Thanks largely to 3D and IMAX screenings in China, the first Harry Potter film is now part of the $1 billion club.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's StoneHarry Potter (DANIEL RADCLIFFE)
Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Harry Potter achieved a new milestone nearly two decades after its debut in theaters.

Thanks to a re-release in China, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone has reached the $1 billion mark at the worldwide box office.

The film that put Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint on the map as child actors returned to screens in the country as a 4K 3D restoration Aug. 14, as audiences began the return to public theatergoing in the wake of COVID-19 lockdowns.

This past weekend alone, IMAX reported a $2.1 million haul from 3D IMAX showings across 594 screens in China. Sorcerer's Stone, which first hit theaters in 2001, now boasts an estimated $1,001,260,000 lifetime gross. That makes it the second Harry Potter movie to cross $1 billion, after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2, which concluded the eight-part series in 2011 with $1.34 billion worldwide.

"We are thrilled to see Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone delight a new generation of audiences," Andrew Cripps, Warner Bros. Pictures' head of international distribution, said in a statement. "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."

Other films, like Christopher Nolan's Inception, have also been playing in Chinese theaters to help draw audiences back to the big screen. Theaters in the United States are attempting a similar strategy.

AMC Theatres plans its first phase of reopening Aug. 20, with 15-cent movie tickets for one day only across select locations. Titles like Black Panther, Ghostbusters, Grease, Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back, Bloodshot, and Sonic the Hedgehog will make comebacks to theaters. Upcoming releases The New Mutants (Aug. 28) and Tenet (Sept. 3) are also on the books. We just have to wait and see if American audiences are willing to go back to theaters, especially with a still-prevalent rate of COVID-19 infections.

Related content:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
  • Movie
  • 152 minutes