Where it used to be a major achievement for a movie to make $100 million at the box office, many films are now considered a “bust” if they don’t cross the billion-dollar mark. The pre-Snyder Cut Justice League, for instance, out-grossed mega-hits The Empire Strikes Back and The Incredibles and Fast Five, but because it “only” earned $682 million and reportedly cost $300 million to make, it inspired headlines like, “How Justice League Became a Box Office Disaster.” No movie released in 2020 has gotten near $1 billion, for obvious reasons (Bad Boys For Life is the closest with $424.6 million), but a movie released nearly two decades has just joined the billion dollar club.
Variety reports that Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the first film in the Harry Potter movie series, has “surpassed $1 billion at the global box office after [landing in] the top spot on box office charts in China last weekend, amassing $13.6 million from 16,000 screens,” mostly in 3D and IMAX. It’s the second Harry Potter movie to generate $1 billion to date, after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, and the 47th film overall to achieve the feat. In 48th place, with $989.2 million? Deathly Hallows: Part 1:
Sorcerer’s Stone didn’t hit Chinese cinemas until January 2002 — well before China became the second-biggest moviegoing market in the world. It collected more money from its rerelease in the last three days than it did during its entire stint in theaters 19 years ago.
Not all fans will be thrilled to see She Who Must Not Be Named profiting from all this.