A Pictorial History of the Movies: 2001 – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

I couldn’t think of any other choice.

This is one of the ten most important movies for the trajectory of cinema between 1996 and 2005.

This is the movie that kicked off the big franchise trend. And YA adaptations.

It was this and another film that will be appearing shortly that really sealed the fate of cinema as it currently exists.

Oh, and it’s Harry Potter. For anyone under the age of 30, how is this franchise not one of the most important cultural touchstones of your life?

People don’t realize that before this franchise, there weren’t really any ones like this. Indiana jones and Star Wars were the parents of the modern franchise. But they stopped at three. Until this era of course. This movie started all the trends. Hell, all the movies with a split final movie are doing it because this one did it first. When they announced they were gonna turn the last book into two movies everyone went, “Well shit. How come nobody thought of that sooner? You know how many Rings movies we could have gotten out of that?”

The other thing that truly marks this as one of the most important films of its era (aside from the cultural impact it had on all of our lives. You find me anyone under the age of 30 right now and we can sit and have a conversation about Harry Potter for two hours), is that it really marked the beginning and almost the end of the franchise boom. Once this franchise ended, there was a huge black hole in the summer that Hollywood had almost not yet still recovered from. There really aren’t that any franchises you can count on anymore outside of Marvel. This was like the shark that ushered in all those littler fishes that grab onto their fins and catch free rides. (Twilight anyone?) And then when this went away they all sort of faded shortly after.

This was the highest grossing movie of 2001. And given the cultural impact this universe has had on the world, I think it’s a pretty safe choice.

And, since I am nothing if not selfish (and haven’t done it the other times the movies have come up), check out Colin and I joking around about Harry Potter in Fun with Franchises.

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