Look out, Buena-Vista International. The Disney foreign distribution division may have posted eight consecutive over-$1 billion years in a row since 1995, but Warner Bros. is planning on giving them a run for their money - in box office receipts.
Fueled by the stunning $432 million grossed by "The Matrix Reloaded" since its May 15 release, Warner Bros. Pictures International reported Tuesday that it has topped $1.012 billion at the overseas box office this year.
Other major contributions to the overall total in the seven-month period were "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," which brought in $136.4 million this year of the film's combined 2002-03 total of $610 million, and "Two Weeks Notice," the Sandra Bullock-Hugh Grant romantic comedy that has grossed $108 million to date overseas.
Of course, the year isn't quite over yet.
"We're confident that the rest of 2003 will bring in solid revenues as well, with the upcoming release of such high-potential performers as "The Matrix Revolutions," "Looney Tunes: Back in Action," and "The Last Samurai," [distribution president Veronika] Kwan-Rubinek said.
Added [marketing president Sue] Kroll, "In planning our campaign strategies for our films, we have a wealth of opportunities to capitalize on -- including star power and talented filmmakers -- that are a marketer's dream."