Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is a 2002 fantasy film directed by Chris Columbus and based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. It is the second instalment in the Harry Potter film series, written by Steve Kloves and produced by David Heyman. The story follows Harry Potter's second year at Hogwarts as the Heir of Salazar Slytherin opens the Chamber of Secrets, unleashing a deadly monster that petrifies the school's pupils. The film stars Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, alongside Rupert Grint and Emma Watson as Harry's best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. It is the sequel to Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and is followed by Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
It was released on 15 November 2002 in the UK and North America. The film was very well received at the box office, making $879 million USD worldwide and is the 24th highest-grossing film of all time. The seventh highest grossing film in the Harry Potter series. It was nominated for three BAFTA Film Awards in 2003.
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, at Number Four Privet Drive, Little Whinging, of the Dursleys' home. It was shot on location on the Isle of Man and in several places in Great Britain; 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. The famous cloisters of Gloucester Cathedral were used as the setting for Hogwart's School. Filming finished in the summer of 2002.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets premiered in the UK on 3 November 2002 and in the United States and Canada on 14 November 2002 before its widespread release on 15 November, one year after the Philosopher's Stone. The film broke multiple records upon its opening. In the U.S. and Canada the film opened to an $88.4 million opening weekend at 3,682 cinemas, the third largest opening at the time, behind Spider-Man and the film's 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. It went on to make £54.8 million in the UK, the fifth biggest tally of all time in the region 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 worldwide behind The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and the fourth higheset-grossing film in the U.S. and Canada that year with $261 million behind Spider-Man, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, and Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones. However, it was the number one film of the year at the non-American box office making $617 million compared to The Two Towers' $584.5 million.
The film's reviews were generally positive and it currently holds an 83% "Certified Fresh" approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes (the fourth most favourably reviewed Harry Potter film on the site) and a score of 63 out of 100 at Metacritic representing "generally favourable reviews" (the least favourably 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 also said the film was excessively long, but praised it for being darker and more dramatic, saying that its confidence and intermittent flair to give it a life of its own apart of the books was something The Philosopher's Stone never achieved. A. O. Scott 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".
Peter Travers from The Rolling Stone condemned the film for being over-long 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 which 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".
Preparing for a visit from Uncle Vernon Dursley's boss, the Dursleys send Harry to his room. Harry finds Dobby the house elf, who warns against returning to Hogwarts. When Harry refuses, Dobby causes havoc in the house and frames Harry for ruining Vernon's meeting. Vernon locks Harry in his room to prevent his return to Hogwarts. Ron, Fred, and George Weasley arrive in their flying car to rescue Harry and take him to The Burrow, their home. Harry meets Ron's younger sister, Ginny, who is about to begin at Hogwarts and has a crush on Harry. Harry also meets Ron's father, Arthur Weasley; he had met Mrs. Weasley the previous year. Harry and the Weasleys travel to Diagon Alley by Floo Powder. While shopping, Harry meets Gilderoy Lockhart, a famous wizard and author, and later Draco Malfoy and his father, Lucius, who praise Voldemort and deride Harry, Hermione and the Weasleys.
At King's Cross Station, though the rest of the Weasleys reach Platform 9 3/4 without trouble, Harry and Ron find the magical barrier blocked; as a result, they miss the Hogwarts Express. Harry and Ron take the flying car and reach Hogwarts, but accidentally land in the school's Whomping Willow. Ron's wand is broken and the car behaves erratically, ejecting the boys and driving itself into the Forbidden Forest. When Harry and Ron enter Hogwarts they are seen by Snape, who scolds them for flying the car to Hogwarts and nearly expels them. Professor McGonagall and Professor Dumbledore arrive and McGonagall defends the boys and tells them they will receive detention only.
Shortly after the start of term, Harry begins hearing an ominous, icy, cold voice coming from inside the walls, starting in his detention with Lockhart. Harry, Ron and Hermione find the message "The Chamber of Secrets has been opened. Enemies of the heir, beware" written in blood across a wall and discover that caretaker Argus Filch's cat has been petrified. Legend has it that the Chamber of Secrets can only be opened by the Heir of Slytherin; it is said to be the home of a creature that will only obey the Heir. Harry suspects the Heir is Malfoy. Gilderoy Lockhart, hired to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts, offers a dueling club. At the meeting Draco conjures a snake that Harry discovers he can talk to. Hermione explains that he is a Parselmouth like Salazar Slytherin, a connection that causes the school to believe Harry is his Heir. The three brew Polyjuice Potion to disguise themselves as Malfoy's friends Crabbe and Goyle, and interrogate Malfoy, but learn that he is not the Heir.
In a bathroom Harry finds a book with nothing written in it that belonged to someone named Tom Marvolo Riddle. Through the enchanted book Harry sees events that happened fifty years ago when Tom was a student. Tom's memories incriminate Hagrid as the Heir.
Over the course of the school year, Colin Creevey, Justin Finch-Fletchley, Hermione and even the Gryffindor ghost Sir Nicholas are found petrified, and Tom Riddle's diary goes missing. Harry and Ron decide to see Hagrid, but before they can speak to him Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge and Lucius Malfoy arrive. While Ron and Harry hide, the visitors tell Hagrid they are suspending Dumbledore as headmaster and arresting Hagrid under suspicion of having opened the Chamber. Before Hagrid is taken away he tells Ron and Harry to follow the spiders into the Forbidden Forest for the truth. They do so and meet Aragog, a giant spider thought to have killed a student fifty years ago. Aragog reveals that he is not the monster who killed the student and that Hagrid is innocent. Aragog's sons and daughters attack Harry and Ron, but the flying car rescues them.
Harry and Ron learn from a piece of paper in Hermione's hand that the monster is a basilisk and overhear the teachers saying that Ginny has been taken into the Chamber. Lockhart is sent to find the Chamber and save Ginny, but tries to escape until Harry and Ron catch him. It turns out Lockhart's past is false; he used memory-erasing charms on witches and wizards to take credit for their accomplishments. The three find the chamber entrance in Moaning Myrtle's (the girl who died the first time the Chamber opened) bathroom and enter to find a giant snake skin. Lockhart tries stopping Harry and Ron using a memory charm, but it backfires. Lockhart loses his memory and part of the Chamber caves in, separating Harry from the others. Harry finds Ginny and Tom Riddle appears, explaining that he is a memory preserved in the diary. Riddle tells Harry that he is taking over Ginny's soul so that he may regain power. Harry learns that Riddle is Slytherin's Heir and is Lord Voldemort in his teenage form. Riddle sends the basilisk to kill Harry but Dumbledore's phoenix, Fawkes, attacks the basilisk's eyes. Fawkes gives Harry the Sorting Hat, in which appears the Sword of Godric Gryffindor. Harry impales the basilisk in the roof of its mouth, killing it. However a fang stabs his arm.
Harry destroys Voldemort/Riddle by piercing the diary with the fang. Ginny regains consciousness and finds Harry dying, but Fawkes heals Harry's wound with his tears. Dumbledore is returned to the school and Hagrid is released from Azkaban. Dumbledore assuages Harry's concerns of his worthiness to belong to Gryffindor House by pointing out that only a true member could have summoned Godric's sword. Learning that Lucius gave the diary to Ginny and that Dobby serves the Malfoys, Harry tricks Lucius into freeing him from servitude. Everyone who has been petrified is restored. At the year end's feast, Hagrid is welcomed back by a roaring applause.
In a post-credits scene, a new Gilderoy Lockhart book is on display at Flourish & Blotts, entitled "WHO AM I?" and depicting an amnesiac, confused Lockhart in a straitjacket.
Hugh Grant was originally cast as Gilderoy Lockhart but was forced to withdraw at the last moment because of scheduling conflicts.
Zoë Wanamaker does not appear in this film as Hogwarts' flying instructor, Madam Hooch, as Wanamaker found the salary unsatisfying. Her character was written out by giving Hooch's speaking lines to McGonagall and other characters.
Christian Coulson landed the role as Tom Riddle, even though he was 23 and exceeded the 15-17 age group set for auditions.
Fourteen Ford Anglias were destroyed to create the scene where Harry and Ron crash into the Whomping Willow.
During the shoot, the part of Dobby was played by a ball on a stick (he was added digitally later, of course).
The train station interior used in the film is King's Cross in North London, whereas the exterior shot is actually St. Pancras. The two stations are adjacent to one another, but not the same building. This was done because the architecture of St. Pancras is much more visually appealing.
A cinema manager in Stavanger, Norway reported that the film was making his younger patrons ill. Evidently many children who had overindulged on sweets and popcorn were throwing up when Ron begins vomiting giant slugs. "It is not a particularly fun task for our employees to have to wash away the sick," he said.
Some of the portraits in Hogwarts are actually faces of production designer Stuart Craig and executive producer Mark Radcliffe.
A gag from the book is rendered incomprehensible in the film, due to lack of information. While chatting with the Grangers at the bookshop, Mr. Weasley says, "I understand that other Muggles are afraid of you." This is because they are dentists.
A story circulated that Emma Watson broke her left wrist during filming and that you can just see a little bit of the cast under her sleeve in some scenes, but it turned out to be false.
The tapestries hanging in the Gryffindor Common Room are copies of the "Lady and the Unicorn" series, a set of 16th century tapestries that are now displayed in the Cluny Museum in Paris.
The Weasleys' car registration number is 7990 TD.
All four of director Chris Columbus's children appear in this movie. Eleanor Columbus plays Susan Bones (also plays her in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone), Brendan Columbus plays a boy in study hall, Violet Columbus plays the little girl with flowers, and Isabella Columbus plays the little girl in the bookstore.
In the UK, this became the first movie to achieve a million DVD sales in its first weekend.
Nurses were drafted into the production when an outbreak of head lice occurred among the young cast.
Tickets for the film went on sale in Britain more than a month before the film was due to open.
The Weasley's car is a Ford Anglia. This is actually the same color and model car that author J.K. Rowling and her best friend from school used to ride around in when they were younger. She used the car for the book, and later the movie, out of her fond memories driving in it.
The salute that Snape and Lockhart, and Harry and Draco, make during their Dueling Club session, is a modified version of the salute made in fencing.
Through advance ticket sales at Odeon cinemas, the film generated more than £1 million (roughly 200,000 tickets) before its release in the UK. An additional £8 million was generated through preview showings at UK cinemas (both Odeon and non-Odeon).
Kate Duchêne, who plays Miss Hardbroom on the TV series The Worst Witch was reportedly offered a role in the movie but supposedly declined.
On an episode of Have I Got News for You broadcast around this film's release, the panelists discuss an article claiming that the Russian President (later Premier) Vladimir Putin was deeply disturbed and offended that Dobby the House elf seemed to have been created in his image. There is an undeniable resemblance either way.
Full-size models replaced the actors in scenes where their characters have been petrified.
In order to create a realistic image of the floating set of needles (knitting in The Burrow), one of the crew coerced his mother to let them film her for several hours as she did her own knitting.
Due to schedule conflicts, John Williams was not able to deliver a fully elaborated score. Composer-arranger William Ross was hired to adapt Williams' material to complete the film's score and was subsequently conducting the orchestra during the recording sessions.
The film earned over $88 million in the US on its opening weekend, which at the time placed it third in the all-time biggest opening behind Spider-Man and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.
Robbie Coltrane had to turn down a part in The West Wing to reprise his role as Hagrid.
Daniel Radcliffe was initially only offered £125,000 (approximately US $181,500) for this film. The actors' union, Equity, stepped in and negotiated new terms which increased his salary to roughly £2,000,000 (US $3,000,000).
Many Harry Potter fans went to see Scooby-Doo just to see a trailer for this film.
The title used by the crew to disguise the shoot (and printed on the clapper boards) was "Incident on 57th Street", the title of a 1973 Bruce Springsteen song.
Young Hagrid is played by Martin Bayfield, who stands in for Robbie Coltrane as his height double in all the Potter films. His voice is dubbed by Coltrane, for the sake of consistency.
Shirley Henderson, who played Moaning Myrtle, is the oldest actress (age 37) to portray a Hogwarts student.
When Hagrid is escorting Harry out of Knockturn Alley, and again when Lockhart turns to show his other profile to the photographer, hardcover editions of Harry Potter books can be seen on the shelves.
The second of eight movies based on the Harry Potter book series by J.K. Rowling.
According to Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling, Moaning Myrtle was a member of Ravenclaw House.
The opal necklace, which plays an important role in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, can briefly be glimpsed inside a display case in Borgin and Burkes' shop in Knockturn Alley when Harry first enters.
During production, Emma Watson frequently brought her pet hamster Millie on set. Unfortunately, Millie passed away shortly after shooting began. The set department for the film created a specially-made hamster coffin, complete with velvet lining and the name "Millie" engraved on the top. "I don't think a hamster has ever had a better send-off." Watson said.
Jude Law was deemed too young to play Gilderoy Lockhart.
During the Quidditch Match, some of the music used while Harry and Draco chase the Golden Snitch was used during the speeder chase scene in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. John Williams did both scores.
In a bit of foreshadowing that is only seen in the movie version, Lucius Malfoy takes one book out of Ginny Weasley's cauldron, but drops two back in.
Although the subplot which involved Percy Weasley and Penelope Clearwater (when Ginny discovered them kissing and promised not to tell anybody) was cut, whilst Nearly Headless Nick is on his way to the Great Hall, he does say: "Hello Percy, Ms Clearwater," to the couple as they walk out.
When Hagrid charges into Dumbledore's office to defend Harry, he is carrying a dead rooster in his hands. This is in reference to a scene in the book (cut from the movie) where Hagrid finds all the roosters dead. The sound of a cock-crow is fatal to a basilisk.
The script originally said that Hermione would hug Harry and Ron in the final scene. As the then 11-year-old Emma Watson was embarrassed about having to hug the boys in front of the entire cast, Chris Columbus allowed her to change the scene so that Hermione just hugs Harry then starts to hug Ron but the two get embarrassed and resolve to only shake hands. Watson also stated in a recent interview that she kept letting Daniel Radcliffe go too quickly, so the film was "frozen" for a few seconds to make the hug look like it lasted longer than it actually did. Her hesitation with Ron is also taken by fans as a precursor to the relationship that will develop between the two characters.
When Lucius Malfoy tries to curse Harry at the end, he mutters,"Avada..." As mentioned in the 4th book, this is the beginning of an Unforgivable Curse named Avada Kedavra, or the killing curse.
Foreign language translations had to change Tom Marvolo Riddle's name so that an appropriate anagram could be formed from "I am Lord Voldemort." In Spanish, his name became "Tom Sorvolo Ryddle," which transforms into "Soy Lord Voldemort." In French, his name is "Tom Elvis Jedusor," which becomes "Je suis Voldemort." In Dutch, his name is "Marten Asmodom Vilijn" which is an anagram for "Mijn naam is Voldemort". In Turkish the name is "Tom Marvoldo Riddle" which makes up "Adim Lord Voldemort". In Brazilian Portuguese the name is "Tom Servolo Riddle" which makes up "Eis Lord Voldemort". In danish, his name is "Romeo G. Detlev Jr." which makes up "Jeg er Voldemort".