Ah, Harry Potter. We’re just as obsessed with it now as we were when the Philosopher’s Stone was first published in 1997. Since lockdown, there have been a number of treats on offer for Potterheads – whether you were attempting the 3,000 piece Harry Potter puzzle, trying out the Harry Potter virtual escape room or perusing the online exhibition.
And considering we’ve had so many years to watch the films over and over (and over) again, you’d think we knew everything there was to know about them by now. But, you’d be wrong.
Did you realise that one of the main characters only has 31 minutes of screen time throughout the entire series?
That’s right. Tom Felton, aka Draco Malfoy, featured for just over half an hour across the eight lengthy films.
While watching the movies back-to-back would take you 19 hours and 40 minutes, a slither of the time is given to the iconic Slytherin. His longest appearance is in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, where he gets a whopping eight minutes of screen time, and in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix he is apparently on screen for just one minute and fifteen seconds. Seriously, is anyone else outraged by this?
When the stats – which can be found on IMDB – surfaced on Twitter, one Draco superfan summed it up perfectly, writing: ‘Tom Felton also had to dye his hair for 10 years, to only end up with 30 minutes of screen time. He and Draco deserved better.’
So how do the other characters fare?
Well, He Who Must Not Be Named got just 37 minutes and 15 seconds, Hagrid had 45 minutes and 45 seconds, and Professor McGonnagall got 28 minutes and 45 seconds, just beating Nevill Longbottom by 30 seconds.
Harry of course featured for the longest time, with just under 9 hours, followed by Ron with just over three and a half hours, and Hermione for around the same amount of time.
But one Twitter user explained how it all works out, writing: ‘To those who are confused: this is how editing works. Average shot length in a modern movie is only about 4 seconds!
‘The phrase “screen time” is used super literally here. The stats would all be *much* higher if we counted the full runtime of each scene a character is included in.’
Which makes more sense. If a character is the main focus of a shot, that counts towards their overall feature time, but if they’re just milling about in the background then that doesn’t.
Okay, we can relax a little bit now.