Despite losing DreamWorks' live-action slate to Walt Disney, Paramount managed to release more movies in 2011 than it has in any year since 2007. Shockingly—and we can't tell you how rare a feat this is for a major studio—not a single one of those films received overwhelmingly negative reviews from critics. Sure, the latest Transformers installment came close (with a barely-yellow 42 Metascore), but all that movie did was gross more than $1.1 billion worldwide.
Indeed, Paramount pulled off the rare feat of achieving both box office and critical success in 2011. Thanks to 9 films that pushed past the $100 million mark in the U.S., and a 14% increase in domestic receipts compared to 2010, the studio finished the year in first place in domestic market share. And with an all-time record $3.2 billion collected in other countries (up a whopping 60% compared to its take the previous year), Paramount easily topped the global box office charts as well.
The studio's biggest box office disappointments, ironically, came from big-name directors. Steven Spielberg's expensive animated adventure Tintin was a box office failure based on its domestic total, and while that film has grossed nearly $300 million in the rest of the world, its foreign receipts are attributable to Sony, who handled global distribution. Another underperformer was Martin Scorsese's Hugo, which hasn't come close to recouping its nearly $150 million budget, but even that failure is partially mitigated by the film's 11 Oscar nominations, which made it the most-nominated film of the year.
Hugo was the best of 9 positively reviewed releases for Paramount last year, helping to boost the studio's average Metascore over six points higher than its nearest major studio competitor (Disney). Those films also rated fairly well with Metacritic users, giving Paramount the second-best average user score among the major studios last year. And the studio's releases seem to be getting better each year, with its average Metascore increasing steadily. Don't look for that trend to continue this year, however; the presence of Eddie Murphy's A Thousand Words alone should be enough to pull down Paramount's overall score considerably.
Listed below are all films distributed domestically by Paramount last year. (The list does not include films distributed by specialty arm Paramount Vantage, which is considered a separate entity.)
|Film||Studio||Domestic Gross*||Metascore||User Score|
|Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol||Paramount Pictures||$202,790,734||73||7.7|
|Super 8||Paramount Pictures||$127,004,179||72||7.3|
|Young Adult||Paramount Pictures||$16,198,192||71||6.7|
|The Adventures of Tintin **||Paramount Pictures||$74,354,334||68||7.7|
|Kung Fu Panda 2||DreamWorks Animation||$165,249,063||67||7.7|
|Captain America: The First Avenger||Marvel Studios||$176,654,505||66||7.1|
|Puss in Boots||DreamWorks Animation||$148,156,181||65||7.5|
|Paranormal Activity 3||Paramount Pictures||$104,028,807||59||5.4|
|Justin Bieber: Never Say Never||MTV Films||$73,013,910||52||1.6|
|No Strings Attached||Paramount Pictures||$70,662,220||50||5.3|
|Transformers: Dark of the Moon||Paramount Pictures||$352,390,543||42||5.8|