Metacritic's 3rd Annual Movie Studio Report Card

  • Publish Date: February 6, 2012
  • Comments: ↓ 3 user comments

Warner Bros. (incl. New Line)

Image Quality: C– Score
Critics Users Metascore Distribution
(22 releases):

50.2 6.0
Performance: B Score Trend:

After setting global box office records in 2009 and 2010, Warner Bros. had to settle for second place in both U.S. and foreign market share in 2011. It's actually the first time since 2007 that the studio didn't lead in domestic market share, and the second consecutive year that Warner's U.S. receipts have declined. Despite huge hits like the final Harry Potter film (2011's highest-grossing title) and, to a lesser extent, the second Hangover movie, Warner Bros. also experienced a surprisingly large number of flops last year. That list includes the studio's unnecessary remake of Arthur, stylized action film Sucker Punch, and the animated Happy Feet Two. And the studio was unable to launch a new superhero franchise in Green Lantern; though the film grossed nearly $220 million worldwide, that didn't come close to making it profitable.

Another lackluster 2011 performer for Warner Bros. was Clint Eastwood's J. Edgar, which was a rare critical misfire for the director and was one of 16 releases (73%) for the studio to fail to earn a collective thumbs up from professional reviewers last year. Though the studio's average Metascore was actually a few points higher in 2011 than in 2010—and though it placed third among the major studios in overall quality—Warner films generally failed to excite critics last year, with only the Harry Potter film, Steven Soderbergh's Contagion, and the Steve Carell rom-com Crazy, Stupid, Love. generating much enthusiasm from reviewers among WB's major offerings. The studio did pick up an unexpected best picture nomination for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, however, though that film doesn't really qualify as "good."

The year ahead will be an interesting one for the studio. Warner could easily end up with the year's two highest-grossing films in The Dark Knight Rises and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. But other scheduled releases, such as Tim Burton's Dark Shadows, the Tom Cruise musical Rock of Ages, and Baz Luhrmann's 3D take on The Great Gatsby, could wind up either hits or expensive disasters.

2011 Releases for Warner Bros.
Film Studio Domestic Gross* Metascore User Score
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Warner Bros. $381,011,219877.8
ContagionWarner Bros.$75,658,097706.1
Crazy, Stupid, Love.Warner Bros.$84,351,197687.3
Born to Be Wild **Warner Bros.$15,856,802667.5
Dolphin TaleWarner Bros.$72,286,779646.2
A Very Harold & Kumar ChristmasNew Line Cinema$35,061,031617.1
J. EdgarWarner Bros.$37,174,517596.6
Horrible BossesNew Line Cinema$117,538,559577.0
UnknownWarner Bros.$63,686,397566.3
Happy Feet TwoWarner Bros.$63,109,313505.2
Final Destination 5Warner Bros.$42,587,643505.9
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of ShadowsWarner Bros.$182,547,473487.4
Extremely Loud and Incredibly CloseWarner Bros.$21,379,909465.2
Hall PassNew Line Cinema$45,060,734455.3
The Hangover Part IIWarner Bros.$254,464,305445.6
Green LanternWarner Bros.$116,601,172395.9
The RiteNew Line Cinema$33,047,633385.4
ArthurWarner Bros.$33,035,397364.6
Something BorrowedWarner Bros.$39,046,489365.1
Sucker PunchWarner Bros.$36,392,502336.1
Red Riding HoodWarner Bros.$37,662,162294.0
New Year's EveNew Line Cinema$54,263,014224.6

* Domestic Gross includes box office receipts through January 30, 2012 for films still in theaters.
** Screened in limited release
Source for grosses: Box Office Mojo.

Comments (3)

  • TitaniumDragon  

    I think the most troubling thing about this is the fact that the highest scoring films of 2012 were limited release movies, and that this trend has been ongoing. The question I think we need to ask, when we see this trend year after year, is whether the critics are actually rating movies properly, and whether the studios are distributing movies properly. If the best movies aren't seeing wide release, the question we must ask ourselves is whether the best movies are actually the best movies.

  • buellerbueller  

    Lionsgate has a D, film quality wise. They also made "The Artist". lol

  • LamontRaymond  

    Sony Pictures Classics was the gold standard in 2011. And this stuff doesn't happen by accident. The Tim Robbins-style green-lighter over there is just getting it done. Congrats! Great sense of what's good AND what can make you money.

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