The Buzz

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Well there were an awful lot of Muggles swamping bookstores this weekend waiting to get their hands on "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince." Scholastic, J.K. Rowling's U.S. publisher, helpfully provided a tool on its Web site for fans to find a book party near them for July 15, known as "Harry Eve." Of course, if rabid fans had known a Canadian drugstore and another one in upstate New York accidentally had them on sale for an hour, they may have made the trip north midweek. As it was, a Canadian judge issued a court injunction to get the 14 copies sold returned, and the boy who bought the book in New York voluntarily returned it after reading two pages. The accidental sale was immediately branded a marketing coup, which helped whip up demand for the book. Demand was already pretty strong, though, with 1.4 million pre-orders placed on Amazon by July 12, and Barnes & Noble CEO Steve Riggio predicting his chain would sell about 50,000 copies an hour in the first 24 hours. Harry was even predicted to make trouble for "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," probably the first time a book release was big enough to bump up against a movie release. One movie the book is bound to help: Warner Bros.' November release of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire."
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