Hits like “American Sniper” and “San Andreas” have propelled Warner Bros. past the $1 billion mark at the domestic box office — marking the 15th consecutive time that the studio has passed that threshold, setting a new industry record. It is also the fastest that Warner Bros. has ever racked up that amount Stateside.
Two other studios, Universal and Disney, have done more than $1 billion worth of business in North America so far this year.
Though “American Sniper” was released in a handful of theaters in 2014, the red, white and blue juggernaut did the bulk of its $350 million domestic haul this year. The studio also benefited from strong carryover business from another 2014 release, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” which generated more than $65 million this calendar year.
There were a number of 2015 Warner Bros. releases that scored, such as the disaster film “San Andreas,” which has earned $136 million since opening in May, and the $90 million-grossing Will Ferrell-Kevin Hart comedy “Get Hard.” “Mad Max: Fury Road” picked up $145 million domestically and another $202.7 million overseas, but carries a hefty $150 million pricetag that makes its profitability questionable.
Warner Bros. had its share of flops, too. The Liam Neeson action thriller “Run All Night” sputtered to $26.5 million, while “Entourage” got a frosty reception and brought in a paltry $30.6 million. “Jupiter Ascending” is in a whole different class of bombs, having eked out $47.4 million Stateside and $134.5 million overseas, hardly justifying its $176 million production budget.
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The rest of the studio’s summer includes “Magic Mike XXL,” the stripper dramedy sequel, and “Vacation,” a reboot of “National Lampoon’s Vacation.”