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In Pictures: Galleons of Harry Potter

He may have been the boy who lived, but how much did he rake in? The first seven Harry Potter films grossed $6 billion worldwide but which one was the least profitable?

July 18, 2011 3:22 by

  • With the last movie of the Harry Potter franchise released this July, Potter Mania is back for one last time (or is it?). And in case you’ve been living under a rock, the franchise is based on author J.K.Rowling’s novels about an 11-year-old orphan wizard called Harry Potter and his Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley. Potter of course is mysteriously linked to ultimate magical bad guy Lord Voldemort who killed Harry’s parents when our hero was just a baby. The first seven films grossed $6 billion worldwide but which one was the least profitable?

  • Directed by Chris Columbus, the first movie had a budget of $125 million and is the highest grossing movie worldwide from the Harry Potter franchise making over $974 million. At age eleven years, Harry Potter, played by actor Daniel Radcliffe, finds out that he is a wizard and begins his magical study at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and forging lifetime friendships with two other main characters Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, portrayed by Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, respectively.

  • Warner Bros sought to replicate the success of the first movie by making the second film another Chris Columbus effort. The film had a budget of $100 million and grossed over $878 million worldwide.

    Harry, Ron, and Hermione return to Hogwarts for their second year, where the usual mayhem ensues as moviegoers get to know Harry Potter a little bit more—and be dissatisfied as book-to-movie adaptations never really satisfy readers. The Harry Potter franchise becomes a global phenomenon here with newer characters introduced, including Kenneth Branagh as Gilderoy Lockhart.

  • This third installment saw a significant change in the direction of the film’s look and feel. The movie steps out of Columbus’ comfort zone of children’s flicks (he famously directed Home Alone) and into director Alfonso Cuarón’s ability to give films a dark-yet-still-kid-friendly effect. It had a budget of $130 million and grossed the least of all the films making only a little over $795 million—perhaps the result of low expectations from movie goers that the third movie would continue to ‘kid-ify’ the book.

    This film stars Michael Gambon as Albus Dumbledore, Timothy Spall as Peter Pettigrew, and Emma Thompson as Sybill Trelawney.

  • The film had a budget of $150 million and grossed over $895 million worldwide. In this film directed by Mike Newell, the focus is mainly on an imaginary sporting event that used a flying broom and annoyingly fast golden ball with wings. This is the first time the movie shows arch nemesis Lord Voldemort played by acclaimed actor Ralph Fiennes. Cast also includes Miranda Richardson as Rita Skeeter and Robert Pattinson as Cedric Diggory, Harry’s sporting competitor (before he became a vampire heartthrob—yes, pun intended—in the Twilight movies).

  • This movie is when real chaos between all the parties in the story begins. Directed by David Yates, the film had a budget of $150 million and grossed more than $938 million worldwide, the third highest grossing movie in the Harry Potter franchise.

    Other than Radcliffe, Grint, and Watson, the film also features Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange, Warwick Davis as Filius Flitwick, Brendan Gleeson as Mad-Eye Moody, and David Thewlis as Remus Lupin.

  • Nearing the climatic end to Harry’s ordeal, this film continues under the direction of soft-spoken David Yates who’s portfolio prior to joining the Harry Potter bandwagon leaned heavily towards TV movies.

    The sixth film had a budget of $250 million, the highest of all the 8 films. It grossed over $933 million worldwide, the fourth highest in the series after Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. This is the movie where Dumbledore dies and Harry Potter loses his guide and mentor throughout the story. The story prepares to take viewers into the unfamiliar with familiar signposts from previous stories along the way.

    The film also stars Jamie Campbell Bower as Gellert Grindelwald and Helen McCrory as Narcissa Malfoy.

  • Directed by David Yates, this film was the first part of the seventh and final novel. It had a budget of $125 million and grossed more $955 million making it the second highest grossing film in the Harry Potter franchise.

    Connections between Harry Potter and his arch nemesis Lord Voldemort become more evident and the relationships between characters become more resolved.

    The film features some familiar celebrities, who have been in the previous Potter films including eccentric actress Helena Bonham Carter who played Bellatrix Lestrange, first appearing in the 2007 film.

  • David Yates gets to finish off the Potter series, directing the final movie installment. The film continues where it left off in previous movie which was basically setting up the final stand between the hero and the mysteriously noseless bad guy voldemort.

    So far the film has grossed over $475 million onlyin it’s opening weekend and it is predicted that the film will break the $1 billion barrier to become the highest grossing film in the franchise, with a budget of $125 million which is shared with the seventh movie. It broke the midnight record with $43 million, and the single stateside opening day $92 million.


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