Thanks to blockbusters like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 and Hangover 2, Warner Bros. has hit the $2 billion mark at the international box office — and it’s only August! The studio has high hopes for the rest of the year too, with Contagion, J. Edgar, Happy Feet Two, Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows and New Year’s Eve expected to deliver big numbers.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 smashed international records to become the highest grossing film of the year and the third-highest international release of all time, but now Warner Bros. has even more to celebrate: The studio’s 2011 international receipts have passed the $2 billion mark.
“Even beyond the amazing performance of our final Harry Potter film, this has been a spectacular year for the Studio,” said Warner Bros. President of International Distribution Kwan-Rubinek.
Todd Phillips’ The Hangover Part II did its part to raise the bar. The bawdy sequel managed to beat out the original Hangover, banking $327 million internationally to become the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time. Horrible Bosses is just getting warmed up overseas, but has also given Warner Bros international a boost. It’s banked $35 million so far, with more markets set to open soon.
This is the fourth time Warner Bros. International has hit the $2 billion mark. Last year, the division closed out at $2.93 billion, the highest ever international gross for a single studio. This year, they hit the big $2 billion two months earlier, which means 2011 end-of-year figures could conceivably breach $3 billion.
“Reaching this number so early in the year is an incredible achievement for our Studio,” said Sue Kroll, Warner Bros. Pictures’ President, Worldwide Marketing. “We could not have done it without the care and ingenuity of our marketing teams around the world, who have delivered inspired campaigns for every release, from staging a global event for Harry Potter to making each of our wide variety of films into hits. We’re thrilled with these results and look forward to the rest of our 2011 slate.”
With summer coming to a close, Warner Bros. is hoping to continue to rock with Steven Soderbergh‘s Contagion, Clint Eastwood‘s J. Edgar, George Miller’s Happy Feet Two, Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows and Garry Marshall‘s New Year’s Eve.
It’s worth mentioning that another house beat Warner Bros. to the punch this year. Paramount Pictures international hit the $2 billion mark at the beginning of the month, thanks a powerhouse performance from 3D Transformers: Dark Of The Moon.