Metacritic's First Annual Movie Studio Report Card

  • Publish Date: January 27, 2010
  • Comments: ↓ 14 user comments

Warner Bros. (incl. New Line)

Summary of 2009 Films
Metascore Breakdown
Good / So-So / Bad:
Quality: Performance:
C– A

By any financial measure, Warner Bros. had a very good 2009. The studio finished in first place in overall market share for the second consecutive year, and also became the very first distributor to break the $2 billion domestic box office barrier.

Warner's domestic market share actually increased in 2009, from 2008's 18.4% to last year's 19.9%. Internationally, though the studio finished in third place, it collected another $1.85 billion.

Six Warner Bros. films topped the $100 million barrier (domestically), including the studio's two biggest hits of the year, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and the somewhat unexpected comedy blockbuster The Hangover.

However, those two films were among just six Warner Bros. releases receiving mostly positive reviews from critics. (Indeed, Potter was Warner's best-reviewed film of the year.) The studio's C– quality grade stems from the fact that most of its releases fell deep within the "mediocre" category -- or worse. Yet those middling or negative reviews did not deter audiences from seeing many of these movies; The Blind Side and Sherlock Holmes are among several Warners releases that scored big box office in spite of less-than-glowing notices.

Warner's New Line label was responsible for many of those critically-shunned releases. The eight films -- mainly genre pictures and "chick flicks" -- released under the New Line banner received an average Metascore of just 42.3, and not one of those titles received generally favorable reviews from critics.

2009 Film Quality Overview - Warner Bros.
Total Releases # Great # Awful Avg. Metascore Avg. User Score
26 0 0 52.1 6.0
Low - Median - High: 28 - 51.5 - 78 Score Distribution: 28,44.8,51.5,57.8,78

In the Score Distribution chart, half of all scores (from the 25th percentile to the 75th percentile) fall within the shaded box, with the vertical line in the middle of the box representing the median. The Metascore is a weighted average of scores from top professional critics, on a scale from 0 (bad) to 100 (good). The User Score is an average of scores submitted by Metacritic users, on a scale from 0 (bad) to 10 (good).

2009 Performance Overview - Warner Bros.
Category Total (in Millions) Rank Market Share
Domestic Gross $2,106 1st 19.9%
Foreign Gross $1,850 3rd 17%
Per-Film Average Gross $81.8 3rd  
# of Hits (Domestic Gross > $100M) 6 films 1st  

Per-Film Average is the average domestic gross of all films released during 2009, and includes receipts through January 25, 2010 for films still in theaters. Rank indicates the studio's ranking among the six major studios. Sources: Box Office Mojo, The Hollywood Reporter, and Metacritic staff research.

2009 Releases for Warner Bros.
Film Studio Domestic Gross* Metascore User Score
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood PrinceWarner Bros.$301,959,197786.6
Under the Sea 3DWarner Bros.$19,733,883775.4
InvictusWarner Bros.$35,805,147747.1
The HangoverWarner Bros.$277,322,503737.2
Where the Wild Things AreWarner Bros.$77,105,365716.5
The Informant!Warner Bros.$35,389,564665.5
The Invention of LyingWarner Bros.$18,451,251585.4
Sherlock HolmesWarner Bros.$191,076,852576.9
WatchmenWarner Bros.$125,322,469567.5
Observe and ReportWarner Bros.$24,007,324545.4
The Blind SideWarner Bros.$233,678,402536.6
ShortsWarner Bros.$20,919,166532.6
Terminator SalvationWarner Bros.$184,448,783526.0
My Sister's KeeperNew Line$49,200,230516.0
17 AgainNew Line$64,167,069485.6
He's Just Not That Into YouNew Line$93,953,653476.1
The Time Traveler's WifeNew Line$63,414,846477.0
InkheartNew Line$17,303,424477.0
The BoxWarner Bros.$15,051,977474.2
Chandni Chowk to ChinaWarner Bros.$921,738445.5
OrphanWarner Bros.$41,596,251427.2
Friday the 13th [2009]New Line$65,002,019346.8
Ghosts of Girlfriends PastNew Line$55,250,026344.7
Ninja AssassinWarner Bros.$38,038,354346.7
The Final DestinationNew Line$66,477,700304.8
WhiteoutWarner Bros.$10,275,638285.1

* Domestic Gross includes box office receipts through January 25, 2010 for films still in theaters. Source for grosses: Box Office Mojo.

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Comments (14)

  • Pearl  

    This is an excellent report- well researched and written, AND VERY INTERESTING TOO.

  • Marc Doyle  

    Congrats to Warner. It's great to see some high Metascoring films (esp. The Hangover) do well at the box office. It's great to see the quality breakdown juxtaposed with the box office results.

  • Nick  

    This is fascinating. The color-coded numbers, the great stats--I'm thoroughly enjoying the new MetaCritic. As for the actual stats, I was surprised by Weinstein and Fox Searchlight. I thought they both put out mostly better than average movies. Guess not.

  • Dorothy Ivan  

    Wow! I'm blown away by this amazing report. Keep them coming.

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