×
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

  • Gone With the Wind Screening

    Film News Roundup: 'Gone With the Wind' Sets Event Cinema Record

    In today’s film news roundup, “Gone with the Wind” sets a new record, “Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles” is acquired, and Tracy Oliver signs with Topic Studios. EVENT CINEMA RECORD The 80th anniversary release of “Gone with the Wind” has grossed $2.23 million in six nationwide screenings on four dates — a record as the [...]

  • Made in Abyss - Journey’s Dawn

    Film Review: ‘Made in Abyss: Journey’s Dawn’

    It’s a Herculean effort to take a multi-volume manga like author Akihito Tsukushi’s “Made in Abyss,” adapt it into a popular anime television series, and then compress the show into a coherent feature (technically, two movies), but the folks at Sentai Filmworks have done just that. Part one, “Made in Abyss: Journey’s Dawn,” will screen [...]

  • HAF: 'Assassination,' 'Apprenticeship' Named Project Market

    HAF: 'Assassination,' 'Apprenticeship' Named Project Market Winners

    Eighteen prizes were presented on Wednesday afternoon at the closing ceremony of the Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum. The project market sits alongside FilMart as part of the Entertainment Expo in Hong Kong. “Wong Tai Sin Assassination” to be directed by Wong Hoi and produced by Derek Kwok Tsz-kin, was named the winner of [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Writers Guild Makes Concession on Film Financing in Agent Talks

    The Writers Guild of America has made a concession in film financing in its negotiations with Hollywood talent agents — the second in six weeks of talks. WGA West executive director David Young said Wednesday that it had made a “significant move” toward reaching a deal with the Association of Talent Agents for a revamped [...]

  • Noah Centineo He-Man

    Noah Centineo to Play He-Man in 'Masters of the Universe' Reboot

    From a boy (who’s loved) to He-Man. Noah Centineo is in talks to take on the superhero in Sony Pictures and Mattel Films’ “Masters of the Universe.” Brothers Adam and Aaron Nee are directing the reboot. Mattel Films is partnering with Sony on the movie, which is based on Mattel’s beloved toy line that spawned [...]

  • Disney Fox Takeover Placeholder

    Disney, Fox Employees Grapple With Day One Transition on Two Hollywood Lots

    What kind of a boss will Disney be? That’s a question facing employees at 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight, National Geographic Partners, FX Networks, and other assorted parts of Rupert Murdoch’s former media empire. Wednesday was their first full day as staffers of the Walt Disney Co. and the initial moves have done little to [...]

  • Derek Tsang Hong Kong actor Derek

    'Better Days' Director Derek Tsang Lands in World Cinema Spotlight

    Hong Kong actor-director Derek Kwok-cheung Tsang has recently found himself in the spotlight of the world of cinema, but for the wrong reason. Tsang will be joining a Hong Kong filmmakers panel at FilMart on Thursday with Sunny Chan (“Man on the Dragon”) and Pang Ho-cheung (“Love in a Puff”). The 39-year-old filmmaker was expecting [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content