Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone Passes $1 Billion Box Office Nearly 20 Years After Release

Harry Potter And the Philosopher's Stone

by Ben Travis |
Updated on

A lot of things happen in the world of Harry Potter ’19 years later’. Not only was that the time-jump in Deathly Hallows Part 2 that saw a grown-up Harry, Ron and Hermione drop their future kids off at Platform 9 and 3/4, decades after defeating Voldemort, but it’s also the amount of time it’s taken for the very first film in the series, Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone, to cross the $1 billion mark at the worldwide box office.

On its original release in 2001, the film pulled in over $974 million worldwide – and since then has topped up its box office takings in re-releases and reissues, from Harry Potter IMAX Marathon screenings to international redistributions, in the intervening years. But the thing that finally pushed it across the $1 billion threshold has been a recent re-release in Chinese cinemas, drawing people back to the big screen in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. Since July this year, the film has earned over $17 million in China in a 4K IMAX 3D presentation. "We are thrilled to see Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone delight a new generation of audiences," says Andrew Cripps, Warner Bros Pictures' head of international distribution. "The popularity of the film with moviegoers in China, who are discovering it for the first time, proves that the appeal of these stories is truly timeless and universal."

This makes it the second film in the franchise to rake in over a billion – the other being its complementing bookend, The Deathly Hallows Part 2, with an overall tally of $1.4 billion worldwide. The continued popularity of Harry Potter makes the box office wobble of 2018’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald all the more apparent – the second film in the Fantastic Beasts series proved the lowest-grossing Wizarding World film so far, with worldwide receipts totalling $654 million. It remains to be seen whether the upcoming Fantastic Beasts 3 – which is yet to begin shooting – can turn those fortunes around, particularly in the wake of J.K. Rowling’s damaging social media comments about the transgender community.

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