Warner triumphs at the box office

MUMBAI: 2005 may have been slightly disappointing for Hollywood financially with the film box office down five per cent but Warner has plenty to smile about.

Warner Bros. Pictures has announced that it placed first both in the US and abroad in terms of box office takings. It made over $1 billion in the US and had its best year ever. Three films -- Batman Begins, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire -- grossed more than $200 million in the US.

Abroad Warner nearly touched $2 billion which meant that it crossed the billion dollar mark for the fifth year in a row, and making Warner Bros. Pictures International the number one for four of the last five years. Overseas releases resulted in six pictures earning more than $100 million at the box office- Ocean’s 12, Constantine, Batman Begins, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, The Island and Harry Potter and the Goblet Of Fire.

Waber Bros. president domestic distribution Dan Fellman says, “This was a challenging year, with a very crowded marketplace, but we feel that we were able to give audiences something special to bring them into theaters over and over again. This is our fifth consecutive year grossing more than a billion dollars, which is an industry record and an acknowledgement of the terrific work of everyone at Warner Bros. Pictures, as well as our partners in exhibition.”

This is not to say that Warner did not have films that failed. While North Country generated excellent reviews and should fetch Charlize Theron a Best Actress Oscar nomination the film failed to cross the $20 million mark at the box office. This year Warner is counting on Superman Returns to bring in the moolah. It will also release M. Night Shyamalan's Lady in the Water and Martin Scorcese's The Deaprted..

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