Poweredby the phenomenal success of Pixar's Finding Nemo and the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced The Pirates OfThe Caribbean, the Buena Vista FilmDistribution Group (BVFDG) has made history by becoming the first studio topass $3bn at the global box office in a single year.

BVFDG comprises the domestic operation controlled byBuena Vista Pictures Distribution and its international counterpart at BuenaVista International.

Bothdivisions are enjoying record years with a domestic year-to-date gross of$1.48bn (surpassing $1.24bn set in 1999) and $1.6bn in international ticketsales. The combined gross currently stands at $3.08bn, beating the previousmark of $2.86bn set by Sony Pictures Entertainment last year.

Thisis the eighth time in nine years that BVFDG has passed $2bn at the global boxoffice.

"Byany measure, 2003 has been an extraordinary year for Disney's motion picturedivision with such hit films as Finding Nemo, The Pirates Of The Caribbean, Bringing Down The House, Brother Bear, Freaky Friday, Holes and Open Range, among others," Walt Disney Studios chairman Dick Cook said in astatement.

Hissentiments were echoed by Chuck Viane and Mark Zoradi, the respective heads ofdomestic and international.

"Thisis the biggest grossing year in BVI history and the ninth year in a row thatBVI has grossed more than $1bn at the box office," Zoradi said. "Pirates ofthe Caribbean is on target to becomethe most popular Disney banner live-action film ever released internationally,with an amazing gross to date of $345m. Finding Nemo continues to be an enormous hit overseas with agross to date of more than $240m."

Zoradialso praised Bruce Almighty,which has taken $204m in BVI territories and is the distributor's highestgrossing acquisition of all time and its seventh live-action title to pass$200m.