Paramount at peak of world film industry

MOVIE maker Paramount Pictures has been crowned the world’s number one film studio as it enters the year of its 100th anniversary, beating old favourite Warner Bros to the coveted top spot.

America’s oldest existing film studio amassed a record $5.17bn (£3.3bn) in 2011, $1.96bn of which was in North America, with a further $3.21bn from the international market. Even the release of the final Harry Potter film was not enough to give Warner Bros the lead, which came in second with $4.67bn.

Paramount, which is owned by media conglomerate Viacom, put its successful year down to the release of the latest films in the Transformers, Paranormal Activity and Mission Impossible franchises and its distribution deals with Dreamworks Animation and Marvel, the companies behind 2011 box office hits Kung Fu Panda 2 and Captain America respectively.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon was Paramount’s first ever film to pass the $1bn mark and is currently ranked as the fourth highest grossing film. Rango, the film studio’s first original CGI film, took $123.5m in America alone.

Brad Grey (pictured), Paramount’s chief executive, said: “This achievement reflects the combined efforts of our entire team across the globe and the careful process by which we select the project and partners we believe in.

“We product pictures that aspire to entertain audiences around the world, while at the same time we have sought to find innovative ways to reach movie-goers in this changing entertainment environment.”

Paramount, which also released Steven Spielberg’s Super8 and Tintin in 2011, will this year send to the screens World War Z, the zombie thriller starring Brad Pitt, and The Dictator, from the team behind Borat.