Warner Bros. crosses $1 billion at BO with Potter, Hangover

MUMBAI: On the heels of seven films opening to the number one position at the box office since January 2009 – more than any other studio – and an incredible Wednesday release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince this week, Warner Bros. Pictures has surpassed the $1 billion threshold in domestic box office revenue for the tenth out of the past eleven years. Warner Bros also remains the only studio to accomplish this feat for nine consecutive years.

The division enjoyed a robust start to the year with the expansion of Clint Eastwood’s drama Gran Torino, which became Eastwood’s largest opening weekend and highest-grossing film ever with more than $148m at the box office. The subsequent successes of Watchmen, New Line Cinema’s He’s Just Not That Into You, Friday the 13th and 17 Again, this summer’s breakout hit The Hangover, which at more than $235 million has become the highest-grossing R-rated comedy ever, and now the tremendous opening of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince pushed Warner Bros. Pictures over the threshold in a mere 192 days – a record within the studio.

Warner Bros. Pictures president, distribution Dan Fellman said, "Our tent pole strategy combined with an enormously diverse overall slate has once again proved profitable at the box office. We could not be more proud of the studio’s achievements already this year, and we’re anticipating an even bigger second half of 2009."

The Hangover, which continues to perform strongly across the country in its seventh week in release, is the fastest R-rated comedy to reach the $150 million mark and was the first movie this summer to retain the number one box office position for two consecutive weeks. Additionally, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is expected to deliver massive revenue following its first five days of release, as it’s already become the largest grossing midnight showing ever and the largest opening day for the franchise.