'Harry Potter' and 'Transformers 3' Join the $1 Billion Box Office Club
Two movies hitting huge at the box office. Over the weekend, Warner Bros announced that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 had crossed the $1 billion mark, making it the 9th film to do so. As of the announcement via indieWire, the total was up to $1.009 billion, though Box Office Mojo now shows it at $1.0122B, just above The Dark Knight (uh oh, Batman). Today, Paramount has announced (via Deadline) that Michael Bay's Transformers: Dark of the Moon had also crossed $1 billion, the 10th movie to join the club, and interestingly the first ever movie in Paramount's 99 year history to earn $1B. Way to go Bay!
Remember - these totals are based on worldwide box office, as that's the only way numbers this big can be reached. Then again, the top chart is quite impressive anyway. Avatar rules with a whopping $2.78B, the next closest being the other James Cameron film, Titanic, at $1.84B. The rest of the list goes: Lord of the Rings: Return of the King ($1.12B), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (#2) ($1.07B), Toy Story 3 ($1.06B), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (#4) ($1.03B), Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland ($1.02B) then Deathly Hallows: Part 2 and The Dark Knight. Some very heavy hitters and a diversified list. Obviously most great trilogy conclusions (*ahem* watch out The Dark Knight Rises coming in 2012), plus a few big Disney ones. I honestly expected Deathly Hallows: Part 2 to reach a billion, no matter what.
"Transformers: Dark of the Moon is the first billion dollar grossing movie in the history of Paramount Pictures, marking a substantial milestone in the 99 year life of this legendary studio," said Brad Grey, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Paramount Pictures. Earlier this summer, Paramount was the first studio to reach $1 billion in domestic grosses, then they crossed the $2 billion mark on July 30th, making it the first for any studio this year. As for the other big movie, Deathly Hallows: Part 2 hit $1 billion on its 19th day in theaters, which tied Avatar's record for fastest to reach that level. Sorcerer's Stone is the next top earner from the Potter franchise with $975M. WB's The Hangover: Part II and Deathly Hallows: Part 2 also hold the #3 and #2 spots on the current top US box office for 2011. Both studios are having a great year.
With continuously rising ticket prices and 3D premiums, especially for both of these new $1 billion movies, it's obvious that they would get to that level quicker. Not to say that it's not an achievement, as it certainly is, but doesn't take as much of a massive viewership like Titanic did to reach that level. Both Harry Potter and Transformers were shown in 3D and mostly marketed as the way to see it, plus IMAX, so both hit this level quickly. The only other 2011 movies to come close were Kung Fu Panda 2 and Fast Five, earning over $600M each but not much more. Congrats to both Warner Bros and Paramount, this is a huge achievement. And it's great to see fans actually out in theaters and seeing movies. For the full chart, hit Box Office Mojo.