“Transformers” helps Paramount become first studio to $1B


By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Thanks in large part to a blockbuster performance by Michael Bay’s “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” Paramount revealed that it is the first studio to reach the $11 billion mark in domestic grosses this year.

Granted, Disney can point at one film – Rob Marshall’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” – that has earned more than $1 billion on its own. But that’s worldwide.

This is the fifth year Paramount has raced, and beaten, its rival studios to the box office mark. THR reports that after “Transformers,” the studio’s top earners are “Thor” ($178M); “Kung Fu Panda” ($157.3M); “Rango” ($123.2M); “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” ($73M); and the Natalie Portman comedy “No Strings Attached” ($70.7M).

Paramount still has one more ace up its theatrical sleeve this summer as the studio prepares to unleash the potential blockbuster “Captain America: First Avenger” on July 22. Expect it to do “Thor” numbers, at worst, and “Transformers” numbers, at best.

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