Warner Bros. ends 2008 with $1.78 billion at box office


MUMBAI: Warner Bros. Entertainment’s filmed entertainment, home entertainment, television and consumer products divisions have put the wraps on a good year in 2008, with Warner Bros. Pictures setting a studio and an industry record with $1.78 billion in domestic receipts.

Warner Bros. Pictures was the domestic market share leader, and its summer blockbuster The Dark Knight, based on the iconic DC Comics Batman character, which was the number one grossing film of the year domestically ($531 million) went on to become the number two grossing film of all time domestically.

They held the number one spot at the box office 12 weeks in 2008, more than any other studio. A number of releases from New Line Cinema helped drive Warner Bros. Pictures’ domestic success, including Sex and the City and Four Christmases.

Warner Bros. Pictures International finished the year with $1.81 billion in receipts, driven by the worldwide success of The Dark Knight, as well as overseas hits including I Am Legend, 10,000 B.C. and Get Smart.

They had a worldwide box office of $3.59 billion in 2008, and the year marked the eighth time Warner Bros. crossed the billion-dollar mark domestically and the 11th time internationally. With worldwide receipts of $997 million, The Dark Knight is currently fourth on the all-time box office gross list, and the film is being re-released theatrically on 23 January.

The Studio also remained a category leader in the home entertainment arena in 2008.

Warner Home Video dominated the US sales categories as the number one company in total video sales (DVD and Blu-ray combined), new theatrical releases, TV on DVD releases and total high-definition titles sold. WHV’s release of The Dark Knight is the top-selling DVD title of all time.  

Internationally, WHV is the number one studio with 16 percent world market share and a 23 percent world market share among all Hollywood studios.

Warner Bros. Digital Distribution released 37 titles via day-and-date VOD in 2008 and stands as the only Hollywood studio fully committed to this platform. WBDD had five of the top 10 VOD titles in 2008, including the top-selling I Am Legend and Fool’s Gold. WBDD is also the first company to release movies day-and-date internationally and does so in 12 overseas markets. WBDD also sells Warner Bros.’ movies on iTunes in five countries (U.S., Canada, U.K., New Zealand and Australia) and has the number one television show on iTunes, Warner Bros. Television’s Gossip Girl.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment published and distributed more games in 2008 than ever before in its history. WBIE’s LEGO Batman won the prestigious Best Videogame Award at the Children’s BAFTA Awards in December 2008 and has sold more than four million copies to date. WBIE’s Speed Racer game for the Wii platform was the third-most popular selling Wii game title in 2008.

Warner Bros. Television Group continued to be a leader across all the categories for which it produces. Warner Bros. Television produces the comedy show on network TV in Two and a Half Men (also syndication’s top off-net sitcom); the number one new network series of 2008–09 among total viewers, The Mentalist, and among Adults 18–49, Fringe; and the number one series in ad-supported cable TV history in The Closer.

Telepictures Productions’ TMZ is the only syndicated magazine show to deliver ratings growth versus last season; The Ellen DeGeneres Show won its fourth straight Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show Host; and The Tyra Banks Show won the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show/Informative.

 Warner Bros. Animation debuted the new series Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and Warner Bros. International Television Distribution continued its strategy to launch Warner TV video-on-demand branded services around the world. WBTVG also launched TheWB.com, an ad-supported video-on-demand online network featuring original programming, as well as the re-release of a collection of The WB Network’s most popular series and other successful shows.

Warner Bros. Consumer Products unveiled a number of successful initiatives in 2008. Each of these campaigns was driven by Warner Bros.’ core brands, including the Looney Tunes (a partnership with Safeway for Eating Right Kids food products), DC Comics super heroes (global product line based on Batman/The Dark Knight, as well as a collection of Wonder Woman-inspired merchandise by designer Diane von Furstenberg), The Wizard of Oz (fashion designers marked the film’s upcoming 70th anniversary with interpretations of the iconic Ruby Red Slippers) and Harry Potter (Harry Potter: The Exhibition, opening in Chicago in April 2009 before touring worldwide).