The market share crown will go to Warner Bros.
, which early this week crossed the $1.7 billion mark to edge past the previous studio record set by Sony in 2006.
Warners, of course, got a boost from "The Dark Knight," the year's top-grossing film with nearly $531 million in domestic ticket sales. But the studio also benefited by absorbing New Line Cinema, which contributed such hit titles as "Sex and the City," "Four Christmases" and "Journey to the Center of the Earth." Paramount
, which led the field last year with $1.49 billion, will increase its total this year. It stands in second place among studios with nearly $1.6 billion heading into the last week. Paramount could boast of such top grossers as "Iron Man," "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" and "Kung Fu Panda."
Poised to capture the third spot is Sony
with about $1.3 billion as "Hancock" ($228 million) led its hit parade.
Last weekend, Universal
, where "Mamma Mia! ($144.1 million) was the top-grossing movie, achieved a studio personal best as it ran its yearly total to $1.107 billion.
The battle for the fifth position will probably turn into something of a photo finish. As of Sunday, less than $1 million separated Fox and Disney. Fox'
s register had raked in $979 million, while Disney'
s rang up $978 million. The final result will probably depend on the relative holding power of Fox's "Marley," last weekend's top movie, and Disney's "Bedtime," the weekend's No. 2 film. Fox also will pick up some extra coin from "The Day the Earth Stood Still," heading into its fourth weekend, while Disney could wring a few more pennies out of "Bolt," now winding down in its seventh frame.