Harry Potter Nears the $1 Billion Mark 19 Years After Opening Thanks to China Re-Release

The 2001 movie Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone kicked off the blockbuster franchise that would grow to 8 movie adaptations

Tom Felton, Daniel Radcliffe
Photo: Everett

The Boy Who Lived is a hit on the big screen once again.

As most movie theaters in the U.S. remain closed due to the pandemic, other countries have been showing older movies for audiences cautiously returning to pre-pandemic life.

That spelled good news for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, the first movie in the blockbuster franchise. The 2001 film topped the weekend worldwide box office with over $13 million made in theaters in China, where the movie was shown in 4K and 3-D for the first time, according to Forbes.

Sorcerer's Stone has now made $997.8 million worldwide, nearing the $1 billion mark.

The movie stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint in their first outings as Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, respectively. The film also features the late Richard Harris as Professor Dumbledore. Harris played the character in the first two movies before he died in 2002 and was replaced by Michael Gambon for the remaining 6 movies.

Evan Agostini/ImageDirect

The news comes only a few months since Comscore, the analytics company that generates box office grosses, reported no revenue over the weekend in March days after theaters across the U.S. closed in efforts to help curve the COVID-19 outbreak. AMC Theaters and Regal Cinemas, the two biggest chains in the country, both closed its theaters in early March to help with social distancing.

Since then, the box office has remained small in the U.S. as films are primarily being screened at drive-in theaters and some independent theaters around the country.

AMC Theaters and Regal Cinemas are re-opening many of its locations on Friday, Aug. 21, with the first major release in months being the Russell Crowe thriller, Unhinged.

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