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Dec07

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child tops Amazon.ca's Best-Selling Books of 2016

From Amazon.ca --

Amazon.ca today announced its best-selling books of 2016, along with its best-selling Kids & Teens books — just in time for the holiday season. Taking the number one spot on both lists is the two-part West End stage play and newest Wizarding World story in nearly a decade, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two (Special Rehearsal Edition Script), written by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany. The runner-up on the overall top 20 list is the memoir When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. Diary of a Wimpy Kid # 11: Double Down by Jeff Kinney is second on the list of best-selling Kids & Teens books. This marks the second annual Amazon.ca best-selling books list, which takes into account first editions published in 2016 and reflects both paid print and Kindle editions.

"We're excited to reveal the list of Amazon.ca's best-selling books of 2016!  These are the books Canadians are excited about, learning from, sharing with friends and curling up with in front of the fire," said Mike Strauch, Amazon.ca Country Manager. "Whether you're looking for a new favourite dish to whip up during the holidays, to get your heart racing with a page-turning suspense novel, or find the perfect gift for a teen in your family, there is a book for everyone."

The top 20 best-selling books of the year from Amazon.ca are:

  1. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two (Special Rehearsal Edition Script) by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany
  2. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
  3. The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
  4. The Whistler by John Grisham
  5. *A Great Reckoning: A Novel (Chief Inspector Gamache Novel) by Louise Penny
  6. *Oh She Glows Every Day: Quick and Simply Satisfying Plant-Based Recipes by Angela Liddon
  7. The Widow by Fiona Barton
  8. *Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien
  9. The Last Mile (Amos Decker series) by David Baldacci
  10. One with You: A Crossfire Novel (Crossfire Series) by Sylvia Day
  11. Cometh the Hour: Book Six Of the Clifton Chronicles by Jeffrey Archer
  12. Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen
  13. Before the Fall by Noah Hawley
  14. I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
  15. *The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
  16. Night School: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child
  17. Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat by Chrissy Teigen and Adeena Sussman
  18. The Wrong Side of Goodbye (A Harry Bosch Novel) by Michael Connelly
  19. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling
  20. The High Mountains of Portugal: A Novel by Yann Martel

*Books with asterisks (*) are by Canadian authors.

In taking a closer look at the list, Amazon.ca found:

  • Four Canadian women placed on the list including Louise Penny (who was one of two Canadians on last year's list), Angela Liddon, Madeleine Thien and Shari Lapena.
  • All four of the Canadian authors' books were also Globe and Mail bestsellers.
  • Canadians were embracing their foodie identity, with two cookbooks placing in the top 20, including Oh She Glows Every Day: Quick and Simply Satisfying Plant-Based Recipes by Angela Liddon, and Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat by Chrissy Teigen and Adeena Sussman.
  • Two very different memoirs made the top 20, which were When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, based on his life as a neurosurgeon, and Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen based on his life as a musician.
  • The mystery, thriller and suspense category was the most dominant, with nine of the top 20 books, including The Whistler, The Widow, The Couple Next Door, and I Let You Go, hailing from this genre.

The top 20 best-selling books of the year for Kids & Teens from Amazon.ca are:

  1. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two (Special Rehearsal Edition Script) by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany
  2. Diary of a Wimpy Kid # 11: Double Down by Jeff Kinney
  3. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay
  4. The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son On Life, Love, and Loss by Anderson Cooper
  5. The Trials of Apollo Book One The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan
  6. Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book 2 The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan
  7. Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
  8. Empire of Storms (Throne Of Glass Series) by Sarah J. Maas
  9. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
  10. DanTDM: Trayaurus and the Enchanted Crystal by DanTDM and Doreen Mulryan
  11. The Crown by Kiera Cass
  12. A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses) by Sarah J. Maas
  13. Amulet Book Seven: Firelight by Kazu Kibuishi
  14. Glass Sword (Red Queen) by Victoria Aveyard
  15. Calamity (The Reckoners) by Brandon Sanderson
  16. The Last Star: The Final Book of The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
  17. What Do You Do with a Problem? by Kobi Yamada
  18. Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood by Lisa Damour
  19. Discipline without Damage: How to Get Your Kids to Behave Without Messing Them Up by Vanessa Lapointe and Dr. Laura Markham
  20. Theodore Boone: The Scandal by John Grisham
 
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Nov30

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” Generates a Magical Half Billion Dollars at the Worldwide Box Office

From Warner Bros --

On the heels of topping the box office in its opening weekend, the widely acclaimed magical adventure “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” surpassed half a billion dollars at the global box office on Tuesday, November 29, following its second weekend in release. The announcement was made today by Sue Kroll, President of Worldwide Marketing and Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

Audiences everywhere have flocked to theatres, eager to experience the new era in the wizarding world created by J.K. Rowling. To date, the film has earned $161 million domestically and $344 million internationally for a global box office cume of $505 million and counting. “Fantastic Beasts,” which is Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, has also received praise from critics everywhere.

In making the announcement, Kroll stated, “We are thrilled by the success of this new adventure, which is also the start of an exciting new franchise for the studio. With ‘Fantastic Beasts,’ the brilliant J.K. Rowling has created an immersive story with timeless themes that are resonating with both critics and audiences in every corner of the world. We congratulate her, our director David Yates, the wonderful cast and everyone involved in the film on this milestone.”

Jeff Goldstein, President, Domestic Distribution, said, “Anticipation grew exponentially in the weeks leading up to the release of ‘Fantastic Beasts,’ and now with the film in theaters we are seeing strong word of mouth and repeat attendance, which should carry the film through the holiday season and beyond.”

Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, President, International Distribution and Growth Initiatives, added, “The enthusiastic global response to ‘Fantastic Beasts’ proves once again that the appeal of the wizarding world transcends language and borders. We, too, foresee strong holds through the holidays and well into the new year.”

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” takes us to a new era in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, decades before Harry Potter and half a world away.

Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”) stars in the central role of wizarding world Magizoologist Newt Scamander, under the direction of David Yates, who helmed the last four “Harry Potter” blockbusters.

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” opens in 1926 as Newt Scamander has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident…were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt’s fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” also stars Katherine Waterston (“Steve Jobs,” “Inherent Vice”), Tony Award winner Dan Fogler (“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”), Alison Sudol (“Dig,” “Transparent”), Ezra Miller (“Trainwreck,” upcoming “Justice League”), two-time Oscar nominee Samantha Morton (“In America,” “Sweet and Lowdown”), Oscar winner Jon Voight (“Coming Home,” TV’s “Ray Donovan”), Carmen Ejogo (“Selma”), and Colin Farrell (“True Detective”).

The film marks the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling, whose beloved Harry Potter books were adapted into the top-grossing film franchise of all time. Her script was inspired by the Hogwarts textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, written by her character Newt Scamander.

In addition to Yates, the film reunited a number of people from the “Harry Potter” features, including producers David Heyman, J.K. Rowling, Steve Kloves and Lionel Wigram. Tim Lewis, Neil Blair and Rick Senat served as executive producers.

 
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Nov18

Fantastic Beasts: Cases from the Wizarding World Now Available for iPhone, iPad and Android Devices

From Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment --

Fantastic Beasts: Cases From The Wizarding World, the free-to-play mobile game from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, developed by Mediatonic, is now available worldwide for download on the App Store for iPhone and iPad and Google Play for Android devices.

Inspired by J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, in this new hidden object game, players investigate curious cases as a new recruit with the Ministry of Magic, Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, Beast Division. Searching for clues at locations including Diagon Alley, the Leaky Cauldron and Hogsmeade, players report to the scene of mysterious incidents with a magical creature at the center of every case.

Following the trail of evidence, players uncover hidden objects, analyze evidence, cast spells and brew potions, piecing together clues to identify and relocate the magical creature in question.

Players can share their wizarding world experience with friends and fellow recruits by logging into Facebook to see each other’s progress and lend a helping hand.

 
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Nov17

Review: LEGO Dimensions Harry Potter Team Pack

I spent the last few Sunday afternoons playing with the LEGO Harry Potter Dimensions Team Pack on my WiiU. Here's how it went:

The first step is assembling the Starter Pack goodies. The Starter Pack is required in order to play with any of the other Packs in the LEGO Dimensions series. The first thing I noticed on the Starter Pack box was the phrase "internet connection required," so I set my Wii-U for Wi-Fi, and then began unpacking. I built LEGO minifigures of Gandalf, Batman and Wyldstyle from The Lego Movie.

After 10 frustrating minutes of trying to wrestle Batman and Gandalf into their respective capes, I finally gave up and searched YouTube for a tutorial — quick shoutout to Folfox Channel for the help!) 

I was now ready to start playing the game. It begins with a video voiced by none other than Gary Oldman (aka Sirius Black). He plays an evil character called Lord Vortech who wants to bend time and space to merge all universes into one by finding 12 foundation elements such as kryptonite, the one ring, the ruby slippers, etc. Gandalf, Batman and Wyldstyle are the three main characters attempting to stop him as he searches the various adventure worlds for the elements. But how do they travel around? Why, a Gateway portal, of course.

Gateway from LEGO Dimensions 

It was a 28-step build for this Gateway. Isn’t she a beauty?

Once you start gallivanting around the various adventure worlds, you get to build minifigs of Harry and Voldemort and add them to the mix by placing them on the Gateway. This time I had no trouble putting Voldie into his cape. Isn’t he handsome?

LEGO Voldemort minifigure 

Cool tidbit: Harry is voiced by Dan Radcliffe – albeit via audio clips from the Harry Potter films. Harry has the power to fly on his broom, cast magical spells such as Lumos and Wingardium Leviosa, and destroy silver LEGO bricks, while Voldemort can fly (sans broom), open doors with parseltongue (as can Harry, by the way), cast spells and use mind control. In the virtual wizarding world, you can visit Hogwarts, Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, where you can visit the LEGO Weasley twins in their shop. But the real fun of this game is that all the different minifigs can be used in any world. Admittedly, I had a great time making Harry drive the Batmobile through the Land of Oz.

The basic idea of the game is to destroy everything in sight in order to earn “studs” that you can later “spend.” You can also earn golden bricks by doing optional quests.

During the game, you also get to build the Hogwarts Express, Enchanted Car (aka the Weasleys’ Ford Anglia) and Batmobile, which each have their own powers. The Hogwarts Express has Sonar Smash and the Enchanted Car can fly, of course. You can also spend the “studs” you collect throughout the game to rebuild, or upgrade, the vehicles, giving them even more powers such as Soaring Steam (flying) for the Hogwarts Express, and Shark Sub (going underwater) and destroying gold LEGO bricks for the Enchanted Car, among other powers.

Enchanted Car Shark Sub and Hogwarts Express LEGO Dimensions

Hogwarts Express and Shark Sub rebuild of Enchanted Car

I’ll be playing this game for a long time to come. There are so many different worlds to explore and levels can be replayed to gain even more valuable studs (purple are worth more than blue, which are worth more than gold …). Studs and golden bricks can also be used to "rent" heroes with powers different from your minifigs for half a minute or so (just long enough to accomplish whatever task your own heroes can't do). You can also, of course, use real cash to purchase the physical minifigs that come in other Team Packs, Story Packs or Fun Packs, too, if you’d rather save your studs for upgrading vehicles.

You can purchase the Harry Potter Team Pack on Amazon. If you don't yet have the Starter Pack, you can purchase that on Amazon, as well.

 

Last Updated ( Thursday, 17 November 2016 17:56 )
 
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Oct31

Hot Topic "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" Inspired By Collection Available November 8

From Warner Bros. --

Hot Topic, in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, unveils today a fascinating fashion collection inspired by Warner Bros. Pictures’ much-anticipated feature film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The nine-piece collection is available starting November 8th exclusively at Hot Topic stores and hottopic.com. Fans can watch the new adventure unfold in theaters on November 18th.

The magical experience is enhanced for Wizarding World fans in this new collection comprised of coats, woven tops, and dresses. Featured designs from the collection were crafted to illuminate a 1920’s flair that is emblematic of the film’s characters such as Newt Scamander, Tina Goldstein, Queenie Goldstein and Seraphina Picquery. Fans will appreciate the unique cosplay detail of a singular “wand pocket” sewn into the inner shells of the line’s coats, convenient for the aspiring wizard or witch. Styles are available in XS – 3X for guys and XS-2X, with plus in select styles for girls.

The Hot Topic exclusive Fantastic Beasts collection includes:

·         Guys Newt Scamander Coat, $79.90

·         Guys Symbols Woven, $44.90

·         Tina Goldstein Pin-Up Dress, $59.90

·         Queenie Goldstein Coat, $99.90

·         Queenie Goldstein Flapper Dress, $69.90

·         Seraphina Picquery Off-The-Shoulder Dress, $89.90

·         Symbol Skater Dress, $54.90

·         Fantastic Beasts Sharkbite Top, $32.90

·         MACUSA (Magical Congress of the USA) Burnout Raglan, $28.90

“Our Fantastic Beasts collection is beyond amazing,” said Cindy Levitt, Senior Vice President of Merchandising and Marketing at Hot Topic. “The beautiful period piece dresses and coats with wand pockets will make everyone who sees the collection want to be a wizard!”

In addition to the limited-edition collection, Hot Topic offers a wide range of officially licensed merchandise inspires by the Harry Potter films and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, including tees, accessories, collectibles, gifts and more.

About Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is an all-new adventure returning us to the wizarding world created by J.K. Rowling, decades before Harry Potter and half a world away.  The film opens in 1926 as Newt Scamander has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident…were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt’s fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.

The film stars Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Samantha Morton, Jon Voight, Carmen Ejogo, and Colin Farrell, under the direction of David Yates, who helmed the last four Harry Potter features.  Marking the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling, the film reunites a number of people from the Harry Potter franchise, including producers David Heyman, J.K. Rowling, Steve Kloves and Lionel Wigram.  Tim Lewis, Neil Blair and Rick Senat served as executive producers.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will open worldwide on November 18, 2016, in 2D and 3D in select theatres and IMAX and will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.  fantasticbeasts.com

 
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