You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

BVI goes over the top o’seas

Distribber rules the int'l B.O., hits record

SYDNEY — Skeletal pirates, animated fish and a deified Jim Carrey have propelled Disney’s Buena Vista Intl. to a company record and almost certainly spurred BVI to pole position in the majors’ overseas B.O. derby.

Through Sunday BVI’s films had grossed $1.35 billion abroad, beating the banner’s calendar year high of $1.319 billion in 1999.

This year is the ninth consecutive in which BVI has passed $1 billion — an unprecedented feat. Warner’s international arm has scaled that peak six times, Fox four, Sony three and Universal two.

BVI and WB will be locked in a tight race for line honors for the 2003 B.O. crown. Warner last reported its films had grossed $1.08 billion through the end of August. Since then, the studio has earned modest sums from “Matchstick Men,” Asian pic “Turn Left, Turn Right” and “The Matrix Reloaded” holdovers.

In the run home, BVI can count on a B.O. bonanza from “Finding Nemo,” which is yet to play in continental Europe and Japan. It’s launching “Brother Bear” in the U.K., Latin America and parts of Asia in December and releasing “Calendar Girls” and “Freaky Friday” in a bunch of markets.

Warner will be relying chiefly on “The Matrix Revolutions” which rolls out worldwide next month.

BVI prexy Mark Zoradi is shooting to finish the year at north of $1.7 billion. “It’s very heartening to break our record in our 10th anniversary year,” he said on Sunday. “We’ve been able to maximize this really good, diverse product, thanks to the strength and experience of our worldwide team.”

BVI’s top titles are “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,” which has racked up $327 million; “Bruce Almighty,” with $202.6 million in BVI’s markets (plus an estimated $28 million in Spyglass’ territories); and “Nemo,” which has hooked $124.3 million.

Among its handy earners have been “The Jungle Book 2” ($87 million, nearly double its domestic result) and “Treasure Planet” ($42 million this year of its lifetime $79 million cume).

Zoradi projects the fish tale will wind up with more than $400 million, based on its animation-smashing records in Asia and Latin America.

Some $105 million of BVI’s total comes from handling Miramax films.

Zoradi estimates the weaker euro vs. the greenback has inflated the studio’s results by a bit more than 10%.

While the total is impressive, BVI (along with other studios) has had to grapple with escalating marketing and print costs as saturation releases are becoming as much the norm overseas as at home.

But thanks to breakout hits “Pirates,” “Bruce” and “Nemo,” Zoradi said, “This is a very strong net (profit) year for us. When you have films like that, you can cap your marketing and print costs and the upside goes straight to the bottom line.”

More Film

  • Elton John and Mark Ronson

    Elton John to 'Shallow' Songwriter Mark Ronson: 'You're Going to Win the Oscar'

    Elton John is willing to bet that Mark Ronson will win the Oscar for Best Original Song for “Shallow” from “A Star Is Born.” The nominations were announced this morning. The legendary performer spoke to Ronson on the latest episode of his radio show “Elton John’s Rocket Hour” on Apple Music’s Beats 1.  “You’re having a [...]

  • Olivia Colman Colin Firth Helen Mirren

    Playing a British Monarch Is a Step on the Road to Oscar Glory - Again

    “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown,” Shakespeare wrote of Britain’s care-burdened monarchs. Try telling that to the Academy. Once again, playing British royalty has proved to be a tried-and-true route to Oscar glory, with Olivia Colman as the latest actor to be nominated for an Academy Award for portraying an occupant of the British [...]

  • Black Panther Movie

    Oscars: 'Black Panther' Leads Best Picture Nominees to Near-Record Box Office Grosses

    This year’s Academy Award nominees proved the Oscars don’t need a popular film category to recognize movies with huge box office grosses. The 2019 crop of best picture hopefuls have generated an impressive $1.26 billion so far in North America alone. That bounty is led by “Black Panther,” which earned a sensational $700 million at [...]

  • oscar nominations 2019 stream online

    How to Watch This Year’s Oscar-Nominated Films

    The 2019 Oscar nominations have been announced, and if you want to catch up on the nominees, we’ve rounded up some easy ways to watch or stream the original films, documentaries, and songs competing for an award. Period comedy “The Favourite” and Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” lead the pack with 10 nominations apiece, while “Green Book” [...]

  • Pawel Pawlikowski "Cold War"

    Pawel Pawlikowski's 'Cold War' Makes History for Poland

    Alfonso Cuaron might’ve tied an Oscar record with four nods to his name for “Roma,” which scored 10 nominations overall. But another black-and-white film in a foreign language, Pawel Pawlikowski’s jazz-infused romantic drama “Cold War,” was honored with three Academy Award nominations Tuesday, the most in history for a primarily Polish-backed production. The film will [...]


    U.K. Cinema Attendance in 2018 Was Highest Since 1970

    Cinema attendance in the U.K. topped 177 million in 2018, the highest number since 1970. Box office held firm at £1.3 billion ($1.7 billion) through the year as 10 movies crossed the £30 million threshold in the year. That compares with six films in 2017. After a sweltering summer in the U.K. and a strong [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content