Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (released in some countries as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone) is a 2001 British-American fantasy film directed by Chris Columbus and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. The film was the first instalment in the long-running Harry Potter film series, and was written by Steve Kloves and produced by David Heyman. Its story follows Harry Potter's first year at Hogwarts as he discovers that he is a famous wizard and begins his education in wizardry. The film stars Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, with Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley, and Emma Watson as Hermione Granger.
Warner Bros. bought the film rights to the book in 1999 for a reported £1 million. Production began in the United Kingdom in 2000, with Chris Columbus being chosen to create the film from a short list of directors that included Steven Spielberg and Rob Reiner. J. K. Rowling insisted that the entire cast be British or Irish, and the film was shot at Leavesden Film Studios and historic buildings around the United Kingdom.
The film was released in theatres in the United Kingdom and the United States on 16 November 2001. It received a very positive critical reception, earned more than $970 million at the box office worldwide, and was nominated for many awards including the Academy Award for Best Original Score, Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design. It was followed by seven sequels, beginning with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in 2002 and ending with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 in 2011, nearly ten years after the first film's release. As of December 2015, it is the 30th-highest-grossing film of all time and the second-highest-grossing film in the series behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2.