Studio celebrates 5th consecutive year of booming biz

Powered by “Thor” and “Kung Fu Panda 2,” Paramount Pictures has topped $1 billion at the international box office this year. Meanwhile, the Mouse House also reached a milestone, with “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” docking as Disney’s highest-grossing pic overseas.

Par topped the $1 billion mark four days earlier than its prior record for a calendar year, reaching it Friday as “Super 8″ took $6.7 million in nine international markets.

Milestone marks the fifth consecutive year that Paramount Pictures Intl. has seen business surpass $1 billion. Studio set its previous speed record for reaching $1 billion in international grosses in 2008.

Paramount’s the third studio to hit the mark this year, with Fox and Disney both having eclipsed the mark in 2011.

Par noted that “Thor” has taken $259 million to date at the international box office with Japan still to open July 2. Last weekend also saw “Kung Fu Panda 2″ lead the international box office with $56 million; overseas cume is $205 million.

For Disney, the fourth “Pirates” pic has grossed $695.9 million from foreign territories, surpassing the $690 million that “Alice in Wonderland” earned last year, a record at the time. That pic went on to earn $1.02 billion.

“On Stranger Tides” has hauled in $907.4 million worldwide since May 20. Due largely to its overseas perf, “On Stranger Tides” is now the fifth-biggest worldwide grosser of all time, behind “Avatar,” which reigns with $2.02 billion; “Titanic” ($1.24 billion); the third installment of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy ($1.12 billion); and the se cond “Pirates” outing, “Dead Man’s Chest,” still the top grosser for the franchise with $1.066 billion worldwide in 2006.

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