|Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets|
|Released:||15 November 2002 (UK, US)|
28 November 2002 (AUS)
|Budget:||GB£50.7 million (US$100 million)|
|Gross:||GB£445.7 million (US$878,643,482)|
|Preceded By:||Philosopher's Stone|
|Followed By:||Prisoner of Azkaban|
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is a 2002 fantasy adventure film, and the second film in the popular Harry Potter series, based on the novel by J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. The film was released on 15 November 2002 in the UK and US and 28 November in AUS (exactly three weeks after the death of Richard Harris, who portrayed Albus Dumbledore in the first film). Returning to work on the film were director Chris Columbus, screenwriter Steven Kloves, and producer David Heyman.
Most of the major cast and crew from Philosopher's Stone (also known as Sorcerer's Stone) returned for Chamber of Secrets, including child stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint. However, it was the last appearance by Richard Harris as Dumbledore (and also Harris's last film) and the last Harry Potter film directed by Columbus. New key actors included Kenneth Branagh as Gilderoy Lockhart and Jason Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy.
The film was very well received at the box office making $879 million USD worldwide. The film was nominated for three BAFTA Film Awards in 2003.
The Dursleys are preparing for a visit from Uncle Vernon Dursley's boss. When Harry is locked in his room during the visit, he first encounters Dobby the house elf. Dobby warns him not to go back to Hogwarts because there are rumors of dangerous things being plotted. When Harry refuses to not return to Hogwarts, the house elf, in a blackmail attempt, hovers a cake over the head of Uncle Vernon's boss and drops it. Thinking that Harry did it, Vernon puts bars on Harry's windows so he cannot make an escape to Hogwarts. All of Uncle Vernon's efforts fail however, when Ron, Fred, and George Weasley arrive in their flying car to rescue Harry and flee the Dursley home.
The four arrive at The Burrow, the family home of the Weasleys. Mrs Weasley catches the four coming in, and while ensuring Harry that she is not blaming him, yells at her three sons for their carelessness. She tells the boys that they could have been seen by "Muggles" (non-magical people) as they flew through the air. As underage wizards are strictly forbidden to perform magic in the presence of unknowing Muggles, their stunt could have easily resulted in their expulsion from Hogwarts. Harry then meets Ginny, the youngest Weasley child and the only girl, and Ron's father, Arthur Weasley, during a typical Weasley family breakfast. The five student-aged Weasleys — including Percy Weasley — receive letters from Hogwarts from their owls. Booklists in hand, the Weasleys soon leave for Diagon Alley. Harry has never used Floo Powder — the Weasleys' chosen method of transportation — and is unsure of himself. In his nervousness, he accidentally pronounces "Diagon Alley" as "diagonally", landing himself in Knockturn Alley. Fortunately, Hagrid happens upon him, leading him to Diagon Alley and reuniting him with the Weasleys and Hermione Granger.
Harry meets Gilderoy Lockhart, a famous wizard and author, who is signing copies of his new book inside a crowded Diagon Alley bookstore. Lockhart, recognizing the famous Harry Potter, pulls him out of the large crowd and announces his presence to the excited on-lookers. Lockhart announces that Harry will be receiving a copy of his new book about his encounters with dark magic and dangerous creatures. The Daily Prophet, a newspaper in the wizarding community, takes a picture of the two famous wizards for the front page. Mrs. Weasley is extremely excited because she is a big fan of Lockhart. After Harry escapes the sudden spotlight, he and the others purchase their school books and prepare to leave. Harry runs into Draco Malfoy's father Lucius, who could not help but see Harry's scar. There appears to be tension between Lucius and Mr. Weasley due to Lucius's seemingly haughty attitude.
The next scene begins September 1 in King's Cross Station. The entire Weasley family, excluding Ron, cross through the magical barrier to Platform 9 3/4 with ease. Harry and Ron then try, but they cannot go through; as a result, they miss the Hogwarts Express. Mr. Weasley had brought them all to the station in the flying car, so Harry and Ron steal it and follow the train to Hogwarts. They land in the Whomping Willow, where the car is wrecked and Ron's wand is broken. They are ejected from the car with their luggage and the magical car takes off, leaving them behind. Harry and Ron are caught by the Hogwarts caretaker, Argus Filch, and brought before Professor Severus Snape to be punished. Before Snape can expel the pair, Headmaster Albus Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall arrive. As head of Gryffindor House, only McGonagall has the authority to punish the boys, not Snape. She gives the two detention not just for arriving after the feast and having missed the train, but also for having been seen by "no less than seven Muggles" whilst leaving the station in the flying car. Later Ron receives a howler from his mother, screaming at him for taking the car, but also congratulating Ginny for being sorted into Gryffindor.
During the school year, Harry begins to hear voices, find people Petrified and find writing on the walls in blood. Harry, Hermione and Ron try to figure out about how the Chamber of Secrets was opened and who opened it. They decide to make a Polyjuice potion to disguise themselves as Crabbe and Goyle and talk to Malfoy to find out if he is the Heir to Slytherin. It turns out that he isn't. Soon the whole school finds out Harry can talk to snakes, and thinks that he opened the chamber. Harry finds a book in the girls' bathroom with no writing into it. It belonged to Tom Marvolo Riddle, who came to the school fifty years ago. He is then sent back in time and learns that Hagrid had opened the Chamber fifty years ago.
Things get much worse when Hermione is found petrified and Tom Riddle's diary goes missing. Harry and Ron turn up at Hagrid's hut in the middle of the night and Cornelius Fudge, the Minister for Magic, shows up to take Hagrid to Azkaban, the magical prison. Lucius Malfoy arrives to suspend Dumbledore from the school on behalf of the governors of the school. Before Hagrid is taken away, he gives the two twelve-year-olds a clue to follow the spiders into the Dark Forest. They meet Aragog, a famed giant spider, whom they thought killed a Mudblood (a derogatory term for a witch or wizard with non-magical parents) fifty years ago. Hagrid was innocent, but Aragog turns on them and send his children spiders to attack the two wizards for fresh meat. The flying car magically shows up and they make a fast escape.
Now knowing that Hagrid was innocent, Harry and Ron find out (from a piece of paper in Hermione's hand) that the monster responsible for the petrification attacks is a basilisk. But they also find another message from the heir and the teachers say that a student has been taken into the chamber. It is then revealed that Ginny Weasley is the victim. Gilderoy Lockhart, the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, was chosen to go down into the chamber to save Ginny, but he tries to make an escape until Harry and Ron catch him. This was because it turns out Lockhart's famous past was false. The three find the chamber entrance in the girls' bathroom and they enter to find a giant snake skin. Lockhart tries to stop Harry and Ron using a memory charm but it backfires because he tries to use Ron's broken wand. Lockhart ends up losing his memory and the spell causes a rock fall, which separates Harry from the others. Harry goes on alone and finds Ginny's body. Tom Riddle shows up telling him that he is beginning to get much stronger. Then Harry learns that Tom is the Heir to Slytherin House and is Lord Voldemort in his teenage form. Riddle sends the basilisk to kill Harry but ends up losing the giant snake because Dumbledore's phoenix Fawkes attacks the Basilisk's eyes. Harry finds the Sword of Gryffindor and pierces the snake’s head. Unfortunately, a fang also pierces Harry's right arm.
Harry, who is dying from the fang's poison, defeats Tom Riddle, by piercing the diary with the fang retrieved from his own arm. Ginny comes round and finds Harry hurt but Fawkes answers Harry's loyalty to Dumbledore and heals Harry's wound with his tears. Then Harry, Ron, Ginny and Lockhart leave the chamber pulled by Fawkes. Dumbledore gives Ron the task to send a letter to Azkaban to release Hagrid, and Harry discovers that Voldemort has transferred his parseltongue (snake language) powers by accident into his scar. In addition, the fact that Harry had used Godric Gryffindor's sword means he must belong in Gryffindor House. Harry soon finds out that Dobby serves the Malfoys and tricks Lucius Malfoy into giving the house elf a sock, thereby freeing him from servitude. Everyone who is petrified is re-animated and before starting the end-of-year feast, Hagrid returns (late as is usual, due to some 'ruddy owl called Errol' getting lost while delivering his release papers), and everyone cheers his arrival. After school ends, Diagon Alley is shown. In the window of the bookshop is Lockhart's new book, "Who Am I?", with the cover image being Lockhart in a straitjacket.
See also: List of Harry Potter films cast members.
Production for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets began on 19 November 2001, just three days after the widespread release of the first Harry Potter film. Shooting first took place in Surrey, England as Number Four Privet Drive, Little Whinging of the Dursleys' Home. It was shot on location on the Isle of Man, in several places in Great Britain, and at Leavesden Film Studios in London made several scenes for Hogwarts. Mr Weasley's Car was created from a Ford Anglia. Other locations were shot in England, including a Hogwarts Express set in King's Cross railway station Platform 9¾. Filming finished in the summer of 2002.
Hugh Grant is said to be first choice for the role of Gilderoy Lockhart but due to reported scheduling conflicts he was unable to play the character. On 25 October 2001, Kenneth Branagh was selected as Grant's replacement.
Frank Oz claims in interviews he was given the chance to direct a Harry Potter movie, however does not remember exactly which one, but strongly feels it was this, the second film. But he turned it down as he had no interest, because he felt he'd done too many big things http://www.avclub.com/content/interview/frank_oz/2.
The film's soundtrack was released on 12 November 2002, three days before the film was released. The film's scores were composed by John Williams as he did from the first film's score, with some new material written by composer William Ross from adaptations of Williams' score, when he was unavailable due to time constraints. The soundtrack was conducted by William Ross. A video game based on the film was also released in 2002 on 14 November, a day before the film was widely released.
Very few plotlines are entirely absent from the film adaptation, although some are condensed because of time considerations. Many of the more truncated themes were originally written in a more comprehensive form, but did not make the final cut. Many of these are included on the DVD edition as deleted scenes, including the Malfoys in Borgin and Burkes, Gilderoy Lockhart giving a pop quiz (all about himself) on the first day of Defence Against the Dark Arts class, and several discussions about Harry being the heir of Slytherin. The Death Day party sequence from the book is omitted in the film, as is the related subplot of Nearly Headless Nick trying to join the Headless Hunt (as a result, the character is reduced to a cameo appearance in the film). A sequence in which Harry gets an embarassing Valentine from Ginny is also removed.
In the book, whilst flying to Hogwarts, Harry and Ron see the Hogwarts Express from the sky, described as "a scarlet snake" moving below. In the film, Ron drops the car down the tracks and the train appears right behind them, causing Ron to steer the car wildly around, during which Harry almost falls out of the car whilst suspended above the train below.
The only significant deviation from the literary canon is in the effects of the Polyjuice Potion. In the book, the Potion causes the drinker to assume the exact appearance of the target, including their voice and any disabilities (such as poor eyesight). In the film adaptation, while the potion alters Harry and Ron's appearance, their voices were left unchanged to reduce confusion. This alteration is not present (see retroactive continuity) in subsequent Harry Potter films - in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Barty Crouch Jr, under the influence of the potion, perfectly assumes the voice of Alastor Moody. Another noticeable feature is the fact that Harry's eyesight remained unaltered since he could wear his glasses without distorting Goyle's vision.
A few characters were removed from the script and their lines reassigned to other characters. In particular, the ghost Professor Binns is absent from the film, so his expository scene about the Chamber of Secrets is instead given by Professor McGonagall. The poltergeist Peeves is also absent from the film, as in all the other film adaptations. Furthermore, the conversation between a young Tom Riddle and Armando Dippet regarding Hogwarts' possible closure seen in the diary flashback instead occurs between Riddle and Dumbledore in the film.
The film's reviews were generally positive and it currently garners an 82% "Certified Fresh" approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes (the second most favorably reviewed Harry Potter film on the site) and a score of 63 out of 100 at Metacritic representing "generally favourable reviews" (the least favorably reviewed Harry Potter film on the site). Roger Ebert called The Chamber of Secrets "a phenomenal film" and gave the film 4 out of 4 stars, especially praising the set design. Entertainment Weekly commended the film for being better and darker than its predecessor: "And among the things this Harry Potter does very well indeed is deepen the darker, more frightening atmosphere for audiences. This is as it should be: Harry's story is supposed to get darker". Richard Roeper praised the directing and the films faithfulness to the book, saying: "Chris Columbus, the director, does a real wonderful job of being faithful to the story but also taking it into a cinematic era". Variety called the film "a bit overlong", but praised the film for being darker and more dramatic than The Philosopher's Stone: "it possesses a confidence and intermittent flair that begin to give it a life of its own apart of the literary franchise, something the initial picture never achieved". Dana Stevens from The New York Times said: "instead of feeling stirred you may feel battered and worn down, but not, in the end, too terribly disappointed".
Some negative criticism came from Peter Travers from The Rolling Stone condemning the film for being overlong and too faithful to the book: "Once again, director Chris Columbus takes a hat-in-hand approach to Rowling that stifles creativity and allows the film to drag on for nearly three hours". Kenneth Turan from The Los Angeles Times called the film "a cliché" and noted: "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is deja vu all over again, it's likely that whatever you thought of the first production -- pro or con -- you'll likely think of this one".
The film Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets premiered in the UK on 3 November 2002 and in USA on 14 November 2002 before its widespread release on 15 November, one year after the Philosopher's Stone film (16 November 2001). It was the second film to earn a "PG" rating by the Motion Picture Association of America film rating system. The film broke multiple records upon its opening all over the world. In the U.S. the film opened to an $88.4 million opening weekend, third biggest all-time at the time, behind only Spider-Man and its predecessor Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. In the United Kingdom the film broke all opening records that were previously held by The Philosopher's Stone. It made £18.9 million during its opening including previews and £10.9 million excluding previews, both extraordinary records. It went on to make £54.8 million in the U.K., the fifth biggest tally of all time at the time.
The film made a total of $879 million worldwide, which made it the fifth highest-grossing film ever at the time. It was the second highest grossing film of 2002 behind worldwide. However, it was the number one film of the year at the non-American box office making about $617 million compared to The Two Towers $584.5 million. To this day it remains as one of the highest-grossing films of all time, at number 14. Chamber of Secrets has become the 4th highest Potter film in the film series and was the longest film (161 minutes) in the film series.
While Chamber of Secrets was a financial success, it should be noted that it sold about 20% less tickets than its immediate predecessor, a steep drop-off. In the U.S. and Canada, it is the second lowest-grossing Harry Potter film.
The film made it's way into the Guiness Book of World Records in 2003, for Most Theaters Shown in on Opening Night, with over 2,000 theaters showing it at the exact same time across the United States alone, this would be beaten the following year by Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
On 14 January 2003, Chamber of Secrets won the award for "Best Live Action Family Film" in the Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards. It was nominated for seven Saturn Awards including for "Best Director", "Best Fantasy Film" and "Best Performance by a Younger Actor" for Daniel Radcliffe. The film was nominated for four BAFTA Awards and a Grammy Award for John Williams' score.
The film was originally released in the US and Canada on 11 April 2003 on both VHS tape and in a 2-disc Special Edition DVD digipack. On 11 December 2007, the Blu-Ray and HD DVD versions of the film were released alongside a bare-bones single-disc DVD release with minimal special features.