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Get this: a movie that came out almost 20 years ago has hit the $1 billion mark at the worldwide 2020 box office. It did have a head start though. 2001’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone initially made $978 million in worldwide ticket sales, but this week the movie has crossed $1 billion thanks to its return to theaters internationally.
Sorcerer’s Stone will officially become the second Harry Potter movie to surpass $1 billion, behind The Deathly Hallows: Part 2, which closed out the franchise with a bang when it made $1.34 billion back in 2011. Over this past weekend (August 14 to 16), a 4K 3D restoration of the Warner Bros movie was re-released in China and topped box office charts with $13.4 million. Pair that with a number of international markets also showing the fantasy film again, and young Harry Potter has the pockets to buy a lot more than one cart of magical sweets.
The news was announced by Warner Bros President of International Distribution Andrew Cripps, per The Hollywood Reporter. For the moment, countries across the globe are getting back to normal after months of crisis over the COVID-19 pandemic and opening up more high risk businesses, including movie theaters. But since Hollywood is still catching up, recently surpassing 5.5 million cases in the United States, life at the movies isn’t back to how it was just yet.
Select AMC movie theaters in the U.S. did open today, August 20, and the major theater chain is planning to slowly reopen more of its locations in the coming weeks with a social distancing plan in place and enhanced cleaning measures. In the next few weeks, there will be new movies joining the box office, with Christopher Nolan’s Tenet internationally on August 26 and to North America on September 3. There is, however, some worry that footage could leak and fans will pirate copies.
Disney and Marvel’s The New Mutants is really planning to open on August 28, becoming one of the first new releases since closures started in March. Going back to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, it looks like it came back to theaters at exactly the right time to make its record before theaters begin to add fresher titles into the mix.
The Sorcerer’s Stone is a historical film, not only because it kicked off the movie franchise for J.K. Rowling’s series that made $7.74 billion at the box office collectively, but introduced the world to Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint (among others), all of whom are still working today. The Harry Potter series has only become bigger since the film’s initial premiere with theme parks, a Broadway play and so forth also adding to its value.
The next film from the Wizarding World will be Fantastic Beasts 3, planning to start filming this fall before hitting theaters on November 12, 2021.