UPDATE: Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone has now grossed over $1 billion, nearly 19 years after it was first released.
The milestone was reached after a new 4K 3D remaster of the first Harry Potter film was released in China on 14 August, giving new fans the chance to watch it on the big screen for the first time.
In a statement issued to Entertainment Weekly Andrew Cripps, Warner Bros. Pictures' head of international distribution, said: "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."
ORIGINAL STORY: Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone is on the verge of grossing $1 billion (£746 million) at the global box office, 18 years and nine months since it was first released.
The film, which first hit UK cinemas on 16 November, 2001 is now just $2 million away from the illustrious billion dollar mark, which – to date – has only been achieved by one other Harry Potter film: 2011’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 ($1,341,511,219).
It’s all thanks to a new 4K 3D restoration of Chris Columbus’s 2001 film (released in some regions as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) which has just been released in China.
The re-release topped the box office in the market where cinemas are gradually reopening following the coronavirus lockdown. It took $13.6 million from 16,000 screens over the weekend, according to data on Deadline.
Based on JK Rowling’s book of the same name Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone, which stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Richard Harris and more, grossed $975 million on its first run and has been adding to its tally through revivals and re-releases ever since thanks to the enduring appeal of the franchise.
Only 46 films have ever made more than one billion dollars at the global box office, but thanks to inflation and increased ticket prices, its an ever-growing list of titles.
In 2019 alone, nine new films joined the billion dollar club including Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Captain Marvel, Aladdin, Joker, Frozen 2, Toy Story 4, Spider-Man: Far From Home, The Lion King, and Avengers: Endgame, which is now the highest-grossing movie ever with $2.7 billion.