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CineEurope 2012: Juan Antonio Bayana Picks up International Director of The Year

International Distributors of the Year

The exhibition conflab also delivered plaudits to Fox's Paul Higginson and Todd Huntley, Warner Bros. Pictures International and Catalan theater owners Camilo and Jaime Tarrazon Rodon.

BARCELONA, Spain -- The lights dimmed on this year's CineEurope Thursday with the show's annual awards dished out during a luncheon on the last day and the promise the show will almost certainly return to the Catalan city next year.

Twentieth Century Fox International svp, Europe theatrical duo Paul Higginson and Todd Huntley picked up the Distributors of the Year plaudit on the back of another $2 billion plus global box office annual tally in 2011.

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It marks the third consecutive year for the Fox to have beaten the $2 billion annual mark and the fifth in its history.

Movies cited as being drivers for such big Fox numbers included Rise of The Planet of The Apes, which took $306 million globally, Alvin And The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked which scavenged $210 million and the voyage of Titanic 3D, adding $285 million from the international box office alone to the film's lifetime global total of $1.5 billion plus.

The pair also handled the European bows of such Fox tentpoles as X-Men: First Class and the recent re-release of Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

Filmmaker Juan Antonio Bayana, the Barcelona born local lad, picked up CineEurope's international director of the year.

Bayana hit Hollywood radars with his debut The Orphanage, a visceral ghost story set in a former children's refuse.

His sophmore effort The Impossible stars Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts and Geraldine Chaplin in a tale of a family battling to survive the aftermath of a devastating South East Asian tsunami.

Summit Entertainment releases the movie in the States later this year while Spain will see it in October.

Warner Bros. Pictures International picked up the show's International Box Office Achievement Award from showbiz data giant Rentrak.

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WBPI finished 2011 as the number one studio across Europe and having posted a total international gross of $2.87 billion in that year.

The 2011 tally marked the studio's second biggest year ever for the studio, falling two per cent short of 2010's industry record of $2.93 billion.

Many will be asking what the studio will do without its Harry Potter franchise, described by WBPI president, distribution Veronika Kwan Vanderberg earlier in the week at the show as a "cornerstone" of the studio's slate for the last 10 years.

The last instalment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part  2 in 3D conjured up a spell-binding $953 million to become the highest grossing Warner Bros' film of all time internationally.

Rentrak also dished out plaudits for the stellar international boxoffice for R-rated comedy The Hangover Part 2 which grossed $332 million internationally and 3D which scored $121 million, Green Lantern 3D ($120 million) and Yogi Bear 3D ($105 million).

Warner Brothers has also already reported that the $1 billion mark has already been hit in 2012 on the back of box office gold from Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows ($257 million in 2012 alone), Happy Feet 2 3D danced its way to beyond the $100 million in early 2012 and Wrath of The Titanswhich has grossed an estimated $220 million internationally.

The show, aimed primarily at European theater operators and one at which the Hollywood majors line up to tout upcoming slates while promising to put bums on seats and popcorn in movie-goers hands, also looked after its core clientale.

This year's international exhibitors of the year honor went to Catalan theater owners Camilo and Jaime Tarrazon Rodon.

The Rodón brothers run regional theater chain Area Catalania d'Exhibidiò, a business originally started by their grandparents.

Jaime acts as CEO of the group, while Camilo dedicates most of his time to his job as president of the Catalan Theater Owners Association, a position he has held since 2004.

It was on behalf of the Catalan Theater Owners Association that the duo accepted the plaudit.

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The awards luncheon marked the conclusion of the show's first ever appearance in the northern Spanish town having relocated from its home of 25 years in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Organizers of the four-day conference, aimed primarily at European theater operators, said the show will return next year to Barcelona.