×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. — A Magical Chronology

14-year partnership has been stunningly successful

Thursday’s announcement of the expanded partnership between J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. — inspired by Harry Potter’s Hogwarts textbook “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” — comes 14 years after the first formal agreement to launch the Harry Potter franchise.

Two years earlier, David Heyman’s London office had discovered Rowling’s first book. A chronology to a stunningly successful partnership:

1997: “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” published on June 30. Heyman begins efforts to secure the film rights. It would be re-named “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” in the U.S.

1999: Warner Bros. and Rowling agree to a deal for films based on the first four books.

2000: Daniel Radcliffe discovered by Heyman and writer Steve Kloves after a seven-month search; Emma Watson and Rupert Grint also cast and production begins in September.

2001: First Potter movie opens in November and grosses $974 million.

2002: “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” opens in November and grosses $878 million. Chris Columbus returns as the director.

Popular on Variety

2004: Alfsono Cuaron directs “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” which opens in June and grosses $790 million — the lowest total in the series.

2005: MIke Newell directs “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” which grosses $900 million.

2007: David Yates directs “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” which grosses $940 million. Yates goes on to direct the last three films.

2007: Plans announced for a theme park, “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” in Orlando. The park opens in 2010.

2008: Warner Bros. announces it will make two films from the final “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” book.

2009: “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” grosses $940 million.

2010: “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” opens and grosses $960 million.

2011: The final film opens and becomes by far the most successful title with $1.34 billion in worldwide grosses. Final total for the series is $7.1 billion.

April 2013: Los Angeles County supervisors approve plans for a “Wizarding World of Harry Potter” theme park, replacing the Gibson Ampitheater.

September 2013:  “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” partnership announced.

More Film

  • Participant, Magnolia Pictures Buy 'John Lewis:

    Participant, Magnolia Pictures Buy 'John Lewis: Good Trouble' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Participant and Magnolia Pictures have acquired North American rights to “John Lewis: Good Trouble,” a look at the life and career of the civil rights activist and congressional leader. The film was executive produced and financed by CNN Films, AGC Studios and Time Studios. Magnolia is planning to release the film in the spring of [...]

  • Star Wars Maryann Brandon JJ Abrams

    How Could J.J. Abrams Follow 'Star Wars'? 'I'd Love to Direct a Play'

    When “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” debuts on Dec. 20, it will, of course, mark the official close to the nine-film Skywalker Saga, one of the most successful franchises in movie history, grossing more than $7.7 billion worldwide to date (not including spinoff films “Rogue One” and “Solo”). “The Rise of Skywalker” also marks [...]

  • Tim Bevan Eric Fellner Working Title

    How Working Title Heads Are Enabling the Next Generation of U.K. Filmmakers

    Eric Fellner bounds through London Screen Academy, saying hearty hellos to students, waving to faculty and showing off the state-of-the-art facilities at the newly opened school to a Variety reporter. The brainchild of Fellner’s Working Title co-chairman, Tim Bevan, the school is intended to teach teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 the skills [...]

  • In the Heights Movie

    Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jon M. Chu Debut 'In the Heights' Trailer

    In the first trailer for “In the Heights,” Warner Bros. and Lin-Manuel Miranda are giving a look at a couple of days in the life of what it’s like in Washington Heights. “It’s a story of a block that was disappearing,” Anthony Ramos, who stars as bodega owner Usnavi, tells young kids in the neighborhood. [...]

  • Tim Bevan Eric Fellner Working Title

    'Cats' Is Working Title's Next Bid to Turn British Pop Culture Into Box Office Gold

    From “Bridget Jones’s Diary” to “Mr. Bean,” Working Title has for the past three and a half decades helped ensure that the sun never sets on British pop culture. The leaders of the London-based film and television production company, Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, have been important emissaries from across the pond, backing stories that [...]

  • Hugh GrantVariety Studio: Actors on Actors,

    Hugh Grant Says Iconic 'Love Actually' Dancing Scene Was 'Absolute Hell' (EXCLUSIVE)

    It may be more than 15 years since “Love Actually” was released, but Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, and Richard Curtis have finally opened up about one of the the film’s defining moments even as the movie made surprise election-related headlines in the U.K. this week. Grant, Firth and Curtis all feature in the career retrospective [...]

  • Jenna Coleman The Cry

    Great Point Media Teams With MC Credit Partners on New Film and TV Finance Initiative

    Britain’s Great Point Media is partnering with U.S.-based institutional investor MC Credit Partners on a finance initiative to fund new film and TV projects. London-based Great Point has committed $80 million to the initiative, and MCCP will invest up to $100 million from the funds under its management. The first films and TV shows to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content