SPE’s Gridiron Gang opens to $14.4 million

MUMBAI: Sony Pictures Entertainment’s distribution arm Sony Pictures Releasing is on a high. With the opening of Columbia Pictures’ drama Gridiron Gang starring Dwayne Johnson, Sony Pictures Releasing has launched 10 number one movies in 2006. This is more than any studio has ever released in a single year.


The announcement was made by Sony Pictures Releasing president Rory Bruer.

The success of the film, which opened to $14.4 million, puts Sony Pictures in first place in the 2006 industry market share race. To date, the studio has generated more than $1.15 billion in North American ticket sales and has captured 17.6 per cent off all tickets sold.

The previous record of nine No. 1 films in a single year also belongs to Sony Pictures Entertainment and was set in 2003. SPE’s motion picture labels — Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems, TriStar Pictures and Revolution Studios — have released 18 movies in 2006 to date, which means that more than 50 per cent of all the studio’s releases debuted in the top slot.

Besides Gridiron Gang, the nine other films that have opened in first place since January are Columbia Pictures’ The Da Vinci Code, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, The Pink Panther, and R.V., TriStar’s Silent Hill,  Columbia and Revolution Studios’ Click,  and Screen Gems’ The Covenant, Underworld: Evolution and When A Stranger Calls.


Since January, 2002, Sony Pictures Releasing has distributed 39 number one films and the next closest competing studio during that time has released only 22.

“To have achieved this landmark with yet another quarter to go in 2006 is really something quite extraordinary and rare. We have released a fantastic line-up of films this year and everyone at Sony — especially the members of our production and marketing teams — have every reason to be proud because we are setting a bar that will be challenging for any studio to break, including ours,” said Bruer.

Remaining releases for 2006 include TriStar’s comedy/drama Running With Scissors,
Columbia‘s dramas All the King’s Men, Marie Antoinette and The Pursuit of Happyness, Sony Pictures Animation’s feature-length family adventure comedy Open Season, Columbia‘s horror thriller The Grudge 2, Columbia‘s comedy Stranger Than Fiction and romantic comedy The Holiday and Columbia and MGM’s James Bond action/adventure Casino Royale.

Along with the 10 number one films, Sony has released other strong performing titles such as Columbia’s Monster House and Revolution Studios’ The Benchwarmers.

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