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‘Fantastic Beasts’ Becomes First ‘Harry Potter’ Movie to Win an Oscar

Variety logo Variety 2/27/2017 Ramin Setoodeh
© Provided by Variety

Hogwarts fans can finally forgive the Academy. The “Harry Potter” franchise, with one of the most stubborn losing streaks in the telecast’s history — 12 nominations over eight prior movies — finally claimed its first Oscar on Sunday night for “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”

The Warner Bros. tentpole, a prequel written by J.K. Rowling, landed the best costume design statue for its early 20th century pieces made by Colleen Atwood. While the latest movie isn’t set at the famous “Harry Potter” school, it features a cast — led by Eddie Redmayne as a Magizoologist with a briefcase packed with animals — from the same universe.

“That’s shocking,” said Atwood, when asked backstage by a Variety reporter about breaking the curse. “There’s so much incredible artistry in the ‘Harry Potter’ movies.” She paused for a moment to consider what might have changed. “I think maybe the fact that this movie, J.K. Rowling’s creation, is set in the 1920s, which keyed off a different visual sense, is the obvious thing.”

“I can’t believe they never won for the incredible clockwork of Stuart Craig’s,” she added, referring to the “Potter” production designer.

The “Harry Potter” series is the second-most successful franchise of all time, grossing $8.5 billion worldwide since 2001.

Slideshow: Oscar winners & highlights

2017 Academy Awards: Winners and highlights

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