Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone hit theaters on November 16th, 2001, kicking off the hugely successful eight-film series that dominated the box office during the 2000s. The Chris Columbus movie introduced the world to Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson and has continued to entertain new generations long after its theatrical run ended.
But said theatrical run has just had a sudden spurt of life. In some territories, cinemas are reopening, but with major blockbusters still delayed, they’re struggling to fill their schedules. As such, we’ve seen many classic movies revived for theatrical runs, with Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone being re-released in international markets over the weekend of August 14th.
The release saw it earn a million dollars, which means it belatedly joins the $1 billion club, now having a new lifetime box office total of $1,001,260,000. This makes it the second Harry Potter film to break the billion mark, with the first being Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 upon its original release.
Warner Bros’ President of International Distribution Andrew Cripps welcomed the news, saying:
“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.”
If Chinese audiences are particularly hungry for more Harry Potter, I wouldn’t be surprised if the rest of the series saw a re-release, too. But if they’re doing that, why not go back and give the increasingly creaky-looking early 2000s CGI a bit of a polish?
There’s good stuff across the franchise, but also a lot of effects shots that would hugely benefit from the studio going back and doing them again with modern technology. Why not even put some deleted scenes back in while they’re at it? Rik Mayall’s Peeves the Poltergeist anyone?