Japanese fans of boy wizard Harry Potter will soon be able to explore the magical world of Hogwarts when Universal Studios Japan expands its theme park with a half-billion dollar investment.
The company is going to boost the footprint of its park in Osaka, western Japan, by one fifth, with new attraction The Wizarding World of Harry Potter slated to open in 2014, a spokesman said Thursday.
“We will build several attractions, including a school for wizards,” he said. The company later added a recreation of wizarding village Hogsmeade would be among the attractions.
James and Oliver Phelps, who played the Weasley twins in the Harry Potter movies, were greeted by dozens of Harry Potter fans dressed as characters from JK Rowling’s books at the official announcement in Osaka.
The blockbuster series has been a huge success in Japan, sparking long queues of costume-clad fans at bookstores every time the Japanese translation of a new novel was released.
Cinematic releases of each instalment have also proved wildly popular.
The Harry Potter commercial juggernaut, with its seven books, eight films and huge merchandising operation, has made made author Rowling a millionaire many times over.
Brad Globe of Warner Brothers, the studio behind the movie franchise, said the Universal Studios Japan expansion was a boon for Harry buffs.
“Harry Potter continues to captivate generations of fans around the world and we are delighted to announce this partnership… that will allow us to bring the magic of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to Asia,” he said.
“We think this is the perfectly timed next step in bringing the magical world of Harry Potter to life for even more fans.”
The operator of Universal Studios Japan, which opened in 2001, is a private firm licensed by the US Universal group. It has attractions featuring Sesame Street, Peter Pan’s Neverland, and the Land of Oz, among others.
Sondland was going to testify Trump gave the impression they should coordinate with Giuliani on Ukraine: report
European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland is slated to give testimony Thursday to the House committees on President Donald Trump's Ukraine scandal.
Sondland was slated to tell investigators that Trump gave him the impression that he and two other officials should coordinate with the president's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, The New York Times said in an explosive report Wednesday.
"That command effectively created a foreign policy back channel that cut the State Department and National Security Council out of deliberations involving a pivotal ally against Russia," The Times reported.
Trump’s lawyers are trying to tell Appeals Court they actually won the taxes lawsuit — but are still appealing
President Donald Trump's lawyers sent out a bizarre letter to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, making the case that they actually won their case to keep the president's taxes a secret. It's an odd take given that they're filing for an appeal.
Oct. 7, a federal judge dismissed Trump's efforts in a 75-page opinion calling the White House claim "extraordinary."
U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero explained that no occupant of the White House enjoys "absolute immunity from criminal process of any kind." Such a position "would constitute an overreach of executive power."
Nate Silver claps back at right-wing pollster for accusing him of fraud
One of the worst-performing national pollsters in the 2018 election cycle was Rasmussen Reports, a right-leaning outfit that is consistently the only one to show President Donald Trump with a net positive approval rating. In 2018, Rasmussen showed Republicans leading the generic congressional ballot by 1 point — but Democrats won the popular vote by 8.4 points.
Nonetheless, Rasmussen is proud of its methodology and particularly irritated when polling analyst and FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver points out their inaccuracy. Over the past two weeks, they have twice accused him of "fraud" and characterized his analyses as "corrupt."