Feature Image

Harry Potter Posters - A History

The Harry Potter movie series started off with a bang back in 2001 and has kept up the momentum for the past decade to become the most successful movie series of all time.

One of the first glimpses movie-lovers get of upcoming films is the one sheet poster. Being the first look at a movie's style and direction it's often a more exciting reveal than the first trailer. In honour of the humble movie poster (and in anticipation of Deathly Hallows Part 2) we are taking a critical and nostalgic look at Harry Potter movie posters. Oh how they've grown!

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Journey beyond your imagination.
This is where it all began. The books were already a huge success and anticipation was high for the first movie. This poster shows the tone the series started on. Showing all characters and locations kids were looking for from the books, the poster follows the classic main-character-in-the-middle-surrounded-by-others layout. Cheesy tagline, amped up "magic" aspect and viola, you've got the kids movie to end all kids movies...

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
The second year begins.
The poster may have gotten darker but the series sure hadn't. Still a kid-friendly experience, the poster for Potter 2 tries to mature the look of the series but the "hilarious" side-kick joke on the left immediately camps it up. The movie is obviously being marketed as a sequel instead of a continuing story.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Something Wicked This Way Comes
With a change of director the series had a certain change in tone. Suddenly there was real evil in the Potter world, a sense of menace and mystery. This poster clearly shows the kids hiding from the kick-ass Dementors behind them. Finally the series begins to grow into something more than children's entertainment.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Dark and Difficult Times Lie Ahead
Having introduced a menacing tone in Azkaban number four brings adventure and scope to the series. The poster shows us a wider international Wizarding community while still maintining the sense of impending doom, with characters dark and shrouded in mystery.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
The Rebellion Begins
The badassness increases tenfold in this poster; the kids are grown up, independent and willing to fight evil to the bitter end. Just as the book and movie did, this poster sets up the series for the beginning of the end. Trademark Harry Potter darkness abounds.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Dark Secrets Revealed
Personally I love this poster. The films have without a doubt left the world of kid's movies and the poster reflects that. Harry appears weary, looking over his shoulder and keeping a look out for certain doom. Most notably he is alone which, for anyone who knows the story, is significant for his character in this film.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
Nowhere Is Safe
This poster, along with the tagline really says everything you need to know about the film. The kids are being hunted. The forest setting really hammers this home and the flicks of fire in the foreground implies they've been living on the run. They look dirty, disheveled and gritty. Evil is obviously just out of frame...

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
It All Ends
In terms of simplicity this poster is fittingly the best of the series. Harry vs Voldemort, it's what the decade-long saga is about and in this grand finale the final showdown will happen. Both are looking injured, dirty and worn-down from battle. The tagline calls it: "it all ends". I love the fact that this poster doesn't even need the name of the film on it. Such is the popularity of the Harry Potter series. This is the perfect teaser poster.

As an extra I'm chucking in this amazing poster below for the combined finale films showing the landmark Hogwarts Castle in ruins. It's a fantastic signal that this really is the end of the series and references the castle in the very first movie poster. Perfect.

Most Read Today

01 Mojito Cocktail Recipe

If you want to make the perfect Mojito cocktail yo...

02 Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hiddleston Interview

Two British actors talk about their roles as Major...

03 Paul Giamatti Interview

The star of Barney's Version talks about ageing ma...

04 Dominic Cooper Devil's Double Interview

The star of The Devil's Double talks about playing...

05 At The Movies - April School Holidays

Check out what's screening, where and when - the k...

Content updated: 22/07/2018 23:00

Related Features

Feature Image
View New Zealand's Alice Matcham checks out the New Zealand Premiere of Ice Age 4: Continental Drift at Queenstown's Winter Festival.
Feature Image
The cast and director of The Help talk about their time together on the film adaptation of the successful novel
Feature Image
The star and director behind Mexican gangland crime thriller Miss Bala talk about working together
Feature Image
The man behind Supersize Me brings you the lowdown on subliminal advertising in films



Hitwise Award Winner