'Harry Potter' vs. 'Twilight': Who's more popular?

Harry-potter-vs-twilight_l Who's more popular: Harry, Ron, and Hermione, or Bella and Edward? According to a recent comparison, the Hogwarts kids have the edge — except in soundtrack sales, where the folk of Forks, Washington have them beat. That might be because the Twilight soundtrack is pop songs, and the Potter soundtracks are the films' John Williams scores. Maybe.

Comparing book sales, the Potterverse is way out ahead, with a total of over 53 million books sold since 2001 — and Sorcerer's Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban,and Goblet of Fire all came out before then, so the actual number is even higher. The Twilight franchise has sold around 25 million, but it has three fewer books and fewer years on the shelf. Since 2008, though, Twilight totally wins: 1,767,272 HP books have been sold, while 22,975,112 Twilight ones have.

At the box office, Harry Potter's cuisine reigns supreme; even though Twilight brought in $36 million its opening day, that doesn't beat Sorcerer's Stone or Chamber of Secrets when their results are adjusted for inflation. Still, it's not as if a $191.4 million haul is anything to scoff at. Chin up, Twihards!

In the end, both franchises are mega-ultra-super-beloved, right? Doesn't that mean we're all winners, PopWatchers? Or can there be only one?

Read more:
Must List Live! Is the new Harry Potter movie too lovey-dovey?
Lisa Schwarzbaum's review of 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince'
Harry Potter makes EW's list of the 20 All-Time Coolest Heroes in Pop Culture
EW's 'Harry Potter' Trivia Challenge
EW University: Online 'Harry Potter' course
'Twilight' exclusive: Graphic novel version on the way!
EW's 'Twilight' HQ

Comments (514 total) Add your comment
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  • T-Rex

    It’s disgusting you’d even pose such a question. Meyers and co. are doing everything they can to cash in on the books before all their readers outgrow them while Potter is still going strong more than a decade later.

    • Up

      Isn’t twilight about to end?

  • Ceballos

    They’re obviously both incredibly popular.
    However, it seems to me like “Potter” is unbelievably popular across all demographics (young/old, male/female, multi-culti), while “Twilight” is mostly (how do I say this without getting yelled at?) for girls. (And the women who don’t think of themselves as “girls”.)

    • Elle

      I agree :] I’m a girl myself but I think Twilight stinks [yes, boo as much as you want]!

      Harry Potter is much more interesting and you just never get bored. I actually think that some girls “love” Twilight because it’s considered “cool” or whatever, which is extremely pathetic. I mean, what’s all the fuss about a vampire glowing in the effing sun?!

      Harry Potter is the most original book ever written – JK Rowling is awesome!

      • melesa

        TWILIGHT IS WAY BETTER THAN HARRY POTTER because you get all cought up in the book dieing to no more once you read twilight you wont stop ive read them 6 TIMES IN A ROW! and ROBERT THOMAS PATTISON IS SUPER HOTTTT! even in golbet of fire and so is daniel but lets face is we no whos better lookin and has the best movie TWILIGHT dont get me rong big fan of harry potter but luv TWILIGHT alot cant wait for ECLIPSE THE MOVIE!!!!!

      • Brianne

        This is for Melesa: I do not think it is a very good endorsement for Twilight when you misspelled quite a few words and forgot a large amount of puntuation while those posts about Harry Potter above yours were written clearly, consisely, and making a point about the appeal of the series as a piece of literature. I would like to hear your argument for Twilight without mentioning the physical apperence of it’s made-up characters.

      • Dobby

        I could write a novel about this, AND in all caps so I’m gonna say this slowly in case I blow up. First off, I’d like to say that of course you read them all in a row, if you read a book more than once it’s gonna have to be in a row. Second, all the characters are perfect. Everything is perfect. The vampires are extremely handsome/pretty. Edward’s a stalker, after all. How many normal people do you know that watch people sleep? Third, the Twilight books don’t have a picture. Please don’t bring the poor movie into this. And fourth, I, of course, put in my vote for Harry Potter. P.S. Melesa, I urge you to proofread (rudeness not intended).

      • Jazmine

        @Melesa If Twilight is the better movie, why does Harry Potter have the higher sales? Both book-wise AND movie-wise? I remember having to go to 5 movie theaters when Chamber of Secrets came out. I’ve never had that problem with twilight. Actually, Twilight has never even sold out in the theatres in my surrounding area. Also, it’s not about who is hotter. Daniel Radcliffe is obviously the better actor of the two. And the Twilight actors in comparison to the HP actors? There is no comparison. All the Twil characters are sooooo awkward blantanly lacking talent. I am a huge fan of the books, but the movies are terrible. They’re so boring!

      • Haley Johnson

        i am a twilight fan. not because edward’s hot or jacob’s hot because the books are great! I am a true fan for books not the two guys

      • Avery

        I disagree. I think Twilight is waaay more boring than HP. There is waaay more action and it’s not just about soppy gross lovey dovey stuff!

  • Here We Go

    Are you guys looking for a flame war because that is EXACTLY is what will happen in the comment section of this post.

  • Denise

    I’m a fan of them both, but Harry Potter is still the thing to beat. It’s unfair to look at their numbers since 2008, since that’s when Twilight is/was peaking and Deathly Hallows had been out for a year. I think you have to just compare their numbers adjusted for the number of books or whatever.

    • Samatha

      Why is it unfair to look at the numbers? Twilight has been out since 2005. I seem to remember the craze starting about a year – maybe a little more – ago. That’s 3 or 4 years with virtually no one knowing who the heck Stephanie Meyer was OR her books. Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone came out in 1997, and it took a year – maybe a little more – for the craze to start and spread like a wildfire. Thats a one or two year difference between how long it took the craze to begin.

      • LBC2010

        She’s not saying its unfair to compare numbers, just that you cant take the numbers from 2008 with fairness. Harry Potter is simply older than Twilight, and it was hugely popular before. Twilight is hugely popular now, but has not made the same amount of sales in total that HP has, and it never will because Twilight is for screaming 13 year old girls, while anyone who can read can find a connection in the HP books. I read all tht Twi books, and found them rather boring. Meyer’s character develeopment is marvelous, but her plot development is extremely lacking.

  • Hannah

    The newest Harry Potter film raked in $22 million **from midnight sales alone.** That’ a good OPENING WEEKEND, let alone sales from one set of showings. Add that to $4.5 billion (and fast climbing) in movie tickets and some 400 million copies of the books in dozens of languages. Throw in fandom things like butterbeer recipes, Potter pals, fan fiction, clothing, the musical, etc.
    All due respect to Twilight, there’s no comparison. None.

  • Kirsten

    Obviously, based on book sales, Harry Potter has sold more books.
    Also, as a film franchise, HP has had 6 big-budget films. It has had time to sufficiently grow into a great film series.
    As a film series, Twilight is just starting out. The first film sucked for several reasons (bad score, bad special effects, terrible editing, the awful blue tint, ridiculous dialogue, and Catherine’s desire to turn it into a quirky/eerie action film instead of a classic love story). That being said, 6 months before its release nobody knew what Twilight was. It went from being NOWHERE, to being EVERYWHERE. Also, the DVD sales show that the DVD sold like the DVD of a film that made 260 mill domestically at the box office. HP and the POA made 240 mill. It’s clear that the Twilight fandom is growing exponentially and continuously. The release of the first TEASER trailer was RECORD-BREAKING in terms of how many views it received.
    (continued in next comment)

  • TJ

    Is this even a question?? HP wins hands down!
    The first Twilight movie was absolutely horrendous. If you’re over the age of 16 and you enjoyed that movie then you probably need a life counselor.

    • DGom

      :) Agreed.

      • Chory

        Of course HarPot is better…. Let see from the genre. It can be watched by everyone, and the story really teach so many things to our life. How important the value of friendship, love, and life….
        You can find it in TWILIGHT

    • racheal

      i agree harry potter would still beat it if twilight was around as much as harry potter

  • Kirsten

    Obviously, right now, Harry Potter is the more successful film series.
    But, it’s clear to me that New Moon has the potential to do EXTREMELY well at the box office, based on its ever-growing fanbase.
    Also, one should keep in mind that overall book sales don’t necessarily predict box office gross. If that were the case, Passion of the Christ (based on the bible-the best selling book ever) would have been more successful than the Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King, which obviously wasn’t the case. It doesn’t always matter which series/book sold more copies “total”. Often what matters is what’s selling right now.
    My point is: HP is obviously extremely successful.
    The Twilight film franchise is nowhere near that yet, and it may never be, but I think it has the potential to do very well. I wouldn’t underestimate the franchise or its fans.

  • Jon

    Time will crown HP as the winner. HP has proven lasting appeal not to much a much wider fan base. Twilight is more of a tween fad that will die away when its fan reach their 20’s. People like myslef have grown up with HP and I will most likely keep these books forever, I cant say the same for Twilight or its fans.

    • LBC2010


  • Trish

    I agree with Kirsten. Twilight (the film series) has just begun, who knows how well it could do? Based on its fans, I think it could do extremely well.
    Also, a common misconception is that most Twilight fans are “tweens”, just like a common misconception about HP (when the first film came out) was that most of its fans were kids. Both series actually have a LOT of adult fans (although I’ll definitely agree that most Twilight fans are women).

  • Trish

    I agree with Kirsten. Twilight (the film series) has just begun, who knows how well it could do? Based on its fans, I think it could do extremely well.
    Also, a common misconception is that most Twilight fans are “tweens”, just like a common misconception about HP (when the first film came out) was that most of its fans were kids. Both series actually have a LOT of adult fans (although I’ll definitely agree that most Twilight fans are women).

  • Kate

    How convenient for the article to mainly point out post-2008 book sales. Well duh Potter sales have gone down since then, seeing as the last book came out in ’07.
    I don’t think anyone denies that Twilight is popular. But it seems like the kind of popularity that will burn hard for a few years and then flicker out. Potter is going on TEN YEARS, and will be about 14-15 years strong when DH2 comes out. If anyone still cares about Twilight in 2015, I’ll be impressed.
    And whining about how Twilight “was just starting out” as an excuse for a weak first film is hilarious. Potter films were “just starting out” when Sorcerer’s Stone came out, and yet it still made $317 million in the U.S. alone. Twilight made $30-odd million its opening day. Prince just tallied more than $20 million from midnight alone.
    Can this debate finally be over, please? PLEASE?

  • Sara

    Harry Potter is a series with broad appeal – not that everyone likes it, but it’s popular with kids, teens, adults, boys and girls. It’s also, you know, really good, with a universal story of good triumphing over evil. Twilight appeals almost exclusively to a small number of girls and women, and is really just cheesy romance dressed up in fantasy stuff. Is that enough to make it successful? Yes, but not enough to maintain popularity in the long run.

    • Chory

      Of course HarPot is better…. Let see from the genre. It can be watched by everyone, and the story really teach so many things to our life. How important the value of friendship, love, and life….
      You can NOT find it in TWILIGHT

    • Ming Xi

      One point I would like to make though, is love.
      You get love in Twilight, no denying that. Soppy, cheesy, stereotypical love. Romantic love; I think that’s the only type of love you find in Twilight.
      In Harry Potter, Rowling truly shows that love is the strongest power there is. It was LOVE that made Harry survive when he was a baby. It was LOVE that Ron and Hermione showed to Harry that they decided to accompany him on his journey. It was LOVE that Harry showed Ginny when he decided to leave her to protect her. (One point: Edward leaves Bella to protect her because he loves her, Bella dies. Harry leaves Ginny to protect her because he loves her, Ginny lives on. Ginny all the way!!)It was LOVE that binded the Three Hallows; the true Master of Death. How genius is that? Stephanie Meyer should take lessons.

  • rob

    watch robert pattinson

  • Brittany

    I don’t think that anyone is using the fact that it “just started out” as an excuse. In my opinion, the first film sucked. I hope that the next one will be better. And I agree with others that this fanbase is CLEARLY growing. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
    There’s no doubt that Harry Potter has done INSANELY well, so even if Twilight ends up doing extremely well, it’s not like that takes anything away from Harry Potter.

    • frey

      I think kristen stewart is beautiful and twillight is better

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