B.O. milestone reached months earlier than 2010

Warner Bros. Pictures Intl. on Thursday crossed the $2 billion mark in overseas box office grosses for 2011, marking the fourth time the studio has hit the B.O. milestone.

Thanks to the global juggernaut of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” with $857 million internationally, Warners reached $2 billion two months earlier than last year, when the studio tallied its all-time international B.O. high at $2.93 billion in October.

Other summer pics to help boost overseas totals for WB include “The Hangover Part II,” the highest-grossing R-rated pic overseas ever with $327 million, as well as another R-rated comedy, “Horrible Bosses,” tallying so far $35 million from only 36 markets.

“Even beyond the amazing performance of our final ‘Harry Potter’ film, this has been a spectacular year for the studio,” said Warner Intl. prexy Veronika Kwan-Rubinek. “These incredible numbers are a testament to the diverse and powerful mix of films that our studio releases, along with the hard work and insight of our international distribution teams around the world.”

Sue Kroll, prexy of Warner worldwide marketing, said: “We could not have done it without the care and ingenuity of our marketing teams around the world, who have delivered inspired campaigns for every release, from staging a global event for ‘Harry Potter’ to making each of our wide variety of films into hits.”

Warner Intl. has crossed the $1 billion international benchmark for 14 years, 11 of which were consecutive.

The studio’s remaining 2011 slate includes Steven Soderbergh’s “Contagion,” Clint Eastwood’s “J. Edgar,” toon sequel “Happy Feet Two,” from helmer George Miller, and Guy Ritchie’s follow-up to the worldwide hit “Sherlock Holmes” in 2009, “Game of Shadows.”

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