Honorary award to go to Warner franchise

Warner Bros.’ “Harry Potter” franchise will receive BAFTA’s Balcon Award for British contribution to cinema at the Orange British Academy Film Awards on Feb. 13.

Author J.K. Rowling and producer David Heyman will pick up the honor during the ceremony at London’s Royal Opera House.

Past recipients include Mike Leigh, Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jarman and Working Title.

Finola Dwyer, chair of the film committee, said, “As this great British film success story draws to a close with this year’s eagerly anticipated final installment, it’s fitting that BAFTA honors the ‘Harry Potter’ films and their contribution to the British film industry.”

Starting in 2001 with “Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone,” its six subsequent installments have earned more than $5.4 billion worldwide, making it the top-grossing film series of all time.

The franchise ends with the release of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2″ on July 15.

The Balcon Award, introduced in 1978, is presented in honor of the late Michael Balcon, topper of London’s Ealing Studios, which turned out a series of hit comedies including “The Lavender Hill Mob” in the 1940s and ’50s.

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