Warner Bros. is the first company to be honored with this award, thanks to a record-breaking year.
“Our worldwide gross just exceeded $4 billion, making it the biggest grossing year for any studio in history,” notes Dan Fellman, president of domestic distribution. That figure broke the previous worldwide box office record ($3.6 billion) established in 2007 — also by Warners. “It’s very gratifying to beat our own record and be recognized by our exhibition partners,” he adds.
The studio’s domestic grosses aren’t too shabby either. They became the first company to exceed $2 billion in the States, which broke Warners’ own previous record of $1.78 billion set in ’08.
“So we not only exceeded our own domestic record but were able to accomplish that on a worldwide basis, and we’re thrilled,” he says. “I think what made our year extraordinary was the fact that we had a well-balanced schedule. We had six films that grossed over $100 million or more, and we had four films that grossed more than $200 million each — something that no other studio has ever achieved.”
WB’s Veronika Kwan-Rubinek, president of international distribution, also weighs in on the studio’s success: “We always hope that our tentpoles will meet our expectations, but what pushes us into new territory is a breakout hit like ‘The Hangover,’ which, against all odds, connected with global audiences in such a big way.”
Overseas, the film is the highest-grossing R-rated U.S. comedy of all time, and here at home it’s the highest-grossing R-rated comedy ever released.