Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a 2004 fantasy film directed by Alfonso Cuarón and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is based on J. K. Rowling’s 1999 novel of the same name. The film, which is the third instalment in the Harry Potter film series, was written by Steve Kloves and produced by Chris Columbus, David Heyman, and Mark Radcliffe. The story follows Harry Potter’s third year at Hogwarts as he is informed that a prisoner named Sirius Black has escaped from Azkaban and intends to kill him. 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 also features well-known actors in supporting roles, including Gary Oldman as Sirius Black, David Thewlis as Professor Lupin, Michael Gambon as Albus Dumbledore, Emma Thompson as Sybill Trelawney and Timothy Spall as Peter Pettigrew. It is the sequel to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and is followed by Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
The film was released on 31 May 2004 in the United Kingdom, and on 4 June 2004 in North America, as the first Harry Potter film released into IMAX theatres and using IMAX Technology. The film was nominated for two Academy Awards, Best Original Music Score and Best Visual Effects at the 77th Academy Awards in 2004. Prisoner of Azkaban grossed a total of $796.7 million worldwide, making it the second highest-grossing film of 2004 and received praise for Cuarón’s direction and the performances of the lead actors. It marked a notable change in the film series’ tone and directing, and is considered by many critics and fans to be one of the best Harry Potter films.