LONDON (Reuters) - The Harry Potter movies will receive a BAFTA award, Britain's equivalent of the Oscars, for their contribution to cinema, organizers said on Thursday.
The award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema will be presented at the main BAFTA prize ceremony in London on February 13 to J.K. Rowling, best-selling author of the original wizard stories, and series producer David Heyman.
The first seven films have amassed around $6.4 billion at the global box office, according to ticket tracking site www.boxofficemojo.com. The final installment, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2," is due out on July 15.
The films have been nominated for several Oscars, in technical or musical categories, but have yet to scoop a statuette.
Harry Potter fans, and some cast members, have questioned why the phenomenon has been overlooked for the movie world's top accolades, particularly in major categories like acting and directing.
But BAFTA said in a statement: "The Harry Potter films have not only created stars in front of the camera, but have also highlighted the expertise within the British craft and technical industries, supporting a vast array of jobs throughout production."
Heyman added: "On behalf of the over 2,000 people who worked in front of and behind the camera on each of the Harry Potter films I would like to say how honored we all are to receive this Award.
"And thank you to Jo Rowling for entrusting us to bring her magnificent books to the screen."
Rowling's seven-book series about the boy wizard and his adventures at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has sold hundreds of millions of copies around the world.
Awarded annually, the BAFTA award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema was introduced in 1978.
The first recipients were the special visual effects team for "Superman," and others include Kevin Brownlow, Mike Leigh, Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jarman, Working Title, Lewis Gilbert, Channel Four Films and Pinewood & Shepperton Studios.
Reporting by Mike Collett-White; Editing by Steve Addison