Warner tops as Hollywood continues bull run

MUMBAI: Hollywood has had its fourth straight good run overseas, amassing $7 billion during the eight-month period ended August, up from $6.9 billion a year ago.

Warner Bros. stood at the top, raking in $1.41 billion with the support of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, according to Nielsen EDI. Harry Potter mopped up $611.1 million from the overseas market. Incidentally, Prince emerged as the fifth title in the six-film series to gross more than $600 million internationally.

The biggest title for Paramount Pictures was DreamWorks‘ Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen that grossed $428.6 million, significantly contributing to the $1.25 billion the production house garnered through August.

Sony also recently hit the $1 billion international box-office mark with Ron Howard‘s Angels & Demons that grossed $351 million from overseas collections since 13 May. Terminator Salvation grossed $246 million since 27 May, nearly doubling its domestic take.

Disney has reported total foreign box-office to date of $934.5 million, slightly ahead of its 2008 figure ($926 million) with Pixar‘s Up making $155.5 million abroad.

This year, Universal has recorded $800 million from the offshore box-office with the action title Fast & Furious jumping the season by opening internationally in April and driving its way to $195 million so far.

Last year, films from all six major studios grossed a total of $9.9 billion overseas, marginally up by 4 per cent from 2007‘s $9.5 billion.

Trade analysts hope that the same would continue with a good line up of upcoming titles through the year‘s end.

Among Sony‘s upcoming titles are Julie & Julia starring Meryl Streep and disaster film 2012 directed by Roland Emmerich. From the Disney stable, later this month, comes a Bruce Willis sci-fi thriller Surrogates followed by director Robert Zemeckis‘ 3D animated film based on A Christmas Carol with Jim Carrey.

The trade expects Universal‘s Inglourious Basterds, directed by Quentin Tarantino, will continue its running streak till December and so will Pixar/Disney‘s Up.

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