The Harry Potter books and movies are some of the most popular and beloved stories of our time. Since the first installment was released in 1997, the series has sold over 300 million copies and been translated into 47 languages. The books and movies have also been nominated for and won many awards, making them one of the most successful franchises of all time. Even now, after 19 years, Harry Potter fans are still passionate about the stories and characters, and continue to visit the sites and buy the products associated with the franchise. In light of Harry Potter’s incredible cultural impact, here are 10 things you didn’t know about Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
10 Things You Didn’t Know About Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone
1. The Harry Potter books and movies were originally intended to be a trilogy, but when the second movie was released, the series already had two more installments in the works. The second movie, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, was released in 2002, and the third movie, Harry Potter and the Resurrection of Voldemort, was released in 2007. The three Harry Potter films each earned around $350 million at the global box office.
2. The Harry Potter Books Are Among The Most Downloaded Books Of All Time
The Harry Potter books are credited with being one of the biggest-selling paperback series of all time, with over 300 million copies sold. This makes them not only one of the most popular series of all time, but also one of the most downloaded ones. The first Harry Potter book was initially released in hardback in 2001, and within a few months, over a million copies were sold. The success of the series was such that the following year alone, over 830,000 hardbacks were sold. Over the course of 19 years, the Harry Potter books have been downloaded over 500 million times. While this may not seem like a lot, it is around 200 million more downloads than the next most popular series, The Lord of the Rings.
3. J.K. Rowling’s Salary Was Based On Her Estimated Word Count
The most accomplished and well-known writer in the world at the time, J.K. Rowling, decided to become a full-time writer after selling her first book. Since then, she has written over 20 bestselling books and holds the record for the most number of books sold by an individual author. She has also earned over $36 million from her writing alone. Rowling initially contracted with Scholastic to write three books, but after finishing the first installment, she decided to expand on the story and eventually write 20 books in the series. The entire Harry Potter series is estimated to have an annual word count of around 250,000 words, which is around 40 million words longer than J.K. Rowling’s previous series, the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. In light of this, it is no wonder why her earnings rose by around $11 million per book, with the final installment earning her a whopping $27 million just for the right to use the Hogwarts names and characters.
4. The Harry Potter Franchise Is Still Going Strong After All These Years
Even now, after 19 years since the release of the first Harry Potter book, the franchise still holds up well. In 2016 alone, the Harry Potter movies were watched by 34.4 million people, according to Netflix. This makes them the 4th most watched show on the platform, only behind Orange Is the New Black, Breaking Bad, and Stranger Things.
Additionally, over 16.2 million people visited the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play online, according to SimilarWeb. The official website for the Harry Potter franchise also received 8.6 million visits in 2016, making it the 7th most visited website of the year. All these figures don’t even include the approximately 300 million people who have read the Harry Potter books and seen the movies already.
5. The Harry Potter Franchise Was Originally Intended To Be A Cartoon
Although the Harry Potter books and movies are mostly for adults, the series was originally intended for children. This is likely because Rowling was trying to capitalize on the success of the cartoon series, Hey Arnold! In the 1970s, Arnold Schwarzenegger played the title role in the first season of Hey Arnold!, and would go on to play Conan the Barbarian in the subsequent film adaptations. Rowling met Schwarzenegger when she was 14 years old, and he encouraged her to write. She followed up on this advice, and wrote the first Harry Potter book, which was published in 1997 when she was 24 years old.
6. The Harry Potter Books Are Hugely Influential
The Harry Potter books and movies are credited with being one of the biggest influences in popular culture. Many of the themes and tropes that were first introduced in the Harry Potter series, such as wizards and magic, have since been incorporated into other genres of fiction. This includes not just books, but also video games, social media, and even fashion. Many famous fashion designers have even named their collections after characters or elements from the series, and some still do to this day. People around the world continue to be inspired by the Harry Potter books and films, which is why they have been so successful.
7. The Harry Potter Books Are One Of The Most Adapted Series Of All Time
While many books have been adapted into films, the Harry Potter books are among the most adapted series ever. Since their release in 1997, the Harry Potter books have been made into at least 23 movies, with the most recent being The Cursed Child, a play that combines elements of the saga with the structure of a play. The film adaptation of the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, was the first of these to be released. It was followed by the remaining 22 films in the series, with the last installment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, being released in 2011, which is around 15 years after the first movie was released.
8. The Harry Potter Books Have Been Inspired By Real-Life Events
In the Harry Potter books, magic is often contrasted with science, and is seen as a way for wizards to interact with the world in a more immediate and accessible way. This is likely a reference to the history of spell-casting and the wizarding community at large, as well as to the cultural context of the series at the time of its release in the late 20th century. It is no secret that science and technology have played a large role in shaping our world, particularly in the last few decades. The 20th century was arguably the century of science and technology, and this is reflected in the Harry Potter books, which were released in the late 1990s. Since then, real-life events have continued to be referenced and influenced the books, including the conflicts in the Middle East and terrorism in general.
9. It’s Complicated To Grow Up With A Famous Mother
Many of the characters in the Harry Potter books and movies have complicated childhoods, which is fitting since the books and movies are largely about childhood and growing up. This is especially the case with Harry Potter and his godfather, Sirius Black. When J.K. Rowling was 17 years old, she wrote to her literary agent about her new book, and within a week, she had received a letter from a Scottish publisher. Since then, she has published 18 books and seen her movie adaptation earn over $850 million at the worldwide box office.
Sirius Black is one of the most important characters in the Harry Potter series. He is a half-brother of Harry Potter and a talented wizard who plays an important role in the series. His character is based on Ralph Fiennes, a real-life British actor who was the child of a Jewish mother and an English father. Fiennes’ mother was from a wealthy Polish family, and they were very prominent in London society. He was thus raised in Poland and England with an elite education. He traveled a lot with his family as a child, and this likely helped inspire his character, who is often seen traveling the world and staying in luxurious hotels.