It’s not so much mischief managed as it’s magic managed: Warner Bros’ reissue of Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone has become the second film in the franchise to cross $1B worldwide. The film, originally released in 2001, counts a global cume of $1,001,260,000 after debuting in a remastered 4K 3D version in China this weekend. The entire series has now grossed $7.74B.
When the 19-year-old HP1 re-released in the Middle Kingdom last Friday, it set a new single-day gross record in the post-COVID era, and then did so again on Saturday. Across the three-day session it drew muggles to the tune of $13.6M on 16,000 screens (including $2.1M from 594 IMAX screens). Through Tuesday evening local time, the movie was still playing strongly behind local epic The Eight Hundred.
Earlier on, in what feels like a lifetime ago amid the uncertainty of the coronavirus crisis, Hollywood studios were approached to bring catalog films back to China as it worked to get back on its feet after being shuttered since the Lunar New Year. WB’s Weibo post at the time announced presciently, “Magic is coming!” It ultimately took some time for Harry Potter, or any movie, to open in a significant way, but signs are positive.
The Potter movies have grown in popularity in China as the market has expanded. Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part II became the biggest grosser of the series there at $61M in 2011 — a time when the Middle Kingdom was hardly the major it has grown to be, but was the film’s 5th biggest offshore hub.
Andrew Cripps, President, International Distribution, Warner Bros Pictures, said today, “We are thrilled to see Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone delight a new generation of audiences. 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.”
The film was directed by Chris Columbus from a screenplay by Steve Kloves, based on the beloved novel by J.K. Rowling. David Heyman produced. Columbus, Mark Radcliffe, Michael Barnathan and Duncan Henderson served as executive producers.