Warner Bros. Pictures passes $5 billion at the worldwide box office, with Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman leading the charge. The studio is having an enormously successful and unsuccessful year at the same time. Under the leadership of its various studio chiefs, Warner Bros. successfully distributed more than a dozen major movies in 2017, including titles from its sister studio, New Line Cinema. And the vast majority of their films have been doing quite well both critically and commercially, but that doesn't mean they've all been good.
The past month has been muddled by the disappointing critical and commercial performance of their first-ever live-action Justice League movie, which is currently tracking to gross less than 2013's Man of Steel, thus making it the lowest-grossing DC movie since 2005's Batman Begins. What's more, Blade Runner 2049, though a critical darling and a strong contender for 2018's Oscars ceremony, failed to break into the green for various reasons, though that film's box office performance could be attributed to the fact that not many people saw the original 1982 Blade Runner film. Regardless, Warner Bros. is still racking up billions of dollars this year.
Variety reports that Warner Bros. has passed $5 billion at the worldwide box office, thus marking the studio's eighth time in nine years to gross more than $4 billion. The studio's box office performance is being led by Wonder Woman, which managed to gross $821.7 million globally, thus becoming the highest-grossing superhero origin movie ever released. The news comes mere days after Walt Disney Studios also crossed the $5 billion mark. WB president of worldwide marketing, Sue Kroll, said:
“We are thrilled to reach this extraordinary benchmark as we come to the end of an amazing, record-setting year. Surpassing $5 billion in a single year can only happen with an incredible level of hard work across all theatrical divisions, as well as the invaluable contributions of the many talented filmmakers and actors with whom we are so fortunate to collaborate.”
The second most-successful 2017 movie for the studio is Andres Muschietti's IT, which grossed an astronomical $694.1 million globally in September. The Stephen King-based film became the highest-grossing R-rated horror movie ever released and the second highest-grossing R-rated movie overall, behind 2016's Deadpool. What's more, Christopher Nolan's WWII film, Dunkirk, took in $525 million during its initial theatrical run (it has since returned to theaters for a limited, awards season push) and is being considered Best Picture material for the 90th annual Academy Awards.
Aside from the aforementioned movies, Jordan Vogt-Roberts' Kong: Skull Island brought in $566 million and Chris McKay's The LEGO Batman Movie raked in $312 million, with David F. Sandberg's Annabelle: Creation topping off the list with $305 million. Warner Bros.' other projects, such as Dean Devlin's Geostorm and Guy Ritchie's King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, earned some amount of money for the studio and, therefore, contributed to the studio's $5 billion box office tally, but they weren't enormous critical or commercial successes.
Zack Snyder's Justice League was Warner Bros.' last major release this year, and the film currently sits at $570 million globally, but with Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi right around the corner, the DC movie may start to see its overseas box office haul start to slow down. If Justice League managed to perform as well domestically as it has been doing internationally, it would've certainly been interesting to see where Warner Bros.' global box office could've ended up this year.