The latest addition to JK Rowling’s magical world, Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets, landed with some fanfare when it hit theaters last month. The only JK Rowling-affiliated film to fall short of the $100 million mark at the domestic box office, many believe this version of the franchise ended prematurely. However, Warner Bros. apparently has no interest in letting the wizarding world sleep, so before long we’ll no doubt be seeing more muggles and wizards in theaters and on HBO Max. With the franchise at a crossroads, it’s an opportune time to look back at the series’ debut on the big screen, Chris Columbus’ Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Where Philosophical Stone depending on where you live).
While the books were already a runaway phenomenon at this point, Hollywood was unsure whether or not they would translate to the big screen. Director Chris Columbus pulled out all the stops to make it an elegant production, enlisting a who’s who of beloved English actors to fill the adult roles. At the same time, he cast a trio of young actors, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, to play Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley. Plus, he got John Williams to score!
As we explain in this episode of Fantasizing About Fantasy Films, the film was a smash hit at the box office, grossing nearly $1 billion worldwide and launching a franchise that will go down in history as the one of the most profitable of all time. This episode is written and narrated by Jessica Dwyer, edited by Bill Mazzola and produced by Adam Walton.
Do you think Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone holds more than twenty years later? Let us know in the comments!