Warner Bros. Takes U.K. Distributor Crown in 2011 With 'Harry Potter' Conjuring Box Office Cash

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" (David Yates)
Jaap Buitendijk/Warner Bros. Pictures

It ends very well.

Box office grosses in 2011 rise 4.5% in the U.K. and Ireland from previous year.

LONDON – Warner Bros. is the U.K.’s number one distributor in 2011 thanks to the box office wizardry of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows – Part Two and the drunken escapades of The Hangover Part 2.

The studio maintains the top distributor crown in the U.K. for the second year in a row claiming the top spot and grosses of £205.8 million ($320.2 million).

Paramount Pictures International followed in second place with £183.8 million ($285.9 million) while Universal Pictures with £137.2 million ($213.4 million) took third spot.

Twentieth Century Fox with £132.2 million ($205.7 million) and Walt Disney Studios with £100.8 million ($156.8 million) rounded out the top five British and Irish distributors list for 2011.

The figures, compiled by Rentrak, is sweet music to Warner Bros. for the year.

Harry Potter was Warner Bros.’ best performer conjuring up £73.1 million ($113.7 million) while the Hangover sequel hiccupped its way to £32.8 million ($51 million).

Potter delivered not only the biggest opening three-day weekend in the U.K. and Ireland ever, but also the two biggest single days in U.K. and Irish box office history -- Friday and Saturday with £9.48 million ($14.7 million) and £7.62 million ($11.85 million) respectively -- as well as tthe biggest 3D weekend gross of all time in the U.K. and Ireland.

Warner Bros. U.K., Ireland & Spain president and managing director Josh Berger said: “Being crowned the U.K.’s number one film distributor with record box office grosses for a second consecutive year is an absolutely stunning achievement when you consider the heavyweight competition we faced and the continuingly challenging economic climate we’re all operating in. Our success is reflective of the continuing leadership Warner Bros. enjoys here in the U.K.”

According to Rentrak, the total gross at the U.K. and Ireland box office hit £1.1 billion ($1.7 billion), up 4.5 percent for 2010’s £1 billion ($1.55 billion) tally.

The box offices grosses here include Value Added Tax in the totals - a government shopping tax which rose in January 2011 from 17.5 percent to 20 percent which, according to industry observers, accounts for a large proportion of the rise in grosses.