J.K. Rowling unleashed a sensation when she published the first book in the Harry Potter series in 1997. Four years later, the young wizard’s adventures made it to the big screen and became a massive hit. Since then, the franchise has spawned video games, theme parks, tourist attractions, tattoos, and more in one of the biggest pop culture sensations in recent history.
When Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter book, she was nearly broke. Now it’s estimated that she’s worth at least a billion dollars. Her book was originally rejected by numerous publishers, and Bloomsbury, the one that did end up publishing it, didn’t expect it to do great. Turns out it was their golden ticket.
When the series was adapted into movies, it continued to do well and appealed to an even wider audience. From 2001 to 2011, Harry Potter films were pumped out almost yearly (usually around the holiday season) and were always a hit at the box office. The wizarding world has since been brought back to life with the Fantastic Beasts movies, though not quite with the same level of success. See where Harry Potter falls on the 100 top-grossing movies of all time.
Many of the main actors grew up with the movies over the years. Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and many others look unimaginably young in the first few movies. They devoted 10 years of their lives to the roles, and it’s hard to see them and not associate them with the characters they played. However, the stars have remained active and often have appeared in independent films and other, more personal projects. Daniel Radcliffe is on the list of actors who made major body transformations for roles.
Click here to see every Harry Potter movie, ranked
To determine the best Harry Potter movies, 24/7 Tempo developed an index based on several measures from the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes. The index is a composite of each movie’s IMDb rating, Rotten Tomatoes audience score, and Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score. All ratings were weighted equally. Data was collected September 2021. Supplemental data on global box office came from industry data site The Numbers.
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