Fourteen consecutive years. That’s how many times Warner Bros. has crossed the $1B threshold internationally. What propelled it this time around? Strong openers this year such as 300: Rise of an Empire, The Lego Movie and Godzilla and suberb holdovers from The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug and Gravity last year. “This benchmark is a result of the diversity and strength of our film slate along with the hard work of our teams around the globe,” said Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, president of international distribution. “We are thrilled to reach this number so early in the year.” Of course, the films must be broken down picture by picture to look at profitability. While Warner Bros. distributed the big budget flop Transcendence it was Alcon who financed and sold the rights internationally. I wrote before Veronika even weighed in, that you gotta give kudos so what far has been a fairly impressive slate of films from Warner Bros.
They have done extremely well picking the right dates internationally (and domestically) for their films. The biggest grosser for the studio for 2014 was the holdover The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, which was released on Dec. 13th of last year, took in $245M of its $695M cume this year.
The next highest grosser for the studio in 2014 was 300: Rise of an Empire which opened in March and pulled in $224M internationally or 67% of the overall worldwide gross of $330M, followed by The Lego Movie with $208M to date and about over $462M worldwide. Following those films is, of course, Godzilla which has already made an international cume of $166.6M in its second weekend out with China still to come on June 13.
Finally, the holdover Gravity, which opened in the fall of last year in October, still generated $38M in 2014. The studio just released Blended in a couple of markets this weekend and will open the Tom Cruise sci-fi actioner Edge of Tomorrow in 27 markets next weekend.
Walt Disney crossed the $1B internationally mark last month, driven by the success of the Marvel title, Captain America: The Winter Soldier which is expected to stand at $253.9M through Monday and Frozen, which opened during the Thanksgiving holiday and has grossed $818.7M so far.