New York Times
Harry Crushes the Hulk
Here's what's wrong with kids in the digital age. They live in front of their TV and PC screens. They steal music online. Their attention span is zilch. They multitask on everything and concentrate on nothing except video games. They will buy any trashy product that the media goliaths can sell them, then drop it as soon as the next big hype comes along. That's merely the short list of hard-wired assumptions that were short-circuited by last weekend's publication of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." On Saturday alone, J. K. Rowling's fifth novel sold five million copies nationwide. In a culture where little registers until it's measured in dollars, just do the math. Figure an average price of $20 a "Harry" (allowing for widely varying discounts on the $29.99 list price), and you have a one-day gross, as Variety would say, of $100 million. That's more money than the competing Hollywood fantasy, "The Hulk," brought in for its entire opening weekend ($62 million), and, assuming a very conservative average of two readers per book, a larger audience as well.