Sony Pictures rides to $2 bn mark on back of 2012

MUMBAI: Empowered by the super success of 2012, Sony Pictures Releasing International (SPRI) will have crossed the $2 billion mark at the box-office this coming weekend.

"The record haul will power Sony Pictures Entertainment to its best-ever box- office year worldwide," said Sony Pictures Worldwide Marketing & Distribution chairman Jeff Blake.

2009 marks just the fifth time in motion picture history that any studio will have passed the $2 billion milestone internationally, following Paramount in 2008, Warner Bros. in 2007 and 2004, and 20th Century Fox in 2006.

SPE has already notched $3.357 billion at the box-office, surpassing the studio‘s previous worldwide box-office record of $3.334 billion in 2006.

Blake further said, "Even in the midst of an economy that continues to challenge our industry, this has been a tremendous year in just about every way we can imagine. First and foremost, we have had an extremely strong slate of films built by Amy Pascal, Michael Lynton and the Columbia, Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Animation production teams led by Doug Belgrad, Matt Tolmach, Clint Culpepper and Hannah Minghella.

In recent weeks, SPRI has pushed toward the $2 billion landmark with the blockbuster release 2012, that is supposed to pass $500 million internationally this weekend ($620 million worldwide box-office to date).

SPRI‘s many hits in 2009 include Angels & Demons that reached $352.6 million in foreign markets; Terminator Salvation, that made $220.6 million in SPRI‘s territories; District 9, that generated $69.4 million in SPRI‘s territories; The Ugly Truth that has taken in more than $114.2 from foreign audiences; The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 that grossed $86.4 million internationally and Seven Pounds, released in 2008 that earned $99.3 million from international markets in 2009. Finally, Michael Jackson‘s This Is It, that ended its highly successful run in most territories on Tuesday by rompiing in $180.0 million internationally, making it the most successful concert film of all time.

Domestically, this year, Sony Pictures has released eight top grossers and is enjoying one of the highest grossing years at the box-office in the studio‘s history with more than $1.370 billion to date.

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