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400+ Harry Potter Facts & Statistics from the Books, Movies, and More

Intro

Since the release of the first book in 1997, the Harry Potter franchise has taken the world by storm, gaining a dedicated following of millions of fans. You might be one of them.

But whether you’re a die-hard Potterhead with several sets of wizarding robes or can’t even remember Draco’s last name (it’s Malfoy, by the way – Draco Malfoy), you’re bound to discover something new about the Wizarding World in this article.

I’ve scoured the internet to create this collection of over 400 spellbinding facts and statistics, ranging from the story behind Harry Potter’s inception to hidden easter eggs you can discover at the Wizarding World theme parks.

So, don your sorting hat and prepare to be spellbound.

Fun Facts About JK Rowling

  • Harry Potter and JK Rowling have the same birthday: July 31st.
  • JK Rowling’s publisher advised her to write under a pen name because they didn’t think young boys would read a book written by a woman.
  • The first initial in JK is for Rowling’s real name, Joanne, and the K is a tribute to her grandmother Kathleen.
  • JK Rowling says that one of her biggest regrets is never telling her mother about Harry Potter. She started writing the books when she was 25, about 6 months before her mother died of multiple sclerosis.

JK Rowling’s Inspiration

JK Rowling's inspiration for Harry Potter

  • JK Rowling minored in Classics at the University of Exeter, so many of the names and spells in Harry Potter are based in Latin.
  • The names of the plants in Harry Potter came from Culpeper’s Complete Herbal, a book written in the 17th century by Nicholas Culpepper.
  • Dementors, creatures that suck out your soul, were inspired by Rowling’s personal experience with depression, which she experienced in her 20s.
  • Hogwarts students get on the Hogwarts Express train on Platform 9 and ¾ by running through the wall between platforms 9 and 10. This was inspired by the magic wardrobe in the Chronicles of Narnia that the main characters step through to enter Narnia.
  • The Tale of the Three Brothers, the children’s tale from the last Harry Potter book in which three brothers try to defeat death, was inspired by The Pardoner’s Tale by Geoffrey Chaucer.

JK Rowling’s Writing Process

JK Rowling planned the Harry Potter books in a spreadsheet

  • JK Rowling created an outline of the last chapter of the final book within the first year of starting the Harry Potter series.
  • While writing the series, JK Rowling wasn’t sure which of the characters she would kill off. At different points, she seriously considered killing Ron and his dad Arthur Weasley.

JK Rowling’s Writing Locations

  • JK Rowling spent a lot of time writing Harry Potter in various cafes and hotels, including:
  1. The Elephant House (Edinburgh) – This cafe claims to be the first place where JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter, which she has denied, though she did spend a lot of time writing here. The cafe was damaged in a fire on August 21, 2021.
  2. Flat Above a Sports Shop in Clapham Junction (London) – The actual place where JK Rowling started writing Harry Potter.
  3. Nicholson’s Cafe (Edinburgh) – Rowling wrote a whole chapter there that she barely changed afterwards.
  4. The Traverse Theatre Cafe (Edinburgh) – It was here that she first met John Tiffany, who later became the director of the stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
  5. The Bourneville Hotel (Manchester) – JK Rowling stayed in this former hotel for one night and invented the sport of Quidditch.
  6. The Balmoral Hotel (Edinburgh) – This was the last place where JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter. She lived in room 552 for six months, and there is a marble bust in the corner that she signed.
  • Greyfriars Kirkyard (Edinburgh) – This graveyard inspired Godric’s Hollow, where Harry’s parents were buried. It is also rumored to have inspired the names for several of the characters in the books, including:
  1. Tom Riddle (Voldemort)
  2. Professor McGonagall
  3. Mad-Eye Moody
  4. Crookshanks the cat
  • There are also several locations that were rumored to have inspired JK Rowling’s writing that she has debunked in interviews and through Twitter:
  1. The Shambles (York, England) – A street that looks just like Diagon Alley and even has stores that sell Harry Potter merchandise.
  2. Livraria Lello (Porto, Portugal) – A decade-old neo-Gothic bookstore near where JK Rowling used to live.
  3. Old Firehouse and Gandy Alley (Exeter, England) – JK Rowling went to University in Exeter, and these landmarks supposedly inspired The Leaky Cauldron and Diagon Alley.
  4. Goodwin’s Court and Covent Garden (London, England) – Some tours claim that these locations inspired Diagon Alley and Knockturn Alley.

JK Rowling’s Net Worth

JK Rowling reached Forbes' billionaires list in 2004

  • JK Rowling was the world’s highest-paid author in 2008, 2017, and 2019, when she made $300 million, $95 million, and $92 million, respectively.

Harry Potter Characters

  • Harry was inspired by JK’s mischievous childhood friend Ian who used to put slugs on his friend’s picnic plates.
  • Harry’s abusive Aunt Marge was inspired by the unkindness of JK Rowling’s maternal grandmother.
  • All of Harry’s grandparents are dead in the books. His mom’s parents died of old age and his dad’s parents perished because of a wizarding illness.
  • Hermione was inspired by JK Rowling herself, and is an exaggeration of the author when she was younger.
  • Ron was inspired by JK Rowling’s best friend Sean Harris, a British army officer.
  • Dumbledore was gay. When he was young, he fell in love with the dark wizard Grindelwald, and he was horrified when Grindelwald revealed his true character.
  • Hagrid was one of the first Harry Potter characters that JK Rowling created.
  • Hagrid’s rough and wild demeanor was based on bikers in the Welsh chapter of Hells Angels.
  • The sensitive ghost Moaning Myrtle was inspired by crying girls in the bathroom at parties from JK Rowling’s youth.
  • Snape’s cold personality was based on John Nettleship, JK Rowling’s chemistry teacher whom she disliked.
  • Rowling modeled Dolores Umbridge after a teacher she described as disliking the moment she saw her.

Characters’ Names Meanings

  • Harry Potter – Harry is the Middle English version of Henry, which was a popular name among English kings. This name references Harry’s leadership qualities.
  • Ronald Weasley – Ron is derived from the Old Norse name Rögnvaldr, a title given to the ruler’s adviser. This refers to his position as Harry’s sidekick.
  • Hermione Granger – Her first name comes from Greek Mythology, in which Hermione is the daughter of Helen of Troy and the king of Sparta. JK Rowling got this name from Shakespeare’s play “The Winter’s Tale.” JK Rowling partly chose Hermione’s name because it is uncommon. She knew that a lot of young girls would identify with Hermione and didn’t want them to be teased for having the same name.
  • Draco Malfoy – The first name of Harry’s arch nemesis means dragon. Mal is French for bad, and foi means faith or trust.
  • Albus Dumbledore – Albus means “white” in latin, like his beard. He also has three middle names; Percival, who was a knight of the round table, Wulfric, which means “wolf ruler,” and Brian, which means “noble” but may just be a joke because of how plain it is compared to his other names. Dumbledore means “bumblebee” in Old English.
  • Rubeus Hagrid – His first name, Rubeus, means reddish in Latin, like his complexion. His last name is based on the word Hagridden, which means tormented or worried in Old English.
  • Minerva McGonagall – The transfiguration professor’s first name references the Roman goddess of wisdom, justice, law, and victory. McGonagall comes from the Celtic word Conegal, which means “the bravest.”
  • Sybill Trelawney – The professor of divination was named after the sybils, who were oracles in Ancient Greece. Her last name is a Cornish surname that was chosen to sound impressive and attractive.
  • Sirius Black – Harry’s uncle’s name references his ability to shape-shift into a dog. Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky and is sometimes referred to as the dog star. It is a part of the constellation Canis Major, which translates to “Large Dog.”
  • Remus Lupin – His name is a reference to his werewolf form which he transforms into at the full moon. In Roman Mythology, Remus was one of the mythical twin brothers who were raised by wolves and who founded Rome. Lupin comes from lupus, the Latin term for wolf.
  • Luna Lovegood – Luna means “moon” in Spanish, which could refer to her spacey, head-in-the-clouds personality. Her last name, Lovegood, refers to her optimism and agreeableness.
  • Xenophilius Lovegood – Luna’s eccentric father’s first name is Latin for “the one who loves strange things.”
  • Dobby the house elf – Dobby is the fabric woven on a dobby loom. This may have a connection with the gift of clothes that are required to set a house elf free from their slavery.
  • Horace Slughorn – His first name is based on Quintus Horatius Flaccus (65-8 BCE), who was a Roman poet in the time of Augustus and a known critic of society. Slughorn refers to the mollusk but it is also an ancient Gaelic word for war cry.
  • Fleur Isabelle Delacour – Fleur means flower in French, Isabelle contains “belle” which is French for beautiful, and “Delacour” means “from the court.” So, essentially “a beautiful flower from the Court.”
  • Godric Gryffindor – The founder of Gryffindor house, Godric comes from the Old English “Godrich,” meaning “good person.” His last name is a combination of “griffin,” the mythological beast that's part lion and part eagle, and d’or, which is French for golden, and one of Gryffindor’s house colors.
  • Severus Snape – His first name was inspired by a sign for Severus Road in London, and his last name was taken from an English village in Suffolk. Snape also rhymes with snake, which is the mascot of the Slytherin house that Snape is in charge of.
  • Argus Filch – Argus was a hundred-eyed giant in Greek Mythology, which reflects the school caretaker’s ability to know when the students of Hogwarts are out of bed. Filch’s last name means “to steal” in British slang.
  • Voldemort (Tom Marvolo Riddle) – Voldemort means “flight of death” in French. His first name, Tom, is extremely common and may reflect how unimportant and unappreciated he felt as a child. His middle name, Marvolo, combines “marvelous” and the latin word “volo,” meaning to desire or to move quickly.
  • Nagini – Voldemort’s snake sidekick’s name literally means “female snake” in Urdu.
  • Bellatrix Lestrange – Bellatrix means “war-like” in Latin, and it’s also a blue-white star in the constellation of Orion. Lestrange means foreigner in French.
  • Dolores Umbridge – Dolores is Latin for “sorrows,” and Umbridge may be derived from the word “umbrage” which means to be annoyed or to take offense.
  • Rita Skeeter – Skeeter means mosquito, which references the reporter’s ability to change into an insect and secretly hear gossip about Harry and his friends.
  • Salazar Slytherin – Slytherin’s founder’s first name may reference António de Oliveira Salazar, the 20th-century Portuguese military dictator who ruled over Portugal from 1933-1974. Slytherin sounds like “slithering,” the sound that a snake makes when it moves around.
  • Aragog – The giant spider’s name is a combination of “ara” and “gog.” “Ara” comes from arachnid, but "gog" has a darker meaning. In Jewish and Christian literature, it refers to a figure or nation involved in apocalyptic prophecies.

The Harry Potter Book Series

Key facts and information about the Harry Potter books

  • Every book in the franchise took the first spot in the USA Today Bestseller List, and they spent 1,739 weeks on the list in total.
  • The series has been translated into more than 80 different languages.
  • The whole series contains 1,100,086 words.
  • Since 1997, the Harry Potter books have been published with over 200 different book covers.
  • Over the years, the series was released in at least 18 different box sets, including one that comes packaged in a trunk.
  • Dumbledore features in the series’ top five most highlighted passages on Kindle.
  • As of June 23, 2017, Southampton had the most Kindle downloads of Harry Potter books per capita.

Companion Books:

  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – First published December 1, 2001, this book was written under the pen name Newt Scamander. All the proceeds go to the British charity Comic Relief.
  • Quidditch Through the Ages – This companion book was first published on March 12, 2001, under the pseudonym Kennilworthy Whisp. Proceeds from its sales also go to Comic Relief.
  • The Tales of Beedle the Bard – JK Rowling originally hand-wrote seven limited edition copies of this title before it was officially published on December 4, 2008. Amazon bought one of the original copies for £1.95 million. That money, as well as net proceeds from sale of the book, were donated to children’s charities.
  • Untitled Prequel – JK Rowling wrote an 800-word manuscript on a postcard that was auctioned off for £25,000 to raise money for charity. But it was stolen in a robbery in 2017 and hasn’t been seen since.

JK Rowling also released three companion ebooks that were all first published September 6, 2016:

  • Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide
  • Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists
  • Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies

The Philosopher’s Stone (Book)

The Philosopher's Stone was previously rejected in the UK

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was first published June 26, 1997.
  • The Philosopher’s Stone was Rowling’s debut novel and took six years to complete, from June 1990 until 1995.
  • It’s the best-selling book of the entire series.
  • Only 500 hard-cover first edition copies were printed in the UK.
  • The Philosopher’s Stone sold 300,000 copies in the UK within two years of being published.
  • The name was almost changed to Harry Potter and the School of Magic, which JK Rowling rejected.
  • JK Rowling included illustrations for the first book, but the publishers rejected them.
  • Scholastic bought the rights to the U.S. version for 105,000 USD.
  • In the US, the title was changed from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone because the publisher thought kids might think it was a book about philosophy.
  • It was on the New York Times Bestseller’s list for 82 consecutive weeks, from December 1998 until 2000, when the New York Times created a separate best-seller list for children’s books.
  • One of the first editions of the book sold at auction for £356,000, making Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone the “most expensive commercially published 20th-century work of fiction ever sold.”
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is available on Kindle in Motion and features animated versions of Jim Kay’s illustrations. The rest of the series isn’t yet available in this format.

The Chamber of Secrets (Book)

  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was first published July 2, 1998.
  • The Chamber of Secrets made the UK hardback bestseller’s list as soon as it was published, becoming the first children’s book to do so.
  • Rowling once considered titling the second book Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and revealing some information from the 6th book here. But she changed her mind and decided that it should be revealed in what later became The Half-Blood Prince.
  • In the first draft of The Chamber of Secrets, Rowling included a poem by Nearly Headless Nick that details his death. It was cut by her editor, but she included a version of it on her website.
  • The same year it was published in the US (1999), The Chamber of Secrets took the number one spot on the bestseller lists of the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and USA Today.

The Prisoner of Azkaban (Book)

  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was first published July 8, 1999.
  • In the UK, The Prisoner of Azkaban sold 68,000 copies in its first three days of sales.
  • The Prisoner of Azkaban is the least popular book of the series, but the illustrated edition was Bloomsbury’s biggest selling book of 2018.

The Goblet of Fire (Book)

  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was first published on July 8, 2000, and was the first book in the series to be released simultaneously in the US and the UK.

The number of Amazon and FedEx deliveries of The Goblet of Fire

  • The book’s working title was Harry Potter and the Doomspell Tournament. Rowling changed it to Harry Potter and the Triwizard Tournament before she settled on Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
  • Bloomsbury organized a special train ride to promote The Goblet of Fire. JK Rowling rode with a cargo of signed books from King’s Cross station to Perth station, where she arrived on July 11. King’s Cross station was decorated with Platform 9 ¾ signs and the train was painted red for the tour.
  • In the first weekend of sales, The Goblet of Fire broke records by selling over 3 million copies.

The Order of the Phoenix (Book)

  • The Order of the Phoenix was first published on June 21, 2003.
  • It broke records by selling over 5 million copies in the first day.

The size of the line to buy The Order of the Phoenix at Barnes & Noble, Bloomington

  • The 630 Barnes & Noble and 245 B. Dalton bookstores sold 286,000 copies within the first hour of sales, averaging 80 books a second.
  • By the end of the first day, Barnes & Noble sold 896,000 copies online and in-person, while Amazon.com sold 800,000 and The Borders Group sold 750,000.

JK Rowling's earnings from The Order of the Phoenix's release

  • Even though security guarded the books, 7,680 copies of The Order of the Phoenix were stolen from a warehouse in Earlestown a week before the release. The stolen goods were worth around £130,000.
  • A forklift truck driver tried to sell pages from the fifth book to The Sun newspaper weeks before the official release. He had taken them from a printing firm in Suffolk and hid them in his lunch box. After admitting to the theft he was fined and given a community service order.
  • Stephen King reviewed Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and declared that it was Rowling’s best work so far. King was especially keen on Dolores Umbridge, saying that she was “the best make-believe villain to come along since Hannibal Lecter.”

The Half-Blood Prince (Book)

  • The sixth book was first published simultaneously in the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa on July 16, 2005.
  • A superstore in Coquitlam, BC, Canada, accidentally sold 14 copies of the book before the official release date. The Supreme Court of British Columbia gave the Canadian publisher an injunction to prevent the purchaser’s from reading the books. They were promised signed copies of the book and Harry Potter t-shirts if they returned the books before the release date.
  • When Rowling announced that one of the main characters would die in The Half-Blood Prince, fans placed bets on who would be killed. Many bets on Dumbledore’s death came from Bungay in Suffolk, where the book was printed, and betting was suspended for fear of a probable leak.

The Half-Blood Prince went platinum in less that one day

  • It broke the record at Amazon with more than 1.4 million advance orders worldwide.
  • The US edition sold 11 million copies in the first 9 weeks.

The Deathly Hallows (Book)

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was first published on July 21, 2007.
  • It became the fastest-selling book of all time. Fans bought 15 million copies within 24 hours of its release (8.3 million in the US and 2.65 million in the UK) and the book holds the Guinness World Record for fastest-selling book of fiction in 24 hours for US sales. More than a million copies were pre-ordered through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
  • On the day the book was published, Rowling and 1,700 randomly selected fans spent the night at the Natural History Museum in London, where she signed books and did a midnight reading.
  • On September 25, 2007, the Ukrainian translation became the first translated version of The Deathly Hallows to be released.
  • A week before the official release a collection of photographs that showed all the pages from the book were leaked to BitTorrent.
  • DeepDiscount.com accidentally sent out a few copies of The Deathly Hallows four days before the official launch. Scholastic took legal action against DeepDiscount.com and its distributor Levy Home Entertainment, and issued an appeal to fans who got the books early to keep them hidden until the official release. Despite this plea, The New York Times published an early review of The Deathly Hallows on July 19, 2007.
  • Bloomsbury, the publisher of Harry Potter, gave The Deathly Hallows code names in correspondence so it wouldn’t be leaked early. One of these names was The Life and Times of Clara Rose Lovett: An Epic Novel Covering Many Generations. Another was Edinburgh Potmakers.
  • Rowling considered Harry Potter and the Elder Wand and Harry Potter and the Peverell Quest as potential titles for the seventh book before settling on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
  • Scholastic ran a multi-million dollar marketing campaign for the last book that involved “the Knight Bus” traveling to 40 US libraries, online competitions, collectible tattoos, and bookmarks.

Controversies

  • Richard Abanes wrote a book called Harry Potter and the Bible: The Menace Behind the Magick about the potential spiritual menace of the series.
  • The Christ Community Church in Alamogordo, New Mexico, burned Harry Potter books outside the church on December 30, 2001.
  • The Ministry of Education and Youth banned the series from private schools in the United Arab Emirates.
  • According to the American Library Association, the Harry Potter series made the list of the top 100 most frequently challenged books (for containing supposedly occult and satanic material) of the decade from 1990-1999 and from 2000-2009.
  • In 1999, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (the US title for the book) was the most frequently challenged book in the US.

The Harry Potter Movie Series

  • In the US, you can stream every Harry Potter movie on Peacock, and The Fantastic Beasts movies are available on HBO Max. Australian viewers can watch Harry Potter on Netflix.
  • When Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets hit the box office in 2002, 60% of the audience were under 15 years old. In contrast, 55% of the audience of the Deathly Hallows Part 2 were over the age of 25.
  • Daniel Radcliffe went through 160 pairs of the famous round-frame glasses over the course of the 8 movies.
  • Harry’s scar was applied around 5,800 times, to Radcliffe and his stunt doubles, by the end of the series.

Daniel Radcliffe's earnings from Harry Potter

Box Office and Revenues

Key box office and revenue statistics for the Harry Potter movies

  • Harry Potter (including Fantastic Beasts) is the fourth highest-grossing movie franchise in the world, bringing in over 9.2 billion USD as of February 2022.
  • Not including Fantastic Beasts, the Harry Potter series had a combined production cost of $1.155 billion and made over $7.7 billion in worldwide box office sales.
  • The DVDs made $2 billion, and another $0.6 billion was brought in from rentals.

The Production Team for the Harry Potter Films

The production team for the Harry Potter films

Casting

  • Rowling always thought that Robbie Coltrane should play Hagrid. He was the first character to be cast. Robin Williams wanted the part, but JK Rowling wanted an all-British cast.
  • Robbie Coltrane sadly passed away on October 14, 2022. He’s the 24th actor from the original Harry Potter franchise to lose their life.
  • Rupert Grint got the part of Ron Weasley by sending in an audition video where he dressed as his drama teacher and rapped why he was perfect for the role.
  • Tom Felton auditioned for the roles of Harry Potter and Ron Weasley before he was eventually cast as Draco Malfoy.
  • David Thewlis, the actor who played Professor Lupin, had originally auditioned for the role of Professor Quirrell.
  • Warwick Davis played two roles in the Harry Potter franchise: Griphook the goblin and Professor Filtwick.
  • The late actor Richard Harris turned down the role of Dumbledore three times, and only accepted because of his granddaughter Ella.

Evanna Lynch's casting as Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter

  • Helen McCrory, who played Narcissa Malfoy, was originally cast as Bellatrix Lestrange. She had to back out from the movie because she became pregnant.
  • Lavender Brown’s recasting in the sixth movie was controversial. Lavender was originally played by Kathleen Cauley in the Chamber of Secrets, and then Jennifer Smith in the Prisoner of Azkaban; both are people of color. For The Half-Blood Prince, 7,000 girls auditioned for the part, and Jessie Cave, who is white, was cast, causing many to accuse Warner Bros. of whitewashing.
  • Imelda Staunton was the director’s only choice to play Umbridge.
  • The last person cast for the franchise was Kelly MacDonald as Rowena Ravenclaw. The role was originally offered to Kate Winslet, but her agent turned it down.
  • Hedwig is played by a total of seven owls throughout the eight movies. Their names are Gizmo, Oops, Kasper, Elmo, Bandit, Swoops, and Oh Oh.

Actors playing Hogwarts students did their homework while filming Harry Potter

  • The actors in Harry Potter weren’t allowed to play contact sports because of the potential danger. Instead, some of the actors played golf together.
  • JK Rowling wrote the movie scenes where Voldemort killed Harry’s parents, since she was the only one at the time who knew what happened.
  • Rowling drew a map of Hogwarts for the production team so that they could reference it while designing the sets.
  • Alan Rickman was given spoilers about the rest of the franchise to help him prepare for his role in the movie.
  • Emma Watson was supposed to wear fake buck teeth to make her look more like Hermione was described in the books. But she couldn’t speak clearly with them, so they weren’t used.
  • Daniel Radcliffe was supposed to wear contacts to make his blue eyes green like they were described in the books. However, he had a bad reaction to the contacts and couldn’t wear them.
  • Helena Bonham Carter wore fake teeth when she played Bellatrix Lestrange. She decided to keep them, reasoning that they wouldn’t fit anybody else.
  • At the beginning of the franchise, all the child actors had dental molds. In case they lost a baby tooth, the props department could create a replica.

The broomsticks in Harry Potter films were made from titanium

  • The newspapers that appear throughout the movies were created by the design firm MinaLima. They have very specific headlines and even feature a recurring character, a criminal called the Ginger Witch.
  • Some of the most expensive costumes to make were actually the Hogwarts school uniforms. Jany Temime, the costume designer, wanted to use the best materials, including silk for the ties and wool for the sweaters, but said they were ultimately worth the investment since the materials lasted longer and the film shoots sometimes went on for a long time.
  • The entire series was shot in the UK except for a scene at the Cliffs of Moher in the Republic of Ireland.
  • The Warner Bros logo at the beginning of the films gets darker with each Harry Potter movie.

The UK changed its Child Labour Laws for Harry Potter

The Philosopher’s Stone (Film)

Development, Pre-production, and Casting

  • Steven Spielberg was the original director of the first movie, but he dropped out after half a year of development. His original vision was to combine the books into one animated film and to cast Haley Joel Osment as the voice of Harry.
  • David Bradley, the actor who played Filch, spent the month before filming isolated in an Irish cottage to get into character.

Production, Principal Photography, and Locations

  • Filming took less than 6 months, beginning September 29, 2000 and ending March 23, 2001.
  • The first scene to be shot was actually the last scene in The Philosopher's Stone, where Harry says goodbye to Hagrid and boards the Hogwarts Express.
  • Harry didn’t actually cast any spells in the first movie.
  • There are a total of 125 actors in the movie, 51 of whom are credited.
  • For one of the scenes that didn’t make the final movie, the crew had to hang dead mice from Petunia's apron so that the owls would look at her instead of the camera.
  • The feasts in The Philosopher's Stone actually used real food. But it went bad quickly because of the hot lights on set.
  • Giant miniatures were used in the movies to get exterior shots of the Hogwarts castle. The model used for the first movie measured 15.25 meters (50 feet) across and used over 2,500 fiber optic lights.
  • Hagrid’s hut was built in Black Park in Iver for the film but was torn down after filming The Philosopher's Stone to avoid attracting fans.
  • Several movie scenes had to be shot twice due to the different book titles in the US and the UK.

Post-production

  • There are almost 600 special effects shots in The Philosopher’s Stone.
  • The ceiling of the Great Hall was created entirely with CGI.

Distribution, Box Office, and Revenues

  • The film Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was first released November 16, 2001.
  • The Philosopher's Stone was the highest-grossing movie of 2001.
  • The first movie broke the all-time opening record at the box office when it was released.
  • In the first week of sales it sold 20.86 million DVD and VHS copies worldwide, almost half of which were in the US and Canada.
  • In August 2020, Warner Bros. released a 4K, 3D digital restoration of The Philosopher's Stone in China. In just three days, it played on 16,000 screens and generated 94.7 million yuan (about 13.4 million USD), which is over 10 times as much as the original movie grossed in China.
  • Coca-Cola bought the exclusive global marketing rights to Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone for $150 million.

The Chamber of Secrets (Film)

Development, Pre-production, and Casting

Daniel Radcliffe was only offered $181,000 for The Chamber of Secrets

  • Parseltongue was created by a linguistics professor from the University of Cambridge.
  • Gilderoy Lockhart was originally supposed to be played by Hugh Grant.
  • Richard Harris, the actor who played Dumbledore, died a few weeks before the film was released. He was replaced by Michael Gambon in the rest of the movies.

Production, Principal Photography, and Locations

  • Filming took about 8 months, beginning just a few days after the release of The Philosopher’s Stone on November 19, 2001 and ending in July, 2002.
  • The Chamber of Secrets is the longest movie of the franchise.
  • There are a total of 117 actors in the movie, 73 of whom are credited.
  • It was Jason Isaacs’ idea for his character, Lucius Malfoy, to have long hair.
  • Shirley Henderson, the actress who played Moaning Myrtle, was 37 years old at the time of filming. Her character was supposed to be 14.
  • Emma Watson had a hamster named Millie that she frequently brought on set. But Millie died during filming, and the set department created a special coffin for the hamster for a final send-off.
  • There was a breakout of head lice on set during filming.
  • Tom Felton improvised the line, “I didn’t know you could read.”
  • The exchange at the end of the movie where Lucius Malfoy says, "Let us hope that Mr. Potter will always be around to save the day." and Harry replies, “Don’t worry. I will be,” was completely improvised.
  • The actual Chamber of Secrets was the biggest set in the whole franchise. It was over 76 meters (250 feet) long and 36.5 meters (120 feet) wide. The crew took it apart after the movie was finished, but they had to rebuild it again in future films because they didn’t know it would reappear.
  • The ¾ ton Aragog was challenging for the Creature Department to make. It was three meters (10 feet) tall and had a foot span of five meters (16.5 feet). It took 15 people to control the animatronic on set.
  • Just like Ron, Rupert Grint has arachnophobia, so the scenes with Aragog weren’t completely acting.
  • Dumbledore’s office was the most expensive set in the movie to build; the director (Chris Columbus) and production designer (Stuart Craig) wanted the space to be the most elaborate in the movie.
  • The floating cupcakes that Crabbe and Goyle ate hung from fishing lines. But during filming, Josh Herdman and Jamie Waylett cut their mouths on the fishing hooks when they took a bite of the cupcakes.
  • Fourteen Ford Anglias were destroyed in the scene where Harry and Ron drive into the Whomping Willow. JK Rowling, along with her best friend in school, used to drive the same color and model car as the Weasley’s vehicle.
  • The potions that were drunk during the movie were actually soup.
  • In the scene where Hagrid escorts Harry out of Knockturn alley, there are actual Harry Potter books on the bookshelves.
  • Hermione didn’t hug Ron at the end of the movie because Emma Watson was too embarrassed to hug both him and Daniel in front of the whole cast.

Post-production

  • There were about 950 visual effects in The Chamber of Secrets, and they took about nine months to create. The main companies that created the visual effects were Mill Film, Industrial Light & Magic, The Moving Picture Company, Framestore CFC, and Cinesite.
  • Dobby was portrayed as an orange ball on a stick during filming. His features were digitally added later. Dobby’s ears were inspired by a dog in the art department named Max.

Vladimir Putin tried to sue Warner Bros

  • The mandrake’s cries were created by mixing the sound of female screams with baby’s crying. To make the distinctive sound of the Basilisk, the sound designer Randy Thom combined tiger roars, horse sounds, elephant sounds, and even his own voice.

Distribution, Box Office, and Revenues

  • The film Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was first released November 14, 2002.
  • The Chamber of Secrets ranks number 64 of all time at the international box office, and 75 at the worldwide box office (Source: The Numbers, October 2022).
  • The Chamber of Secrets was released on VHS and DVD April 11, 2003, and on Blu-ray on December 11, 2007. Over 1.25 million copies sold on the first day, breaking the record previously held by Titanic.

The Prisoner of Azkaban (Film)

Development, Pre-production, and Casting

  • Ian McKellen could have played Dumbledore, but Richard Harris, who passed away after playing Dumbledore in the first two films, said he was a dreadful actor, so McKellen thought it would be inappropriate to take the role.
  • Alfonso Cuarón, the director of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, wanted Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint to write essays about their characters. Their response was in line with the characters: Emma wrote a 10-page essay, Daniel’s was 1 page, and Rupert never handed his essay in.

Production, Principal Photography, and Locations

  • Filming took about 9 months, starting on February 24, 2003 and ending in late November.
  • There are a total of 55 actors in the movie, 54 of whom are credited.
  • The cast and crew lived in Scotland while filming The Prisoner of Azkaban because so many of the scenes were shot there.
  • Daniel Radcliffe had a crush on one of the girls on set. He asked the crew to put him near her in the scene where students slept in sleeping bags in the Great Hall. But Alan Rickman and Michael Gambon placed a remote-controlled fart machine in Radcliffe’s bag and were pressing it during the take.
  • Aunt Marge was inflated by equipping Pam Ferris with a series of prosthetic bodies that inflated at different rates. The sequence required 38 suits, and Ferris was unable to walk or eat when she was wearing the heaviest 23kg costume.
  • Three cats were used to play Crookshanks in the third movie. They were named Prince, Pumpkin, and Crackerjack.
  • The microphone packs that the actors wear are visible in some scenes.
  • Cuarón wanted to avoid using CGI when possible. He hired an illusionist to create more practical effects as magic. Cuaron also tried to use trained animals instead of relying on CGI, and the bats flying around Hagrid’s hut in the third movie were real.

It took 6 hours to turn David Thewlis into a werewolf for Harry Potter

  • To make The Knight Bus look like it was going 161 km/hour (100 miles/hour) the stunt team drove it at 48 km/hour (30 miles/hour) and the other cars on the street only went about 12.9 km/hour (8 miles/hour). Stuntmen and women were trained to walk very slowly to enhance the effect.
  • The producers were afraid that the Knight Bus would fall over because the top was so heavy. They put four tons of weight on the bus to prevent this from happening.

Voldemort isn't in The Prisoner of Azkaban

Post-production

  • Alfonso Cuarón has a thick accent which caused some miscommunication on set. When he asked the visual effects team to turn water to ice as dementors approached the Hogwarts Express, they understood “eyes” instead of “ice” and had to redo the concept work they had done.
  • The lyrics for the film’s song “Double Trouble” were taken from Shakespeare’s play Macbeth.
  • Buckbeak the Hippogriff took a poo during the movie.
  • The credits of The Prisoner of Azkaban are made to look like the Marauder’s Map. But in the corner of the map, there is a set of two footprints that are very close together, suggesting that the whole movie isn’t PG-13.
  • Moony was spelled incorrectly as “Mooney” on the Marauder's Map. This was done on purpose as a nod to the visual effects supervisor Karl Mooney.
  • Newt Scamander’s name shows up on the Marauder’s Map.

Distribution, Box Office, and Revenues

  • The film Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was released on May 31, 2004.
  • When the movie was released in theaters, ushers were given night vision goggles so they could catch anyone trying to illegally record the movie.
  • The third movie was released on VHS and DVD on November 23, 2004. It sold 4.5 million copies on the first day and 1.5 million copies went through rental channels.
  • This was the last film of the series to be released on VHS.
  • The Prisoner of Azkaban ranks 138th of all time at the US box office, 92 at the international box office, and 98 at the worldwide box office (Source: The Numbers, October 2022)
  • It was the top movie of 2004 at the international box office.
  • The Prisoner of Azkaban was the least successful Harry Potter movie financially.

The Goblet of Fire (Film)

Development, Pre-production, and Casting

  • Shefali Chowdhury and Afshan Azad, who played Parvati and Padma, aren’t twins like their characters are supposed to be.
  • Rosamund Pike was the first choice to play Rita Skeeter, but she turned down the role, which then went to Miranda Richardson.
  • Percy wasn’t in The Goblet of Fire. The actor’s contract said that Chris Rankin needed to be in the first three films and either the fourth or fifth one. Because Percy has a bigger role in The Order of the Phoenix, Rankin decided to play in that movie instead.
  • Franz Ferdinand was asked to play the band the Weird Sisters, but they declined. Instead, the band was played by musicians from Pulp and Radiohead.
  • Dobby and Winky were cut from The Goblet of Fire due to time constraints.

Production, Principal Photography, and Locations

  • Filming of The Goblet of Fire took 11 months, running from May 4, 2004, to March, 2005.
  • There are a total of 176 actors in the movie, 71 of whom are credited.
  • The Goblet of Fire was the first movie in the series that didn’t begin at Privet Drive.

Ralph Fiennes' body transformation and makeup to play Voldemort

  • Hermione’s dress for the Yule Ball took three months to make.
  • Professor Filtwick’s stage dive during the concert at the Yule Ball was the idea of Warwick Davis. He originally meant it as a joke, but the director liked the idea.
  • The actors who were in the Yule Ball scenes all had three weeks of dancing lessons to prepare. But Daniel Radcliffe couldn’t attend most of them since he was in almost every scene of the movie. As a result, his footwork wasn’t very good and most of his dance scenes were shot from the waist up.
  • Michael Gambon, the actor who played Dumbledore, hid cigarettes in his long, sweeping robes.
  • Voldemort’s eyes are red in the books, but Ralph Fiennes convinced the filmmakers not to alter his eyes when he played the role. He said that he would be able to give a much better performance if his eyes weren’t changed.
  • Mike Newell, the movie’s director, broke his rib on set while trying to show the actors who played the Weasley twins how they should fight.
  • The set for the first task of the Triwizard Tournament was built in two sections at Leavesden Studios. It was one of the biggest sets in the whole franchise.
  • The crew reused the Basilisk from the second movie to create a full-scale dragon that could actually breathe fire.
  • The film crew designed and built a huge blue screen tank that was 6 meters (19.5 feet) deep and 18 meters (59 feet) square, making it the biggest underwater filming tank in Europe. The actors had to take scuba diving lessons to prepare for the underwater scene. Daniel Radcliffe spent 6 months training over 40 hours underwater during the actual filming. He also got two ear infections during filming.
  • The maze in the third task had walls that ranged from 6 to 12 meters (39.5 feet). They were enhanced with CGI.
  • Dumbledore’s library is filled with disguised phone directory books.
  • Many fans were upset about Hermione’s Yule ball dress, which was pink in the movie but should have been periwinkle blue. The costume designer said that she changed it because she didn’t like that color on Emma Watson.

Post-production

  • Warner Bros. asked the Canadian Folk band the Wyrd Sisters for permission to name the band in the Goblet of Fire the Weird Sisters. The two parties couldn’t make a deal and, shortly before the film’s release in 2005, the Canadian band filed a $40 million lawsuit against Warner Bros. and the musicians that acted in the Harry Potter band. The folk band also asked for an injunction to block The Goblet of Fire from being released in Canada. The request was rejected and the Canadian band was ordered to pay $140,000 for Warner Bros.’ legal fees. The lawsuit was settled in 2010.
  • The fourth movie was the first in the franchise to be rated 12A by BBFC (PG 13) because of its dark theme and frightening images.

Distribution, Box Office, and Revenues

  • The film Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was first released on November 18, 2005.
  • The Goblet of Fire ranks number 107 of all time at the US box office, 68 at the international box office, and 70 at the worldwide box office (Source: The Numbers, October 2022).
  • It was the top movie of 2005 at the international and worldwide box office.
  • The Goblet of Fire was released on DVD in the US on March 6, 2007, and sold 5 million DVD copies in one day, a record for the franchise. It was released on March 20 in the UK, where it broke the record for fastest selling DVD with six copies sold every second in the first day. It sold 1.4 million copies in the first week and became the seventh most sold DVD movie of all time.
  • The Goblet of Fire grossed $222,302,044 in US DVD sales and $6,237,064 on Blu-ray.

The Order of the Phoenix (Film)

Development, Pre-production, and Casting

  • Emma Watson wasn’t sure whether she wanted to keep acting after The Order of the Phoenix, but she decided to stay because she couldn’t imagine someone else playing Hermione.
  • Nigel doesn’t exist in the book and was created solely for the movie. His character combines elements of Colin and Dennis Creevey.
  • A professional dance choreographer was brought on to design the style and technique of wand dueling. He created five basic moves that each actor could then adapt to their own character.

Production, Principal Photography, and Locations

  • Filming took about 9 months, beginning February 7, 2006 and ending in November of the same year, with a two-month break in May so that Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe could write their school exams.
  • There are a total of 150 actors in The Order of the Phoenix, half of which are credited.

Alan Rickman banned Rupert Grint and Matthew Lewis from getting close to his new car

  • Helena Bonham Carter accidentally perforated Matthew Lewis’ eardrum during their standoff scene at the Ministry of Magic. Matthew moved his head slightly while her wand was in his ear, and he was deaf in that ear for a couple of days.
  • The Ministry of Magic was built using 30,000 cardboard tiles, since ceramic tiles would have been too expensive. It took 22 weeks to build and is the biggest set of all the movies. It could comfortably fit 50 double decker buses.
  • London’s underground tube stations inspired the large pillars where wizards arrive by floo powder at the Ministry of Magic.
  • The atrium in the Ministry of Magic was over 61 meters (200 feet) long. It was inspired by early Underground Railway stations and a Burger King in London.

There was a photo shoot for the kittens on Umbridge's plates

  • The production team built Grimmauld Place instead of finding a real-life location for it because it was more convenient and economical.
  • There were so many mirrors and fireplaces in the fighting scenes in the Room of Requirement that cast members said it “felt like we were in the center of the sun.”
  • The scene where Ron gets tossed into the air was filmed by putting Rupert Grint in a harness that is attached to a large man. The man moved Rupert by moving up and down a ladder.
  • The Order of the Phoenix was originally three hours long.
  • In the Ministry of Magic scene at the end of the movie, the cast and crew had to keep their cellphones turned off so the explosives’ wiring wouldn’t accidentally pick up the phone’s signal and be triggered early.

Post-production

  • The film used over 1,400 visual effects, 950 of which were created by the company Double Negative.
  • Grawp was created with a new technology developed by Image Metrics called Soul Capturing. The technology captured Tony Maudsley’s movements and facial expressions and used them to model Grawp.
  • The Department of Mysteries was a completely computer-generated set. It would have been too expensive to actually build it.

Distribution, Box Office, and Revenues

  • The film Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was first released on July 11, 2007.
  • The Order of the Phoenix ranks number 103 of all time at the US box office, 52 at the international box office, and 60 at the worldwide box office (Source: The Numbers, October 2022).
  • It was the second top movie of 2007 at the international and worldwide box office, and fifth on the US box office in 2007.
  • In the US, it grossed $231,237,546 in DVD sales and $5,239,129 on Blu-ray.
  • The Order of the Phoenix sold 10.14 million DVDs in 2007, making it the seventh best-selling DVD of the year.

The Half-Blood Prince (Film)

Development, Pre-production, and Casting

  • Unbeknownst to the cast, Maggie Smith underwent aggressive treatment for breast cancer while playing Professor McGonagall in the sixth movie.
  • Hero Fiennes-Tiffin, the actor who played Tom Riddle as a child, is the nephew of Ralph Fiennes, the actor who plays Lord Voldemort.
  • Arthur Bowen, the actor who plays Harry’s son Albus in the last film of the franchise, made his first appearance in The Half-Blood Prince. He plays the small role of a boy buying chestnuts in Diagon Alley.
  • David Yates, the director, was inspired by the famous painter Rembrandt when he created the bleak and dreary color palette of the sixth film.

Production, Principal Photography, and Locations

  • Filming took about 8 months, beginning September 24, 2007 and ending on May 17, 2008.
  • There are a total of 95 actors in The Half-Blood Prince, 56 of whom are credited.
  • Daniel Radcliffe doesn’t like his acting in the sixth movie, saying that it’s very “one-note.” He’s admitted that he sometimes showed up drunk to the set of The Half-Blood Prince.
  • In addition to playing Ginny, Bonnie Wright helped out behind the scenes in the art department. She helped decorate the Burrow.
  • Slughorn constantly forgets Ron’s name, but at one point in the movie, he calls him “Rupert,” a nod to Rupert Grint.
  • The scene where Ron squeezes between Harry and Ginny to offer them pie had to be filmed over 20 times because they kept bursting into laughter.
  • Over 80 sets were used for The Half-Blood Prince.
  • Professor Slughorn’s office was filmed on an altered set that had been used as the Room of Requirement in The Order of the Phoenix and the Trophy Room in The Goblet of Fire.
  • When Dumbledore meets young Tom Riddle in the orphanage, there is a photo of the cave where he hides one of his horcruxes on the wall. This is presumably how Dumbledore knew where to go when searching for it.
  • The scene that shows the Millenium bridge is inaccurate. The bridge was built in the 2000s, but the film is supposed to be set in the late 1990s, so it wouldn’t have been built yet.
  • The Three Broomsticks was originally designed for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The crew created a replica of it for The Half-Blood Prince.
  • Slughorn used to be a great wizard that fell from fame. This status is reflected in his robes, which look like they were made of high-quality materials but are worn and a bit tattered.
  • Double Negative created the opening scenes of death eater attacks. The company spent six months surveying the area to help create the opening sequence.
  • The cauldrons in the potions classroom were real props that were controlled from a distance with remotes.
  • The Half-Blood Prince is the first movie to include a full Quidditch match since The Chamber of Secrets. Rupert Grint was excited about this because he didn’t get to play Quidditch in the previous films, but he had to undergo weeks of stunt training.
  • The Quidditch matches in the sixth movie were created using a combination of real photography and CG digital doubles.
  • When the actors fell off their brooms during a Quidditch match, a giant swing was used to fly them across the room.

Production used egg whites as foam when Ron Weasley was poisoned

Post-production

  • The Inferi-attack scene took several months to create. The visual effect team didn’t want them to look like zombies, and they weren’t sure how to emulate their movement. The team also spent a lot of time researching the properties of fire and molten volcanoes to create Dumbledore’s ring of fire against the Inferi.
  • There is a distinctive green tint in the scenes where Dumbledore visits Tom Riddle. The color is supposed to convey the fact that Riddle is the heir of Slytherin.

Distribution, Box Office, and Revenues

  • The film Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was first released July 15, 2009.
  • Warner Bros spent $155 million on marketing for The Half-Blood Prince.
  • The film’s premiere was pushed back by eight months even though the movie was finished. This was supposed to make the movie a major summer blockbuster, but fans weren’t happy with the change and some studio executives even received death threats.
  • The sixth Harry Potter movie ranks number 95 of all time at the US box office, 61 at the international box office, and 63 at the worldwide box office (Source: The Numbers, October 2022).
  • It grossed $77,835,727 US during the opening weekend, 25.8% of its total gross earnings from the US box office ($302,089,278).
  • It was the third top movie of 2009 at the US and international box office and second at the worldwide box office.

The Half-Blood Prince's budget

  • The Half-Blood Prince was released on DVD and as a 1-disc and 2-disc special edition on Blu-ray on December 7, 2009, in the UK and on December 8 in the US. The disks include a feature on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, deleted scenes, and a sneak peak for the next movie.
  • After selling 840,000 copies in the first few hours in the UK, The Half-Blood Prince became the fastest-selling DVD of the year.
  • Domestically, it grossed about $126,215,886 in DVD sales and $51,293,988 on Blu-ray.

The Deathly Hallows Part 1 (Film)

Development, Pre-production, and Casting

  • Brendan Gleeson, the actor who played Mad-Eye Moody, is the father of Domhnall Gleeson, who portrays Bill Weasley.
  • Executive producer Lionel Wigram suggested the last book be split into two movies. David Yates, the director, originally rejected the idea, but he changed his mind after re-reading the book.
  • The animated Tale of the Three Brothers was directed by Ben Hibon and created by Framestore.

Production, Principal Photography, and Locations

  • The Deathly Hallows Parts 1 and 2 were filmed back-to-back from February 19, 2009, to June 12, 2010, which is about 16 months.
  • There are a total of 188 actors in The Deathly Hallows Part 1, 98 of whom are credited.
  • This was the only movie without Professor McGonall.
  • David Holmes, Daniel Radcliffe’s stunt double, was left paralyzed from the chest down during one of the stunts in the movie. He was pulled back by a wire and violently slammed against a wall.
  • Evanna Lynch, the actor who played Luna Lovegood, choreographed Luna’s dance at Bill and Fleur’s wedding herself.
  • Jany Temime, the costume designer, was accused of copying one of Alexander McQueen’s 2008 fall collection dresses with her design for Fleur Delacour’s wedding gown.

Every wand in the Harry Potter movies was unique

  • Emma Watson changed one of the sets in the movie. When Hermione visits her childhood bedroom, Watson said that there weren’t enough books, so the set decorators added a bookshelf.
  • In the scene where Harry, Ron, and Hermione are in a muggle cafe, a poster for Daniel Radcliffe’s movie Equus can be seen on a wall in the background.
  • One of the busiest areas in London, Piccadilly Circus, was closed off to the public to film the scene where Harry, Ron, and Hermione apparate away from Bill and Fleur’s wedding.
  • The scene where Harry dives into the lake to get Gryffindor’s sword was filmed by putting plexiglass and wax on the surface to make it look frozen.

Post-production

  • The scene from The Deathly Hallows with multiple Harrys was created by painting the actors’ faces with UV paint, and having them make grimaces using the Mova Contour Reality Capture system. This system captures 50,000 data points using 29 cameras which are then used to create a 3D mesh cloud that is used to help transform the actor’s faces to look like Harry.

The seven harry's scene took 95 takes

  • Fans got to vote for which cover they wanted on the Blu-ray edition of the movie.

Distribution, Box Office, and Revenues

  • The Deathly Hallows Part 1, was first released November 19, 2010.
  • The first 36 minutes of the movie were leaked online two days before the official launch.
  • Deathly Hallows Part 1 was originally supposed to be released in 2D and 3D, but the production team ran out of time to convert the whole movie into 3D.
  • The Deathly Hallows Part 1 grossed $125,017,372 US during the opening weekend, 42.2% of its total gross earnings from the US box office ($296,131,568).
  • The movie ranks number 98 of all time at the US box office, 49 at the international box office, and 58 at the worldwide box office (Source: The Numbers, October 2022).
  • It was the fifth top movie of 2010 at the US box office, second at the international box office, and third at the worldwide box office.
  • The Deathly Hallows Part 1 grossed $1.4 million in IMAX midnight gross sales, breaking the record previously held by Eclipse.
  • The Deathly Hallows Part 1 sold over 7 million DVD copies.
  • It grossed about $92,547,570 in US DVD sales and $61,145,727 on Blu-ray.

The Deathly Hallows Part 2 (Film)

Development, Pre-production, and Casting

  • The final script was almost 500 pages long.
  • Crabbe, Draco Malfoy’s crony sidekick, wasn’t in the last Harry Potter film because Jamie Waylett, the actor who played him, was arrested. This led to Goyle being killed instead of Crabbe during the battle of Hogwarts, even though it was Crabbe who died in the books.

Production, Principal Photography, and Locations

  • There are a total of 242 actors in The Deathly Hallows Part 2, 91 of whom are credited.
  • Ralph Fiennes constantly changed and improvised parts in Voldemort’s victory speech, so it was really challenging for the other actors to follow along.
  • The hug between Voldemort and Draco before the final battle was improvised.
  • Bellatrix always stands on the right side of Voldemort, which is traditionally the position of a leader’s most loyal follower.
  • Most of the final movie occurred within the span of 24 hours.
  • The Room of Requirement was filled with props from the previous Harry Potter movies.
  • The scene at Gringotts with multiplying treasure was challenging to prepare. The special effects supervisor, John Richardson, created a floor that could rise at different levels. This gave the thousands of treasure pieces more volume and made it look like they were physically swelling. The treasure props were vacuum metalized to make them shiny silver and gold.
  • The props department made 210,000 gold coins for the Gringotts vault.
  • It took eight months to create the prosthetic masks for Gringotts’ goblins. Every single hair was individually stitched on.
  • Emma Watson and Rupert Grint had casts made of their butt so that the scenes where they rode on broomsticks in Gringotts were more comfortable.

Production used 145 tons of polystyrene rubble for the Battle of Hogwarts

  • The last shot of the franchise involved Daniel, Rupert, and Emma jumping and throwing themselves at a giant blue mat. It was the scene at the Ministry of Magic when the trio dived into the fireplace to escape. All three of them cried after the director yelled, “Cut.”

Post-production

  • The Deathly Hallows Part 2 was filmed in 2D but converted to 3D in post-production.
  • Hogwarts was made using a digital model for the final movie, while all the previous models had been physical miniatures of the castle.
  • The last movie is the only one that doesn’t play John Williams’ “Hedwig’s Theme” at the beginning or the end of the film.
  • The song that plays in the last scene when the trio’s kids leave King’s Cross Station is called “Leaving Hogwarts.” It is the same song that played at the end of The Philosopher’s Stone.
  • The actors were randomly searched to make sure they weren’t taking home any props from the films. But once filming for the last film was done, they got to keep props that were important to their character. Emma Watson kept her wand, her cloak, and the time turner, Daniel Radcliffe kept the glasses from the first and last movies, and Rupert Grint kept the deluminator. Alan Rickman kept Snape’s wand.
  • When filming for the last movie ended, Rupert Grint gave both Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe an engraved trumpet. Daniel gave Rupert and Emma prints of stills from the movies, and Emma got them leather diaries.

Distribution, Box Office, and Revenues

  • The Deathly Hallows Part 2 was first released July 15, 2011.
  • The Deathly Hallows Part 2 was the top movie of 2011 at both the US and international box office.

The Deathly Hallows Part 2 is the highest-grossing literary adaptation

  • The movie grossed about $97,676,719 in US DVD sales and $60,023,321 on Blu-ray. It sold 2.71 million units and generated $60.75 million in sales in the first three days in the US. By July 18, 2012, it sold 6.47 million DVDs and 4.71 Blu-ray copies.
  • It grossed $169,189,427 in the US during the opening weekend, 44.4% of its total gross earnings from the US box office ($381,193,157).
  • The Deathly Hallows Part 2 ranks number 45 all time at the US box office, 13 at the international box office, and 16 at the worldwide box office (Source: The Numbers, October 2022).
  • The last Harry Potter movie earned the most of the franchise.
  • At the time of its release, The Deathly Hallows Part 2 broke the US box office record for midnight showings, grossing $43.5 million. It also broke the record for opening day earnings and opening weekend earnings.

Harry Potter Filming Locations

Harry Potter filming locations

Hogwarts

  • Alnwick Castle (England) – In the first two movies, this castle was the backdrop for Quidditch lessons and for Harry and Ron crashing Ron’s dad’s Ford Anglia into the Whomping Willow.
  • University of Oxford (England) – The restricted section of the library in The Philosopher’s Stone was filmed at the university’s Bodleian Library.
  • Durham Cathedral (England) – Scenes from the first and second movie were filmed in the cloisters and in the Chapter House.
  • Gloucester Cathedral (England) – Several movie scenes throughout the Harry Potter franchise were filmed in the cloisters:
  1. Lavatorium – The backdrop for the troll scenes in The Philosopher’s Stone and the unbreakable vow scene in The Half-Blood Prince.
  2. East Corridor – In The Chamber of Secrets, the ghost Moaning Myrtle flooded the girl’s bathroom here. Production had sealed the floors with a protective layer, but some water still got through and there are faint marks of water damage on the floor.
  3. East Wall in the North Cloisters Corridor – The bloody message “The Chamber of Secrets has opened. Enemies of the heir… beware” was written on a replica of this wall to protect the original from damage.
  4. Gas lamps were used while filming to protect the stone walls of the cathedral.

Nature

  • Glencoe (Scotland) – The main outdoor filming location for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
  • Loch Torren (Scotland) – Used for the lake scenes in The Prisoner of Azkaban and as the backdrop for Hagrid’s hut.
  • Loch Morar and Loch Shiel (Scotland) – Both used as filming locations for the Black Lake near Hogwarts castle.
  • Glenfinnan Viaduct (Scotland) – The railway above Loch Shiel was used for aerial shots of the Hogwarts Express. The scenes inside the train were filmed inside vintage Mkl carriages on the train ride between Fort William and Mallaig.
  • Cliffs of Moher (Ireland) – The scene in The Half-Blood Prince where Dumbledore magically appears in front of a secret cave was filmed here. The shot was combined with an island called Lemon Rock using computer-generated imagery. It was the only scene filmed in the Republic of Ireland.
  • Freshwater West Beach (Wales) – The setting of Shell Cottage, the safe house that belonged to Ron’s brother Bill and his wife Fleur in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
  1. Shell Cottage was built specifically for the Harry Potter franchise, but was taken down right after filming was finished.
  2. Even though the cottage is now gone, many people still visit Freshwater West Beach to find Dobby’s Grave and the memorials that were left for him.

Other Areas of Interest

  • Reptile House (London Zoo) – The scene in The Philosopher’s Stone where Harry accidentally traps his cousin Dudley in a snake’s cage was filmed at the world’s oldest scientific zoo.
  • Australia House diplomatic mission (London) – This was portrayed as the outside of Gringotts bank.
  • Lacock (England) – Harry’s parent’s house was filmed in this village. A historic place with a population that hovers around 1,000, Lacock was also the location of Professor Slughorn’s hideout in The Half-Blood Prince.
  • The Bull’s Head Passage in Leadenhall Market (London) – This was used as the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron in the first and fourth Harry Potter films.
  • The Millenium Bridge (London) – With the help of CGI effects, this bridge was destroyed by Death Eaters in the sixth movie.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Theme Parks

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a chain of theme parks at Universal Parks & Resorts.

Park Facts

Map of Wizarding World theme park locations

  • Universal’s Islands of Adventure (Orlando, Florida) – The first Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened on June 18, 2010. It includes Hogwarts castle and a recreation of Hogsmeade village.
  • Universal Studios Florida (Orlando, Florida) – Wizarding World related sections opened on July 8, 2014. It has a recreation of Diagon Alley and King’s Cross station.
  1. The two Florida locations are connected by the Hogwarts Express.
  • Universal Studios Japan (Osaka, Japan) – The Wizarding World attractions opened on July 15, 2014. In addition to Hogsmeade, it includes the Black Lake and live owls.
  1. From 2009 to 2018, it went from the world’s ninth most visited park with 8 million visitors to the world’s fifth most visited park with 14.3 million visitors.
  • Universal Studios Hollywood (Hollywood, California) – Wizarding World sections opened on April 7, 2016.
  • Universal Studios Beijing (Beijing, China) – This most recent Wizarding World location opened on September 20, 2021.

Fun Facts and Easter Eggs

  • The staff at all Wizarding World locations were hired from Britain through an international exchange program. They had to pass a test to prove their knowledge of the Harry Potter books and movies.
  • Visitors can buy an interactive wand at Ollivander’s Wand Shop that can be used to cast spells at specific locations around the park.

There's a working red phone booth in the Wizarding World, Orlando

  • Arthur Weasley’s Ford Anglia, the flying car that Harry and Ron crashed into the Whomping Willow in the second book, can be seen from the line for the Dragon Challenge roller coaster in Orlando, behind the bridge and before the entrance to the castle.
  • The wails of Moaning Myrtle, the ghost who cries in the girl’s washroom, can be heard from the Hogsmeade bathrooms.
  • The Vanishing Cabinet that Harry’s nemesis Draco used to sneak Death Eaters into Hogwarts is on Knockturn Alley in Borgin and Burkes. A faint chirping sound can be heard coming from the cabinet.
  • On the way to Diagon Alley, the Hogwarts Express passes Draco Malfoy’s house where passengers can see a flash of Voldemort.

Map of Diagon Alley

  • Kreacher the house elf is hidden in the top window of 12 Grimmauld Place in Universal Studios Orlando. He peeks out from behind the curtains every couple of minutes.
  • Universal Orlando’s executive chef spent three years preparing the menu for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Other Real-Life Harry Potter Experiences

  • Platform 9 ¾ really exists. It is on the wall in the concourse at London’s King’s Cross Station. Visitors can take professional photos with the provided props and buy Harry Potter merchandise in a specialty store nearby.
  • The walking tour for muggles is an award-winning tour in London, where guides share the film locations, landmarks, and fun facts about the series.
  • The Warner Bros. Studio Tour near London is an in-depth, interactive experience that displays the sets, costumes, and props that the art department created for the Harry Potter movies.
  1. In 2020, The Studio Tour generated around £47.5 million in revenue.
  2. It includes expansions for Platform 9 ¾, the Forbidden Forest, and Gringotts Wizarding Bank.
  3. The GWR 4900 Class 5972 locomotive that pulls the Hogwarts Express has been on display here since 2015. It is called the “Olton Hall” and was built in 1937.
  • Harry Potter: The Exhibition is a traveling exhibition that shows props, costumes, and other artifacts from the movies. The second iteration kicked off in February 2022 at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.
  • The College of Wizardry is a four-day live-action roleplay event held several times a year at the Czocha Castle in Poland. Fans are assigned imaginary characters to play while attending the wizarding school.
  1. There are no explicit references to Harry Potter to avoid potential lawsuits.
  2. Tickets for the 24th Classic College of Wizardry held in October 2022 sold for €655 each.

Establishments Inspired by Harry Potter

  • Georgian House Hotel (London, England) – The gothic rooms are inspired by Hogwarts dormitories and include four-poster beds, trunks, cauldrons, and stained glass windows. The hotel also offers Enchanted Afternoon Tea and Wizard Potion Making.
  • Dziórawy Kocioł (Krakow, Poland) – An underground cafe that literally means “Leaky Cauldron.”
  • Always Cafe (Hanoi, Vietnam) – Serves specialty drinks including butterbeer and polyjuice potion.
  • Platform 1094 (Singapore) – A wizard-themed restaurant that serves soup in a cauldron, dragon milk cheese sticks, and sweet treats of the wizarding world. They even provide pointed hats and magic wands for guests to take photos with.
  • The Hogwarts Pub (Singapore) – Another restaurant that puts on magic shows and serves Hogwarts house-themed pizzas and drinks.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a two-part play written by JK Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany as the eighth installment of the Harry Potter series.

  • It was previewed at the Palace Theater in London on June 7, 2016, and premiered on July 30 of the same year.
  • The production premiered on Broadway in New York on April 22, 2018, at the Princess Theatre in Melbourne on February 23, 2019, at the Curran Theatre in San Francisco on December 1, 2019, at the Mehr! Theater in Hamburg on December 5, 2021, the Ed Mirvish Theatre in Toronto on May 31, 2022, and the TBS Akasaka ACT Theater on July 8, 2022.

The Cursed Child's Broadway revenue, 2019

  • 175,000 tickets were sold in the first 8 hours of priority booking for the world premiere production.
  • The play was released in book version on July 31, 2016, and sold over 2 million copies within 2 days in Canada and the US.
  • By June 2017 the book sold over 4.5 million copies in the US.
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was Amazon’s best-selling book of 2016.
  • Producers of The Cursed Child ran a campaign in which they asked people who have seen the play not to share any spoilers or plot twists. The audience are given badges after the show with the hashtag #KeepTheSecrets. This slogan is also printed on the tickets.
  • Tickets for the premiere cost from £30 to £130 for both parts, but resale websites sold tickets for up to £6200. Producers warned that tickets bought from resellers would be void, and at least 60 people who bought these tickets were refused entry.
  • There is a weekly online lottery for 40 tickets to The Cursed Child Broadway shows released a week before each showing to give fans a chance to see it for free.
  • The Cursed Child received a five-star rating from The Independent, the London Evening Standard, TheStage, The Telegraph, WhatsOnStage.com and four stars from The Guardian.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’s Accolades

The Cursed Child's accolades

Harry Potter Video Games

  • There has been a corresponding video game released for every film in the Harry Potter franchise.
  • Seventeen Harry Potter video games have been released since the beginning of the franchise.

The Harry Potter video games' total earnings

  • The very first Harry Potter video game, LEGO Creator: Harry Potter, was released in 2001 for Playstation 1 and 2, Xbox, PC, Game Boy Color, and GameBoy Advance.
  • Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup is a sports action video game published by Electronic Arts in 2003.
  • Harry Potter: Puzzles and Spells is a Match 3 game released by Zynga that has been downloaded over 10,000,000 times.
  • LEGO Harry Potter is an action-adventure game that consists of two titles, Years 1-4 (released in 2010) and Years 5-7 (released in 2011).
  • Wonderbook: Book of Spells is an augmented reality video game released in 2012 for PlayStation 3. The game is based on the fictional Harry Potter book by Miranda Goshawk and teaches you how to cast spells.
  • In 2013, Sony released a second augmented reality game called Book of Potions.
  • Harry Potter for Kinect was released in 2012. It is available exclusively for the Xbox 360 and requires the kinect sensor adapter accessory.
  • Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is a role-playing game that was released in 2018.
  1. After its launch, it became the most downloaded game in over 40 countries.
  2. Two years after its release, it received over 35 billion minutes of gameplay, including over 50 million Quidditch matches, 2.1 million OWL exams, 2 billion cast spells, and 400 outfit designs.
  3. It received the Google Play “Best of 2018” Fan Favorite award in five countries.
  • Harry Potter: Wizards Unite was released in 2018 and developed by Niantic, the creators of Pokémon GO. The game was based around finding missing wizarding items that appear in the Muggle world. By November 2021 it had been downloaded 20.3 million times and generated $39.4 million in revenue before being discontinued on January 31, 2022. Despite its problems, Wizards Unite was named an Honoree for “Best Game Design” and won the People’s Voice Award for “Technical Achievement” at the 2020 Webby Awards.
  • Hogwarts Legacy is an open-world role-playing video game set in the 1800s that will be released on February 10, 2023.

Harry Potter Merchandise

One-third of Harry Potter's revenue comes from merchandise

  • You can buy almost anything in the Harry Potter theme, including:
    - Clothes and fashion accessories
    - Jewelry from well-known brands like Pandora and The Carat Shop
    - Advent calendars
    - Cookbooks and cooking utensils
    - Cosmetics
    - Stationary
    - Electronics and gadgets
    - Food and confectionary, such as real-life Jelly Belly’s Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans with crazy flavors like soap, vomit, earthworm, booger, black pepper, rotten egg, and, of course, earwax
  • Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, you can buy Harry Potter face masks.
  • Some popular board games are also available in the Harry Potter theme, such as:
    - CLUE: Wizarding World of Harry Potter
    - Codenames: Harry Potter
    - Funkoverse POP: Harry Potter
    - Harry Potter Top Trumps Match (similar to Connect Four)
    - Paladone Back to Hogwarts Board Game (similar to snakes and ladders)
    - The Noble Collection Harry Potter Wizard Chess Set
    - Trivial Pursuit: Wizarding World of Harry Potter Edition
    - Uno Harry Potter
    - USAopoly House Cup Competition Game
    - Wonder Forge Ravensburger Pictopia: Harry Potter Edition Family Trivia Board Game
  • As of 2021, the largest collection of Harry Potter memorabilia belongs to Tracey Nicol-Lewis of Mid Glamorgan, Wales. She started collecting in 2002 and now owns 5,284 pieces of Harry Potter merchandise.
  • One of the most popular sellers of Harry Potter merchandise is LEGO. It has released 123 different Harry Potter sets under 15 different sub-themes from 2001-2022.
  • The average lifespan of a Harry Potter LEGO set is about 18 months.
  • The most valuable Harry Potter LEGO set is the Harry Potter Minifigure Collection Gallery 3, which was released in 2002 as a promotional release in Hong Kong.
  • LEGO also sells a special wizards chess set that you can build and then play with.

Random Facts

  • Nicholas Flamel, the wizard who discovered the philosopher’s stone and achieved immortality, was based on a real person.
  • JK Rowling came up with the names for the four Hogwarts houses, Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, Slytherin, and Hufflepuff, on the back of an airplane barf bag.
  • Sean Harris, a British army officer, was the first person that JK Rowling shared her writing ambitions with, and she even dedicated the Chamber of Secrets to him.
  • Before the last book was published, Rowling was afraid that somebody would ask her what Dumbledore’s wand was made of. His wand is made of elder wood, which is associated with death in folklore. She was worried that if this information became public, it would spoil the end of the series.
  • In 2005, the Ford Anglia used in the movies was stolen from South West Film Studios in Cornwall. It turned up some months later less than 16 kilometers (10 miles) away with a piece of tow rope attached to its bumper. Police believe thieves failed to sell it, and abandoned it.
  • The Harry Potter franchise has also entered the world of NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) in the form of 10,000 Harry Potter Character billionaire NFTs, such as the Patronus Spell, boasting over 180 hand-drawn traits.
  • Based on a survey conducted in the US, the Harry Potter movies are more popular than the books among Americans. 61% of all Americans have seen at least one of the Harry Potter movies, and 25% have seen all of them. In contrast, 31% of Americans have read at least one of the books from the franchise, and only 18% have read all of them.
  • According to the same survey, Harry Potter was the most popular among American women aged 18-34, 61% of whom had read at least one of the books. This demographic group was followed by men aged 18-34 (44%), and women aged 35-54 (41%). The least likely demographic to have read a Harry Potter book was men over 55, only 21% of whom reported doing so.

Hogwarts

The meaning of Hogwarts' motto

  • It would cost approximately 43,000 USD to attend Hogwarts for one school year. However, according to JK Rowling, the Ministry of Magic covers the cost of all magical education.

Quidditch

  • Rowling came up with the idea for the sport of quidditch after an argument with her then-boyfriend.
  • Quidditch is a real sport. In the Muggle version of the game, the pitch is rectangular instead of oval, and the golden snitch is a person. It is a full-contact, mixed-gender sport that is LGBTQ-friendly. Muggle Quidditch is played around the world, and the International Quidditch Association is the governing body for the sport. International tournaments include the European Games, the European Quidditch World Cup, and the Asian Quidditch Cup. In April 2022, the US Quidditch Cup was held in Salt Lake City. Over 1200 players attended the two-day competition.

Different variants of the game are played in countries like Russia, Kazakhstan, and Hungary. Some versions use bicycles instead of brooms, and some don’t use brooms at all. Quidditch can also be played in wheel-chairs, and the Australian Quidditch Association has a set of rules for this version of the game.

A last thought before you return to the Muggle world…

In this article we’ve covered the evolution of the Harry Potter franchise and its countless releases and recreations, from wizard-themed cafes to live-action role plays and real-life Quidditch leagues. But throughout all its iterations, the heart of Harry’s story has stayed the same and continues to capture the imagination of millions worldwide.

I hope that this article taught you something new about the Wizarding World, and stirred up fond memories of the first time you opened Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, or went to the midnight showing of one the series’ films.

If you haven’t yet explored Harry’s magical universe, I hope you’re inspired to discover why this franchise is one of the most iconic in history. The story will take you down a rollercoaster of plot twists and emotions, but I promise you’ll enjoy the ride.

About the Author

Rebecca is a tech writer and cybersecurity enthusiast. As an avid traveler, she often relies on VPNs to keep her safe online and loves sharing her expertise with others.

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