J.K. Rowling by the Numbers
By Monica Beyer
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the publishing of J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone," her debut novel that launched one of the most famous and profitable entertainment franchises in the world. Her books and the movies they spawned have introduced millions to the magical universe of Hogwarts, muggles, and quidditch -- and generated billions in revenue. Rowling's birthday is July 31 -- the same birthday she gave Harry Potter -- and she turns 52 this year. Here's a look at some of the other significant digits in her world.
Over the course of the seven Harry Potter books, J.K. Rowling has enjoyed impressive book sales. It is estimated that over 450 million copies of Harry Potter books have been printed and sold worldwide, generating estimated sales revenue nearing $8 billion. The Harry Potter books have been translated into 68 different languages.
In addition to the seven Harry Potter novels, Rowling has authored a number of related works, such as "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," and e-books, such as "Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide." Plus, under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, she's penned three detective novels, with another on the way, and under her own name, 2012's "The Casual Vacancy."
Including the recent spinoff "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," there have been nine movies stemming from the Harry Potter universe (the seventh book was split up and presented over two films).
Creating the Harry Potter world wasn't cheap -- estimated budget of all eight movies made from the books is said to be around $1.15 billion. Separately, the budget for "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" -- technically not a Harry Potter movie -- was $180 million.
Rowling has raked in a ton of dough from everything that burst forth from her Harry Potter franchise. Fortune has estimated this to be around $1.2 billion. Rowling, known for her philanthropy, was dropped from the magazine's billionaire list in 2012 after giving away $160 million.
The eight Harry Potter films were quite profitable: They raked in $7.7 billion dollars. "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" grossed $814 million worldwide.
Many actors in the Harry Potter films, such as Maggie Smith, John Hurt, and Alan Rickman, were veteran actors who brought their experience to the Potter universe. However, there were plenty of young, unknown actors brought to the set and three in particular were immediately launched into stardom, particularly Daniel Radcliffe (Harry), Rupert Grint (Ron) and Emma Watson (Hermoine).
J.K. Rowling has had her share of struggles. After an unhappy marriage led to divorce in 1993, she and her infant daughter, Jessica, spent time in Scotland while she wrote her first Harry Potter book in accommodating cafes. "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" was published in 1997, and the rest is history.
Rowling is no stranger to rejections, as her first manuscript was rejected 12 times before someone at Bloomsbury Publishing gave it a chance.
Bloomsbury didn't have a ton of confidence when they did publish Rowling's first effort, as they only churned out 500 copies.
J.K.'s first child, Jessica, was born in 1993. She also has two children with her current husband, Dr. Neil Murray: David, born in 2003, and Mackenzie, born in 2005.