Warner Bros. Is Top U.K. Distributor for 2013 With $320 Million Gross

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Freeman Still - H 2013
Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Freeman Still - H 2013

The sequel to "The Hobbit," "Man of Steel" and "Gravity" help the Time Warner studio beat 2012 winner Sony to take the top spot in Britain for the third time in four years.

Powered by The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Man of Steel and Gravity, Warner Bros. U.K. took back the crown as Britain's top film distributor in 2013, becoming the number one studio for the third time in four years.

The Time Warner unit said Thursday that it grossed $320 million (£194 million) for a market share of 16.5 percent. That was based on data from research firm Rentrak.

In 2012, Sony had been the top U.K. distributor. In 2011, Warner was in the top position with a gross of £205.8 million and a share of 18.0 percent. In 2010, he studio had grossed £204.1 million for a share of 18.4 percent.

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Warner Bros. said its feat of being the number one U.K. distributor for three out of the past four years makes it the first studio to achieve this since records began.

Said Josh Berger, president and managing director, Warner Bros. U.K., Ireland and Spain: "We're thrilled to be named the U.K.'s number one film distributor for the third time in four years, a first for any studio here in the U.K. 2013 was one of the most tightly contested years in recent memory, and the result was only confirmed in December, following the standout performances of the hit British movie Gravity and the Christmas smash The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. This magnificent achievement is down to the creativity and expertise of our filmmaking colleagues and our market-leading team."

The Hobbit sequel, a production of New Line Cinema and MGM, grossed $54.1 million (£32.9 million) in the U.K., Man of Steel $49.2 million (£29.9 million), Gravity $44.9 million (£27.3 million), The Hangover Part III $31.7 million (£19.3 million), The Great Gatsby $25.8 million (£15.7 million) and The Conjuring $17.1 million (£10.4 million).

In 2014, the Warner Bros. U.K. movie slate includes Godzilla; Christopher Nolan's Interstellar; Horrible Bosses 2; The Hobbit: There and Back Again; Edge of Tomorrow; and Jupiter Ascending.

"Our 2014 film slate looks as rich and diverse as ever, with something to appeal to everyone," said Berger. "What's particularly exciting is the arrival of the first two movies to be produced at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden since it opened in June [2012] -- the Doug Liman sci-fi action movie Edge of Tomorrow, starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt, and the Wachowski siblings' Jupiter Ascending, starring Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum."

Email: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai