potter’ for those who may not have yet explored the stories. We want Harrypotter.com to reach and bring together fans of all ages around the globe as they tap into an exceptional interactive experience and immerse themselves in the magical world of ‘Harry Potter.’” Warner Bros. is inviting other fan-managed “Harry Potter” sites to link to the community through the Harrypotter.com hub, and in turn, Warner Bros. will provide unique “Harry Potter” images and icons for use on their sites. Additionally, Warner Bros. will be asking fans for their feedback and insights, which will be highlighted on Harrypotter.com. Unlike other movie-based Web sites that rely heavily on behind-the-scenes production information, Harrypotter.com is a comprehensive site and community forum dedicated to the world of “Harry Potter.” “The magic of Harry Potter’s world is something Warner Bros. is working very hard to preserve,” said Don Buckley, Senior Vice President, Theatrical Marketing and New Media, Warner Bros. Pictures. “Therefore, we feel it is very important that we not reveal the secrets behind the magic.” The Web site, which will be regularly updated with new features and news, welcomes visitors with an animated short of the famed Hogwarts Express train, which whisks Harry and his classmates from Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross station off to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Once inside the site, fans can choose from the following “Harry Potter”-inspired destinations: Hogwarts offers wouldbe Wizards the chance to apply to be “students” at the exclusive Hogwarts school. Take your turn answering a series of sage riddles from the “Sorting Hat” to determine in which of four houses you will study. The magical promenade Diagon Alley features “The Owl Post,” where fans can send friends (or enemies!) a customized e-postcard or a “Howler.” “Flourish and Blotts” offers Muggles the chance to download and print bookmarks and specialized “Harry Potter” coloring pages. The Daily Prophet will give exclusive peeks into the world of “Harry Potter” and information about the upcoming “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” feature film, including Web-exclusive material such as still images, trailers, clips and production details as they become available. When Muggles want to share information, they can gather at Platform 9¾, the site’s community area, complete with message boards connecting “Harry Potter” fans from around the world. To further reach the fans who have made “Harry Potter” a global phenomenon, Warner Bros. will soon roll out local-language-customized versions of the “Harry Potter” Web site in German, French, Spanish, Italian and Japanese, with other language-customized sites scheduled to follow.
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