Warner Bros. tubthumps franchise's success

Warner Bros. is touting another “Harry Potter” milestone: Top-grossing film franchise worldwide. Ever.

According to numbers-crunchers at the studio, the first five installments in the wizarding film series have amassed more than $4.47 billion worldwide, passing the worldwide B.O. for all previous 22 James Bond films and the six “Star Wars” movies.

Bond, which dates back to 1962, has generated $4.44 billion worldwide and the “Star Wars” pics have pulled down $4.23 billion since the first release in 1977.

None of the tallies account for inflation or rising ticket prices.

And domestically the “Star Wars” franchise still far outpaces the boy wizard. All told, the “Star Wars” pics have grossed $2.18 billion, while the “Harry Potter” franchise has grossed $1.41 billion. But then there are still two more “Potters” to go.

Warner prexy and chief operating officer Alan Horn acknowledged it would be hard to come up with an apples-to-apples comparison among the top three franchises.

“It’s just a fun number,” Horn said of the milestone. “It is not any way to diminish the box office totals of ‘Star Wars’ and the Bond movies.”The fifth installment has grossed more than $900 million thus far, with just under $300 million coming from domestic B.O. The studio projects it will generate an additional $20 million to $25 million overseas.

Bond filmmakers, meanwhile, are doing their best to keep adding to their franchise’s tally, with at least two more installments of that series in the works. Although Sony is calling the next installment “Bond 22,” Warner included the “unofficial” Bond movie, “Never Say Never Again” in its tally.

The “Star Wars” franchise, meanwhile, is dormant — at least for now.

(Pamela McClintock contributed to this report.)

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