What Did It Cost to Produce Each Harry Potter Movie? How Much Money Did Each Movie Make?
Hundreds of millions of dollars were put into making the Harry Potter movies. Question is, did each movie turn a profit?
Warner Brothers landed on a gold mine when the studio took over producing the "Harry Potter" films. However, what did that mean for the company financially? How much did each movie cost to produce? Did each movie turn a profit for them in the box office? Let's refresh our memory of each "Harry Potter" film, and see how the financial figures stacked up for Warner Brothers Studios. Let's see how "Harry Potter" compares to the recent blockbuster superhero movies.
1. "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone"
This first movie introduced us to Harry Potter, "the boy who lived." Orphaned as a baby, he grows up with his Aunt and Uncle Dursley, with their son Dudley, who treat Harry in the most awful way possible. Around his 11th birthday, mysterious letters show up for Harry, and learns from a half-giant named Hagrid, that Harry is a wizard. He is therefore invited to attend school at Hogwarts to learn magic under Albus Dumbledore, so Harry escapes the Dursleys and finds himself on a train heading for Hogwarts. He meets Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger and they become the best of friends.
We first meet the three friends: Harry, Ron, and Hermione in “Sorcerer’s Stone.”
Harry and his friends learn of a plot where an item, named the Sorcerer's Stone, is in danger of getting into the hands of an evil wizard named Voldemort. The three suspect that Professor Snape, the Potions teacher, is behind attempting to grab the stone, hidden in Hogwarts, for the Dark Lord. We learn that Snape was not, in fact, part of the evil plan but Professor Quirrell, who Voldemort had inhabited the body of for survival after trying to kill Harry 11 years ago.
Harry faces up against Quirrel and Voldemort.
Harry thwarts Voldemort's plan of obtaining the stone, preventing the Dark Lord from returning to his full form.
For Warner Brothers to make "Sorcerer's Stone," it cost the studio $130 million. In the box office, it made 974.8 million dollars. As the guinea pig movie to set the stage for the rest of the films, the first movie was a major success!
2. "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets"
Harry returns to Hogwarts, despite the warning that Dobby the house-elf gave him before he was rescued from the Dursley home by Ron, Fred, and George Weasley. One night, Harry hears voices in the school saying that they are wanting to kill. By following the voice, which only Harry can hear, he, Ron, and Hermione find a Filch's cat, Mrs. Norris, petrified. They also see a note on the wall: "The Chamber of secrets has been opened. Enemies of the heir, beware!"
Filch accuses Harry of killing his cat, Mrs. Norris.
Over time, more students and others fall victim from being petrified by some unknown attacker. Harry finds a diary belonging to Tom Riddle, and is given information that a monster was let loose by Hagrid, and that it is Hagrid's monster that is attacking the school. Eventually, a student is taken into the Chamber by the monster, Ginny Weasley, and Harry and Ron go to try to save her (with the fraud professor Lockhart).
Once Harry finds Ginny, she's getting her life sapped by the diary which would bring Tom Riddle, also known as Lord Voldemort, back to full power. Harry fights the monster, a Basilisk, which he defeats using Gryffindor’s sword. He ruins Tom Riddle's/Lord Voldemort's plan by destroying the diary, saving Ginny in the process.
Harry saves Ginny from Tom Riddle after fighting the Basilisk.
The budget for "Chamber of Secrets" was less than what the first movie cost, which came to 100 million dollars. When the movie was released in theaters, the box office earnings came to $879 million. With those figures, the movie made a nice profit.
3. "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban"
Harry runs away from the Dursley house following the point where he turns his Aunt Marge into a giant balloon out of anger. He meets up Ron, Hermione, and the Weasley family at the Leaky Cauldron and learns that a dangerous wizard by the name of Sirius Black is free from Azkaban prison to hunt down Harry. Sirius is accused of selling the Potter family's whereabouts to Voldemort the night Harry's parents died.
Dementors surround Hogwarts, there to keep Sirius Black from entering the school. These creatures are nothing but trouble for Harry for being near one causes him to faint. Professor Lupin becomes the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, and helps Harry in combating the Dementors by teaching him how to summon a Patronus Charm.
Lupin reminisces about Harry’s mother, Lilly.
Eventually, Harry meets Sirius in a dangerous situation where we find out the true traitor is Peter Pettigrew, a man who was disguised as Ron's rat for many years.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione learn the truth about Sirius Black.
However, they get into trouble when Lupin turns into a werewolf and causes problems that keeps Peter from getting turned over to the Dementors and Sirius becomes captured. Since things went so poorly, Hermione and Harry have a chance to go back in time using a magical device called a Time Turner to go back and make things right, in both saving Sirius and Buckbeak, a griffin that was sentenced to death. Lucky for Sirius, Buckbeak becomes Sirius's best means of escape. Harry helps to save Black, his Godfather, which leaves for a happy ending for Harry's third year.
The budget for filming "Prisoner of Azkaban" came to 130 million dollars, just like "Sorcerer's Stone." In the box office, the third Harry Potter film grossed $796.7 million. Again, Warner Brothers earned great revenue from another popular film.
4. "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"
Harry Potter returns for his fourth year at Hogwarts and the school gets the opportunity to host a rare event: the Triwizard Tournament. Three schools compete for the Triwizard Cup and the winner gains "eternal glory." Durmstrang and Beauxbatons are the other two schools that come to compete. Before the Tournament begins, the Goblet of Fire collects names and three of them, one from each school, are chosen from the cup.
This time the cup chose Victor Krum, from Durmstrang, Fleur Delacour, from Beauxbatons, and Cedric Diggory, from Hogwarts. However, Harry's name also appears from the goblet, causing quite an uproar.
Dumbledore is confounded that Harry’s name came out of the Goblet of Fire.
Due to the binding contract from the Goblet, Harry still must compete since his name did come out. Many people resent Harry for being picked, thinking that he rigged the cup somehow, but Harry knows he is innocent. The four champions go through three different tasks to earn points that go towards the final challenge. The first challenge consists of trying to get a golden egg from a dragon, the second challenge was to rescue one they care about from under the lake at Hogwarts, and third was to navigate through a tricky maze to get to the Triwizard Cup.
All the challengers do well, but ultimately Cedric and Harry make it to the end to grab the cup. But the plot comes to light when the Cup ends up being a Portkey (an item that can transport people to another location), and the two boys come to a graveyard which becomes where Lord Voldemort returns to his full form.
Harry will witness Voldemort returning to full power once more.
Unfortunately, Cedric dies and Harry is used to help bring the Dark Lord back. Voldemort and Harry have a duel, and Harry gets to escape with his life and returns to Hogwarts, bringing Cedric's body back using the Triwizard cup. Harry and everyone else are distraught by Cedric's death, and the news that Lord Voldemort has returned.
5. "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix"
One of Harry's roughest times yet, he enters his fifth year at Hogwarts and people in the wizard world disbelieve Harry's announcement that Voldemort has returned to full power. Only a few friends and those close to Harry believe his experience with his encounter with the Dark Lord. The Defense Against the Dark Arts position is open again and the Minister of Magic appoints a new professor, Delores Umbridge.
Smug Dolores Umbridge sits in her sickeningly pink office.
Umbridge we come to see is quite evil, preferring ways of torture to punish those who "disobey." Harry becomes her main target, hoping she can get him to confess that he did not see Voldemort rise to full glory. In defense against Umbridge and her evil and power-hungry tactics to take over the school, Harry gathers a group of loyal students to build an army of sorts against her.
They call themselves "Dumbledore's Army." Harry learns of a plot that Voldemort is trying to get his hands on a prophesy made long ago that would be key to learning how to defeat Harry. A group of the "Army" head to the Ministry of Magic, where access to the prophesy is kept, by riding on Thestrals.
Luna and Harry can both see Thestrals.
They encounter Death Eaters, cronies of sorts for Lord Voldemort, who are fearsome opponents. More of Harry's adult allies come to their aid, including Lupin and Sirius Black. It is through a major battle that Sirius loses his life to Bellatrix Lestrange, Voldemort's most trusted Death Eater. Harry is distraught to have lost his Godfather, and eventually Dumbledore comes to Harry's rescue from Voldemort, as Voldemort tries to take over Harry.
Dumbledore and Voldemort get entangled in an epic battle. At this point, more witnesses see Voldemort is truly back in power, and Harry gains trust back from the doubting community.
Warner Brothers budgeted 150 million for "Order of the Phoenix," and although their box office sales made it to a record-breaking 939.9 million dollars, they still ended up losing $167 million from not accounting well for credits and interest charges that racked up against the studio for producing the film.
6. "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince"
The wizarding world is under more threatening times, now that everyone knows that Voldemort has returned. Death Eaters are causing havoc in both Muggle and Wizarding communities, causing much fear and panic. Dumbledore is back as Hogwarts' headmaster, and he and Harry go to convince Horace Slughorn to teach as the next Potions professor, where Professor Snape will take over the Defense Against the Dark Arts position. Slughorn reluctantly agrees to teach.
Dumbledore gets Slughorn to agree to teach at Hogwarts.
Later, Harry gains a suspicion that Draco has been made a Death Eater under Voldemort's rule, but Ron and Hermione are not so sure. When the school year begins at Hogwarts, for Potions class, each student get old copies of their textbook, and Harry finds that his copy is covered in notes and hints from the previous owner: "The Half-Blood Prince."
Emotions and relationships are built and strained as Hermione becomes jealous that Ron starts dating Lavender Brown, and Harry develops feelings for Ginny, Ron's sister. Dumbledore at one point entrusts Harry with helping to retrieve a memory from Professor Slughorn that will be key in defeating Voldemort. We learn that Voldemort created Horcruxes that gives him an advantage over being killed so easily. Dumbledore and Harry go on a mission together to find one of these Horcruxes.
Harry and Dumbledore go on a dangerous mission.
Their dangerous journey leads to them getting a hold of a locket, but due to a poison that Dumbledore drank, it left him weak. Upon returning to Hogwarts grounds. A trap was set that Hogwarts was infiltrated by Death Eaters, thanks to Draco helping to set up a Vanishing Cabinet located in Hogwarts that connected to a sister cabinet located in Knockturn Alley.
Draco, with Snape, confronts Dumbledore and is under orders to kill him. Draco cannot muster up the ability to do so, and Snape uses the killing curse, "Avada Kedavra" to kill Dumbledore. Enraged, Harry tries to hunt down Snape, but Snape escapes. Harry, Ron, and Hermione then are determined to find all the Horcruxes and destroy them all so Voldemort will no longer be a threat.
It's amazing how much of a jump in budget money "Half-Blood Prince" needed compared to its predecessors: 250 million dollars! It is one of the highest budget films to date. When the movie hit the box office, it made 934.4 million dollars total.
7. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1"
Instead of finishing their last year at Hogwarts, Harry, Ron, and Hermione are on a mission to find the remaining horcruxes and put an end to Voldemort. Meanwhile, Voldemort has bunkered down at Malfoy Manor, the hideout for him and all his evil subordinates. Death Eaters are sent to kill Harry again, but they devise a diversion to confuse the Death Eaters while Harry is transported to the Weasley's Burrow.
However, there are casualties, including Hedwig, Harry's owl, but Harry eventually makes it. The new Minister of Magic, Rufus Scrimgeour is killed by Death Eaters, and the Ministry is left at the mercy of Voldemort's allies, with the new Minister under the Imperious Curse.
The Weasleys put on a wedding for Ron's brother Bill and Fleur Delacour, but the wedding is disrupted by the new, evil Ministry. Harry, Ron, and Hermione flee and find refuge at the Order of the Phoenix headquarters.
Harry, Hermione, and Ron narrowly escape getting run over after Apparating away from the Burrow.
They find out the location of the real horcrux locket, which is in possession of Delores Umbridge. They go in disguise into the Ministry and incapacitate Umbridge and get a hold of the locket. After they flee, the three try to destroy the locket, but to no avail. They each wear the locket in turns and it affects them all negatively.
Ron, leaves after getting in an argument with Harry and Harry and Hermione are left to track down Gryffindor's sword. Harry and Hermione think they find the sword, but gets ambushed by Nagini, Voldemort's snake.
That night, Harry chases down a Patronus in the form of a doe and leads him to the sword at the bottom of a frozen pond.
Harry tries to grab Gryffindor’s sword from the frozen pond.
With Harry's effort to retrieve the sword, the locket tries to choke him, but Ron comes to the rescue and helps to destroy the locket with Gryffindor's sword. The three make up and they make their way to the Lovegood residence to meet Xenophilius, Luna's father. Lovegood tells the three about the Deathly Hallows: The Elder Wand, the Resurrection Stone, and the Cloak of Invisibility.
Unbeknownst by the three, Lovegood was bait in a trap set by the Death Eaters. They are captured and brought to Malfoy's manor and Hermione is tortured by Bellatrix for information regarding Gryffindor's sword. Dobby comes to the rescue and after much effort to fight their way out, Dobby Disapperates the group, but as they leave, Bellatrix throws a knife and Dobby gets hit by it, creating a fatal wound. We end seeing Voldemort stealing the Elder Wand from Dumbledore's grave.
The budget for both "Deathly Hallows" movies was $250 million dollars. And the first part gained a revenue from the box office of $960 million dollars, alone.
8. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2"
We return to find Harry, Ron, and Hermione are left to bury Dobby and they resume their task to find more horcruxes. They get a hold of Helga Hufflepuff's cup from Bellatrix's vault in Gringots, but Griphook, the goblin, betrays them and sends a "security" dragon against them.
However, they manage to flee on the dragon's back. The three learn of a horcrux created out of one of Rowena Ravenclaw's possessions, her mother's diadem. Harry, Ron, and Hermione learn that it's located inside Hogwarts' Room of Requirement, and they get help from Neville Longbottom to find a safe, secret passage into the castle. Ron and Hermione destroy Hufflepuff's cup with a basilisk fang and follow with a kiss.
Harry locates the diadem, but is ambushed by Malfoy, Goyle, and Zambini who try to thwart their plans of destroying more horcruxes. Ron and Hermione help to defend Harry, and when Goyle's curse backfires, it kills him and Harry saves Malfoy and Zambini in the process.
Harry proceeds to destroy the diadem with the basilisk fang and Ron launches it in the flaming remains of the Room of Requirement. Voldemort's army attacks the school, and amid the fight, Voldemort believes that to become the true owner of the Elder wand, he has to kill Snape, who he thinks was the last to use it. Voldemort cuts Snape's throat and sends Nagini after him to finish Snape off.
Snape says his final words to Harry before dying.
Harry sees this and Snape urges to take his memories to the Pensieve and learn the truth. Harry learns that since Snape always loved Lilly, Harry's mother, he swore to protect Harry. Harry also learns that Harry himself became a horcrux when Voldemort first cursed him, and learns that he must die as well to weaken Voldemort's power. Upon this knowledge, Harry surrenders to Voldemort and Harry "dies," only his spirit enters limbo where he meets Dumbledore.
Dumbledore shares the good news that Voldemort has now destroyed his own horcrux. When Voldemort announces that he has killed Harry Potter, Neville revolts and draws Gryffindor's sword from the Sorting Hat. Harry awakens and fights Voldemort to the death throughout the castle, while battle ensues, Mrs. Weasley kills Bellatrix and Neville slays Nagini, the last of Voldemort's horcruxes, leaving him completely defenseless.
Harry and Voldemort face each other for a final match to the death.
Harry repels Voldemort's killing curse which destroys Voldemort once and for all. Harry destroys the Elder Wand, which ended up becoming his wand after all. Years pass, and we end seeing Harry, Ginny, Ron, and Hermione sending their kids off to Hogwarts at Platform 9 & 3/4.
Like noted above, this film shared a budget with "Deathly Hallows: Part 1" at 250 million dollars, which was enough to earn record shattering revenue at the box office. Warner Brothers gained an overall $1.342 Billion total. This success brought the movie to being the 8th highest-grossing film in history. Bravo! It's one of the biggest successes as a fantasy film.
Thanks to the countless "Harry Potter" fans around the globe, Warner Brothers cashed in on a major opportunity to bring the famous book series to life on the "big screen." Thanks to the franchise's success, they've opened theme parks in both Florida and California in honor of the "Harry Potter" world, which fans love to opportunity to go and visit. Hopefully, this was a nice bit of nostalgia and may give you an inkling to want to watch all the movies over again.
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