Warner Bros. Pictures surpasses $5-billion at worldwide box office

Warner Bros. Pictures has crossed the $5 billion mark at the global box office this year—only the second time in its illustrious history that the Studio has crossed that tremendous milestone. It is also the eighth time in the last nine years that Warner Bros. has earned more than $4 billion in a single year, marking an industry record. The announcement was made today by Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

Additionally, setting a new Studio record in 2017, Warner Bros. had five of its feature film releases each take in more than $500 million worldwide (in order): Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ action adventure “Kong: Skull Island” (with Legendary Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures), starring Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson and John C. Reilly; Patty Jenkins’ action adventure “Wonder Woman,” starring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine; Christopher Nolan’s sweeping epic “Dunkirk,” with an ensemble cast including Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy; New Line Cinema’s horror thriller “IT”; and, most recently, Zack Snyder’s “Justice League,” teaming Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Raymond Fisher, Jason Momoa and Ezra Miller, which stands at more than $574 million and still climbing. The year’s highlights also include three more releases crossing $250 million worldwide: the animated feature “The LEGO® Batman Movie” (with LEGO System A/S); New Line’s horror thriller “Annabelle: Creation”; and Alcon Entertainment’s dramatic thriller “Blade Runner 2049” (with Sony Pictures).

In making the announcement, Kroll stated, “We are thrilled to reach this extraordinary benchmark as we come to the end of an amazing, record-setting year. Surpassing five billion dollars in a single year can only happen with an incredible level of hard work across all theatrical divisions, as well as the invaluable contributions of the many talented filmmakers and actors with whom we are so fortunate to collaborate. Congratulations to everyone who shares in this success.”

How they created the monster king in ‘Kong: Skull Island’

For the filmmakers overseeing such a complex production as “Kong: Skull Island,” there was perhaps nothing more challenging or exhilarating than the creation of the title character. They certainly didn’t make things easy for themselves. “I always imagined King Kong as being his own species and defying any simple characterization or comparison with the creatures of our world,” says producer Thomas Tull.

Tull’s perspective was perfectly in sync with the director’s, whose iconic monster is like no other. Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts confirms, “In our film, Kong is a throwback to a classic movie monster, not just an ape. I wanted our Kong to be more of a lonely god than ever before. Then I wanted to slowly reveal that he has empathy and pathos and can connect with others on an emotional level. Even though in our film he is god-like, there’s humanity to Kong—a heart that I think people will respond to.”
The effort to make Kong live and emote onscreen with as much detail and realism as possible involved a broad coalition of creative talents within the visual effects and animation teams, and specialists in concept art, sound and design, all unified through Vogt-Roberts’s vision for the character and his directive to think outside the box.

Premier visual effects house Industrial Light & Magic, which has spearheaded VFX for some of the biggest blockbusters in cinema history, helped bring Kong to life on a whole new scale. They were led by senior visual effects supervisor Stephen Rosenbaum and visual effects supervisor Jeff White.

The ILM team numbered almost 300 artists, animators and technicians, based in three separate facilities. ILM’s work on Kong took over a year and a half, eight months of which were spent designing the mythic figure. The principal task was to not only create a character with a presence and purpose, but to make him a powerful anti-hero as well. “Our inherent challenge was to have audiences feel an affinity for Kong and to imbue him with that element of humanity,” Rosenbaum explains.

Vogt-Roberts kicked off the process by asking the ILM team to evoke the essence of the classic 1933 film “King Kong,” preserving its cultural mystique and classic monster feel. It was a demanding mandate but one all the filmmakers took to heart as bringing together the best of both worlds.

This intersection of the epic and the intimate has produced some of the most visceral, original and pulse-pounding scenes in the history of the genre, as well as some unexpected, emotionally charged moments. White admits that some of his favorite scenes were the quieter moments where Kong connects to some members of the expedition team, or ponders Skull Island’s infinite beauty. “I particularly enjoyed scenes like when Kong is sitting quietly, gazing at the Aurora Borealis, interacts with Weaver (Brie Larson) to aid a stricken animal, and connects with Weaver and Conrad (Tom Hiddleston) on a cliff side. I think those moments are when Kong really comes alive as a character.”

In this new version of Kong, size matters. A lot. At 100-feet tall, he towers over other iterations…and the new visitors to Skull Island. “That’s important because that dimension gives Kong weight and a grandiose quality, where a human will look like a speck in the shadow of this colossus, and you see how insignificant we are in his world, where we really don’t belong,” White concludes.

Sound design was another important element in bringing Kong to life. Long before production commenced, the filmmakers experimented with different techniques to create Kong’s chilling, heartrending roar, as well as a whole universe of sounds that would give the action a visceral, theatre-shaking feel.

Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures Present a Legendary Pictures Production, “Kong: Skull Island.” The film is still showing in the Philippines in 2D, 3D in select theatres, from Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

‘Kong: Skull Island’ tops PH box office with P77.86-M in 4 days

MANILA, March 13, 2017 – Kong: Skull Island, Warner Bros. Pictures’, Legendary Pictures’ and Tencent Pictures’ epic reimagining of one of cinema’s mightiest monster myths, thundered to the top of the Philippine box office, earning a total of more than P77.86-M across 290 screens, with no signs of slowing down. The announcement was made today by Francis Soliven, General Manager of Warner Bros. Philippines.

Opening virtually day-and-date across the globe, the action adventure from director Jordan Vogt-Roberts brings Kong stomping back to the big screen at a whole new scale, alongside an acclaimed cast led by Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson and John C. Reilly.

In making the announcement, Soliven stated, “Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts and his extraordinary cast and filmmaking team have delivered the crowd-pleasing monster movie that audiences across the Philippines have been waiting for. We couldn’t be more thrilled with the film’s incredible debut, and the responses of both critics and moviegoers promise that Kong will roar well into the season.”

In the US, Kong: Skull Island emerged victorious after a battle of the beasts that pitted the giant ape movie against Logan. Cresting a wave of good reviews, Kong: Skull Island topped the domestic box office, racking up a mighty $61 million which is above expectations. Early estimates had Kong debuting to between $45 million and $50 million.

The producers of Godzilla reimagine the origins of one the most powerful monster myths of all in Kong: Skull Island, from Warner Bros. Pictures, Legendary Pictures and Tencent Pictures.

A compelling, original adventure from director Jordan Vogt-Roberts (The Kings of Summer), the film tells the story of a diverse team of scientists, soldiers and adventurers uniting to explore a mythical, uncharted island in the Pacific, as dangerous as it is beautiful. Cut off from everything they know, the team ventures into the domain of the mighty Kong, igniting the ultimate battle between man and nature. As their mission of discovery becomes one of survival, they must fight to escape a primal Eden in which humanity does not belong.

Vogt-Roberts directed the film from a screenplay by Dan Gilroy and Max Borenstein and Derek Connolly, story by John Gatins. Kong: Skull Island is produced by Thomas Tull, Mary Parent, Jon Jashni and Alex Garcia, with Eric McLeod and Edward Cheng serving as executive producers.

Now playing across the Philippines in 2D, 3D in select theatres, and IMAX, Kong: Skull Island is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Brie Larson channels inner action hero in ‘Kong: Skull Island’

Oscar Best Actress-winner for 2015’s Room, Brie Larson now stars as Vietnam War photojournalist Mason Weaver in Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ Kong: Skull Island, an epic action-adventure that reimagines the origins of one the most powerful monster myths of all.

A compelling, original tale from director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, the film tells the story of a diverse team of scientists, soldiers and adventurers uniting to explore a mythical, uncharted island in the Pacific, as dangerous as it is beautiful. Cut off from everything they know, the team ventures into the domain of the mighty Kong, igniting the ultimate battle between man and nature. As their mission of discovery becomes one of survival, they must fight to escape a primal Eden in which humanity does not belong.

Larson’s Mason Weaver is a street-smart investigative photojournalist and self-described “anti-war photographer” who has seen the monster of humanity at war. Her suspicions sparked, Weaver’s curiosity about the mission’s true purpose drives her to maneuver her way onboard as team photographer. But once they cross over onto Skull Island, she is plunged into the biggest story of her life – one that will confront all her journalistic instincts and ethics.

Portraying her role, Larson appreciated the opportunity to channel her inner action hero. “This is a far more physical role than anything I’ve done before, and it’s great to be able to utilize my physicality in a new way,” she says.

Kong: Skull Island gave the cast rich thematic territory to explore in their search for monsters. “To me, this story feels like an allegory for the animal nature that’s within us all,” Larson remarks. “We’re so far removed now from that part of ourselves; we seem to feel the need to overcome it in so many ways. It also taps into the ways we deal with the world around us—how we treat nature and how we value it, and how we value other human beings as well.”

Though Weaver has a unique connection with Kong, she is not the film’s damsel in distress; nor is she the classic Beauty to Kong’s Beast. Weaver comes to the mission after braving some of the most dangerous combat zones and hotspots in the war. “She has a hard-earned reputation for being fearless and willing to do whatever it takes to expose the truth,” Larson affirms. “That passion has gotten her into trouble because a lot of publications—and the men captured in her lens—aren’t so crazy about seeing the dark side of the war held up to the light. Another dimension of her is that in the ‘70s, the battlefield was a very masculine place, and this was a chance to pay respect to the women who really did do this job in that world and are still doing it today.”

Pursuing neither science nor dominance, Weaver becomes the first among their party to meet Kong face-to-face…and the first to see the true scope of what they have inadvertently set into motion. “Weaver’s encounter with Kong opens her heart to something greater than herself,” Larson reflects. “Kong is the biggest thing on the island, yet he doesn’t choose to use his power in a way that’s harmful to her. She starts this journey wanting to capture images that will get a lot of acclaim and maybe win prizes, but seeing into this being’s soul, she very quickly realizes that there’s something on this island that’s precious and needs to be protected.”

Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures Present a Legendary Pictures Production, “Kong: Skull Island.” The film will be released in the Philippines in 2D, 3D in select theatres, and IMAX beginning Thursday, March 9, 2017, from Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Samuel L. Jackson leaves no man behind in ‘Kong: Skull Island’

Oscar nominee Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction, Avengers: Age of Ultron), plays Lt. Colonel Preston Packard, the human alpha among the human characters in Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures’ Kong: Skull Island which reimagines the origin of the mythic Kong in a compelling, original adventure.

Watch the final trailer of Kong: Skull Island below.

In the film, a diverse team of explorers is brought together to venture deep into an uncharted island in the Pacific – as beautiful as it is treacherous – unaware that they’re crossing into the domain of the mythic Kong.

The battle-hardened leader of the Sky Devils helicopter squadron, which is set to be decommissioned in the dark final days of the Vietnam War, Packard is struggling to turn his back on a war he cannot win. When his team is offered an assignment to lead the airborne survey of Skull Island, he seizes the opportunity for one last mission before rotating home with men who have become closer to him than family.

Jackson relates, “Packard is glad that all his men are going home safe, but seizes the opportunity for them to have one last flight together before it’s time to go. People are saying we lost the war and he’s saying we just abandoned it. He wants his soldiers to feel like winners, and sees this as an opportunity for them to be heroes and come home with some kind of victory.”

When the expedition reaches Skull Island, however, Packard can only watch in horror. “Kong knocks all these helicopters out of the sky, killing most of his men,” says Jackson. “Having left no man behind in Vietnam, and being the warrior that he is, he is not giving up on that fight easily. Having skin in the game and now blood on his hands for not getting his men home, his natural enemy becomes Kong.”

“We want to see Kong in an environment that is as big and spectacular as he is,” says the acting legend. “We know he lives in the jungle, but what else is in that jungle? What’s out there that allows him to exist? Are there others or is he an anomaly? And we find out that he was once part of a community that got wiped out by something else that’s on that island. Now he’s the guardian that keeps those things in check.”

Both Packard and Kong—each in his own way—is a protector: Kong of his home and Packard of his men, until Packard loses sight of what he’s protecting. “At this point, he has become almost an island unto himself,” Jackson observes. “Everyone is starting to understand that by exacting a measure of vengeance for the people he lost, even knowing that it risks the others not getting home, Packard is not being the level-headed commanding officer his soldiers have come to depend on all those years. In a rational world, and if he wasn’t so emotionally tied to the losses he suffered, he would understand the biological equation at play here. He still demands his pound of flesh.”

Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures Present a Legendary Pictures Production, Kong: Skull Island. The film will be released in the Philippines in 2D, 3D in select theatres, and IMAX beginning Thursday, March 9, 2017, from Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

‘Kong: Skull Island’ to have midnight screenings in PH cinemas

Moviegoers in the Philippines get a rare chance to awaken the king of monsters earlier than anyone else in the world! Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures have scheduled midnight screenings of Kong: Skull Island on Thursday, March 9 at 12:01AM in participating cinemas across the country.

Be the first one to watch the controversial post-credit scene that’s bound to be talked about right after.

Tickets to the previews will be at regular admission prices. The public is advised to check with their favourite cinemas for exact details of screening hours and ticket rates.

The epic action-adventure then opens wide on Thursday morning March 9 starting at ten am.

A compelling, original adventure from director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, Kong: Skull Island tells the story of a diverse team of scientists, soldiers and adventurers uniting to explore a mythical, uncharted island in the Pacific, as dangerous as it is beautiful. Cut off from everything they know, the team ventures into the domain of the mighty Kong, igniting the ultimate battle between man and nature. As their mission of discovery becomes one of survival, they must fight to escape a primal Eden in which humanity does not belong.

Kong: Skull Island stars Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers, Thor), Oscar nominee Samuel L. Jackson (Avengers: Age of Ultron), John Goodman (Transformers: Age of Extinction), Oscar winner Brie Larson (Room), Jing Tian (The Great Wall), Toby Kebbell (Warcraft) and Oscar nominee John C. Reilly (Guardians of the Galaxy).

With Kong: Skull Island—and Godzilla before it—the producing team is laying the foundation for a vast, shared universe of monsters, one grounded in our own world but heightened to allow for the existence of MUTOs (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms, in the “MonsterVerse” vernacular). But to do it justice meant not only orchestrating the collision of two longstanding cinematic mythologies but merging two distinct timelines.

The key came in the form of a game-changing idea from Vogt-Roberts, an emerging filmmaker with just one feature under his belt—the acclaimed independent hit “The Kings of Summer.” Producer Alex Garcia reveals, “The linchpin of our Godzilla story is the notion that the 1954 nuclear tests weren’t tests; the government was actually trying to kill something. Jordan came in the door with the idea of setting the film in the 1970s, and that immediately lit up our imaginations. Not only did the `70s jibe with the MonsterVerse, it’s a rich period to explore thematically and allowed us to bring ultra-real warfare and giant monsters together within the same movie.”

Opening across the Philippines in 2D, 3D in select theaters, and IMAX beginning March 9, 2017, Kong: Skull Island is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

WATCH: Final trailer for ‘Kong: Skull Island’ unleashes rip-roaring adventure

Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures have just released the official final trailer for “Kong: Skull Island” which may be viewed below.

“Kong: Skull Island” reimagines the origin of the mythic Kong in a compelling, original adventure from director Jordan Vogt-Roberts (“The Kings of Summer”).

In the film, a diverse team of explorers is brought together to venture deep into an uncharted island in the Pacific – as beautiful as it is treacherous – unaware that they’re crossing into the domain of the mythic Kong.

“Kong: Skull Island” stars Tom Hiddleston (“The Avengers,” “Thor: The Dark World”), Samuel L. Jackson (“The Hateful Eight,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron”), Oscar winner Brie Larson (“Room,” “Trainwreck”), John Goodman (“Transformers: Age of Extinction,” “Argo”) and John C. Reilly (“Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Step Brothers”). The international ensemble cast also includes Tian Jing (“Police Story: Lockdown”), Corey Hawkins (“Straight Outta Compton”), Jason Mitchell (“Straight Outta Compton”), John Ortiz (“Steve Jobs”), Thomas Mann (“Beautiful Creatures”), Shea Whigham (“The Wolf of Wall Street”), Toby Kebbell (“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”) and Eugene Cordero (“The Kings of Summer”).

Vogt-Roberts is directing the film from a screenplay by Max Borenstein, John Gatins, Dan Gilroy and Derek Connolly. “Kong: Skull Island” is produced by Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni with Mary Parent. The executive producers are Eric McLeod and Alex Garcia.

To fully immerse audiences in the mysterious Skull Island, director Jordan Vogt-Roberts and his cast and filmmaking team filmed across three continents over six months, capturing its primordial landscapes on Oahu, Hawaii – where filming commenced on October 2015 – on Australia’s Gold Coast, and finally in Vietnam, where filming will took place across multiple locations, some of which have never before been seen on film.

Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures Present a Legendary Pictures Production, “Kong: Skull Island.” The film will be released in the Philippines in 2D, 3D in select theatres, and IMAX beginning March 9, 2017, from Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

WATCH: First trailer for ‘Kong: Skull Island’ teaser monster king

Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ “Kong: Skull Island” reimagines the origin of the mythic Kong in a compelling, original adventure from director Jordan Vogt-Roberts. Watch the film’s first trailer below (unveiled during the recent San Diego Comic-Con).

In the film, a diverse team of explorers is brought together to venture deep into an uncharted island in the Pacific—as beautiful as it is treacherous—unaware that they’re crossing into the domain of the mythic Kong.

“Kong: Skull Island” stars Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Oscar winner Brie Larson, John Goodman and John C. Reilly. The international ensemble cast also includes Tian Jing, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, John Ortiz, Thomas Mann, Shea Whigham, Toby Kebbell and Eugene Cordero.

Vogt-Roberts directs the film from a screenplay by Max Borenstein, John Gatins, Dan Gilroy and Derek Connolly. “Kong: Skull Island” is produced by Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni with Mary Parent. The executive producers are Eric McLeod and Alex Garcia.

Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures present a Legendary Pictures Production, “Kong: Skull Island.” The film will be released worldwide in 2D, 3D in select theatres, and IMAX in March 2017, from Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

‘Kong: Skull Island’ set for 2017, ‘Godzilla 2’ for 2018, ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ for 2020

Burbank, CA – October 14, 2015 – Following Legendary’s and Warner Bros. Pictures’ 2014 success with the global reinvention of the Godzilla franchise, the companies have come together to create an epic, new shared cinematic franchise. All-powerful monsters become towering heroes for a new generation, revealing a mythology that brings together Godzilla and Legendary’s King Kong in an ecosystem of other giant super-species, both classic and new. Monarch, the human organization that uncovered Godzilla in the 2014 film, will expand their mission across multiple releases.

The announcement that the reinvention of monsters continues was made today by Legendary CEO, Thomas Tull, and Kevin Tsujihara, Chairman and CEO, Warner Bros. The initial trio of films are 2017’s KONG: SKULL ISLAND; GODZILLA 2 in 2018; and then GODZILLA VS. KONG, arriving in theaters in 2020. While Legendary maintains its new home at Universal Pictures, the GODZILLA films remain in partnership with Warner Bros., who will now also distribute KONG as a part of this franchise. Production on KONG: SKULL ISLAND begins October 19th.

Warner Bros. and Legendary released Godzilla in May 2014 with an agreement to release Godzilla 2 on June 8, 2018. Both films feature the human Monarch organization. Shortly following Legendary’s pact with NBC Universal, Legendary acquired rights to additional classic characters from Toho’s Godzilla universe, including Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah. This paved the way for developing a franchise centered around Monarch and anchored by Godzilla, King Kong, and other famous creatures.

When Legendary announced films centered on Godzilla and Kong, fans all over the world speculated these two characters might one day meet in the same film. Classic Toho monsters including King Ghidorah, Mothra, and Rodan, as announced at Comic-Con 2014, may also join the Legendary pantheon of giant monster mayhem going forward.

“Audiences really responded to Godzilla,” stated Tull. “Today, I’m excited to reveal that film was only the beginning of an epic new entertainment universe. As a lifelong fan of these characters, I’ve always wanted to see the ultimate showdown, and today we’re pleased to be announcing that and more.”

“Working with our partners at Legendary, we enjoyed tremendous creative and commercial success with `Godzilla,’” said Tsujihara. “It’s great to be able to revisit these characters and help create a franchise with so many creative possibilities for filmmakers. Fans love these big, globally iconic films and it doesn’t get any bigger than this.”

KONG: SKULL ISLAND stars Tom Hiddleston, Sam Jackson, Brie Larson, John Goodman, Tian Jing, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, John Ortiz, Shea Whigham, and Toby Kebbell. Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts and written by Max Borenstein, John Gatins, Dan Gilroy, and Derek Connolly, KONG: SKULL ISLAND will fully immerse audiences in the mysterious and dangerous home of the king of the apes as a team of explorers ventures deep inside the treacherous, primordial island. Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni will produce with Mary Parent. Alex Garcia and Eric McLeod will executive produce. Warner Bros. will distribute the film in 3D and IMAX 3D on March 10, 2017.

GODZILLA 2 will be written by Max Borenstein and directed by Gareth Edwards. Legendary is producing with Mary Parent, and Alex Garcia will executive produce. The film is set to be released by Warner Bros. on June 8, 2018.

GODZILLA VS. KONG will be released in 2020.