Executive Summary

Sony Pictures claimed the title of No.1 domestic distributor in 2002. The success of the summer blockbuster "Spider-Man" and other action hits allowed the distribution company to capture $1.56 billion in domestic box office, a 17.1 percent share of the market.

Warner Bros., last year's No. 1, slid to third place, with only two films "Harry Potter" and "Scooby-Doo" among the top 35 grossing pictures. Together, these two films accounted for 37.4 percent of the company's box office of $1.07 billion.

New Line, a unit of AOL Time Warner Inc., was a big winner, registering a 53.5 percent increase in box office receipts over 2001. The company released films from the popular "Lord of the Rings" and "Austin Powers" franchises in 2002.

Miramax, a unit of Walt Disney Co., and Paramount, a unit of Viacom Inc., showed the worst performance in 2002, with drops in box office of 37.6 percent and 22.6 percent, respectively.

Overall, there was a 12.8 percent gain in domestic box office over 2001, for a total of $8.55 billion for the Top 10 domestic distributors.

Nicole Taylor

The Pacesetter

Sony Pictures Releasing

The summer blockbuster "Spider-Man" propelled Sony Pictures to the top of the list, earning $403.7 million in 2002 in domestic box office and pushing up Sony's total to $1.56 billion. This marked a 114 percent increase over 2001 box office receipts, which totaled $729.3 million.

Sony rode a wave of big-ticket action films in 2002, with other hits including "Men In Black 2" and "XXX," which collectively grossed $330 million. Together, these three films accounted for 47.4 percent of total 2002 domestic box office receipts.

Sony's market share jumped to 17.1 percent of the domestic market, up from 9 percent in 2001, when it was No. 6 on the list.

Sony released 26 films in 2002, tying it with Warner Bros. for second in number of releases.

For 2003, Sony will be tapping into successful franchises, with "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" and "Bad Boys 2." Both films open in the summer.

Nicole Taylor

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