HOLLYWOOD, CA -- Paramount Pictures announced today it ended 2011 in the No. 1 position among all studios, having achieved the highest total combined gross of any studio for the year, earning a record $5.17 billion worldwide. The studio, which released a total of 16 new releases domestically this year, placed first in the North American market share with $1.96 billion, while also amassing record grosses at the international box office with $3.21 billion.
"This achievement reflects the combined efforts of our entire team across the globe and the careful process by which we select the projects and partners we believe in," said Paramount Pictures Chairman & CEO Brad Grey. "We produce pictures that aspire to entertain audiences around the world, while at the same time we have sought to find innovative ways to reach movie-goers in this changing entertainment environment."
"This year our studio reached some key milestones, including the release of three vibrant Paramount franchise pictures and our first original CGI animated film. Our studio had its first ever $1 billion worldwide grossing film in Michael Bay's hit "Transformers: Dark of the Moon;" we successfully re-launched our "Mission Impossible" franchise with Tom Cruise, JJ Abrams and Brad Bird; our latest installment in the "Paranormal Activity" franchise had another $100 million dollar success; our first original animated film "Rango," from director Gore Verbinski, earned rave reviews and more than $100 million at the domestic box office; and we released global phenomenon "Super 8," directed by JJ Abrams, who will now direct the newest "Star Trek" for 2013. We also benefited from our distribution partnerships with DreamWorks Animation and Marvel and I want to thank them both."
"Film President Adam Goodman and his team in production and development, and Vice Chairman Rob Moore and his team in marketing and distribution, did outstanding work and truly delivered. "As we prepare to celebrate Paramount's 100th year in 2012, we are all grateful to be part of this wonderful institution as it continues to prosper," added Grey.
In 2012, Paramount's release slate highlights include "World War Z," a zombie thriller starring Brad Pitt and directed by Marc Forster, "G.I. Joe: Retaliation," the next installment in the global franchise starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Channing Tatum, a new chapter in the "Paranormal Activity" franchise, and "The Dictator," starring Sacha Baron Cohen and directed by Larry Charles, the team behind "Borat."
The 2011 box office results seen from the studio were built on a wide reaching range of titles, including the following (with current domestic grosses): "True Grit" ($85 mil this year, $171.2 million total), Ivan Reitman's "No Strings Attached" ($70.7 mil), Jon Chu's "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never" ($73 mil), Gore Verbinski's "Rango" ($123.5 mil), Marvel Studio's "Thor" ($181 mil), DreamWorks Animation's "Kung Fu Panda 2" ($165.2 mil), JJ Abrams "Super 8" ($127 mil), Michael Bay's "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" ($352.4 mil), Marvel Studio's "Captain America: The First Avenger" ($176.7 mil), Craig Brewer's "Footloose" ($51.7 mil), the third installment in the hit "Paranormal Activity" franchise ($104 mil), DreamWorks Animation's "Puss In Boots" ($145.8 mil), Sundance prize-winner "Like Crazy" ($3.4 mil), Martin Scorsese and GK Films' "Hugo" ($50.2 mil), Jason Reitman's "Young Adult" ($12.8 mil), Brad Bird's "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" ($142.8 mil) and Steven Spielberg's "Tintin" ($51.4 mil).
The Denzel Washington/Ryan Reynolds flick opens February 10. See the poster.
By Sterling Wong
Sony’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo might have underwhelmed at the North American box office, but like its Swedish predecessor, the David Fincher adaptation of the bestselling book is aiming for a strong international cume. The film opened in the U.K. and five other smaller markets and collected $8.3M overall from 1,540 sites in 14 markets.
In its first full week of release across the Atlantic, the Rooney Mara and David Craig-toplined thriller grossed $6.7M from 920 screens, a take that already surpasses the $2.34M total that the version starring Naomi Rapace earned. With $12.2M cumed internationally so far, Sony will be hoping that the American release will eventually improve on the original’s impressive $94.29M overseas total.
Alvin & the Chipmunk: Chipwrecked was clearly the kiddie movie of choice this holiday season. The Fox release gnawed its way to a robust $24.35M weekend from 6,764 screens in 57 territories. The figure represents a 48 percent jump from Christmas weekend, and brings the sequel’s international cume to $81M.
The family-friendly movie opened strongly in Sweden ($2.1M from 200 screens), Norway ($1.5M from 125), Peru ($579K from 121) and Australia, where it enjoyed an outstanding opening Sunday of $1.4M from 366 screens. This week, Fox brings the movie to Italy (Jan 3), Argentina (Jan 5) and Brazil (Jan 6).
Fox’s We Bought a Zoo grossed $5.2M from 1,413 screens in 13 markets. The Matt Damon-led family film opened in 7 new markets this weekend, including Australia, where it earned a one-week total of $3.1M from 279 locations since its Boxing Day release. With $7.8M already in the bank, Cameron Crowe’s comeback vehicle looks set to overtake Elizabethtown’s $25.2M international take by the end of its run.
Beginning its assault on the global box office this week was Disney’s War Horse. The second of two Steven Spielberg releases this holiday season trotted home with a six-day total of $4M from just two markets that represent 7 percent of the international market. The film begins what the studio will hope to be a leggy run as the buildup to the Oscars continues.
Sony’s holiday offering, Arthur Christmas, took in $3.5M from 3,930 screens in 74 territories for an international total of $96.9M.
Horror flick The Darkest Hour, scared up a modest $3.4M from 2,111 screens in 16 markets. The critically-reviled horror flick did enjoy strong openings in Malaysia ($854K from 150 screens) and Singapore ($477K from 44). Next week, the movie will premiere in 17 markets, including Korea, Belgium, Sweden and Taiwan.
In its sixth week of release, Disney’s The Muppets earned $500K from 13 markets, bringing its international total to $9.3M.
Fox’s In Time banks another $1.3M from 1,006 screens in 13 markets, bringing its international cume to $103.5M and confirming Justin Timberlake as a ticket seller overseas.
More grosses coming soon…
Most exhibitors will tell you that the movie business is cyclical. With that in mind, there's no reason to panic about 2011 being a down year at the domestic box office.
2011 was behind in a big way from the very beginning. 2010 benefited immensely from the fact that Avatar, a film released in December 2009, made more than $380 million during the calendar year. Since an Avatar-level blockbuster doesn't happen every year, it's no surprise that 2011 simply wasn't able to catch up.
While there were plenty of duds released in 2011, it's unfair to label a year that produced three billion-dollar worldwide hits—Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2—as a complete disappointment.
Without further ado, here are the estimated stats:
January 1 - December 31, 2011: $10,180,000,000
January 1 - December 31, 2010: $10,570,500,000
Total Decrease: $390,500,000, -3.7%
Estimated Attendance Decrease: 4.5%
Additional reporting by Daniel Garris