Driven by the worldwide successes of Harry Potter And TheChamber Of Secrets, The Matrix Reloaded and Two Weeks Notice, Warner Bros Pictures International has passed $1bn inticket sales after just seven months of the year.

The $1.012bn running total is the sixth time the distributor hasreached the $1bn mark (after 1993, 1995, 1999, 2001 and 2002) and the fastesttime it has ever done so.

The distributor also currently ranks number one in theinternational box office stakes.

"We're confident that the rest of 2003 will bring in solidrevenues as well, with the upcoming release of such high-potential performersas The Matrix Revolutions, Looney Tunes: Back In Action, and The Last Samurai," president of distribution VeronikaKwan-Rubinek, who jointly runs the division with marketing president Sue Kroll,said in a statement.

"In planning our campaign strategies for our films we have awealth of opportunities to capitalise on - including star power and talentedfilm-makers - that are a marketer's dream," Kroll added.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets reached the third-highest industryinternational gross of all time ($604.4m), while The Matrix Reloaded became the first film ever to break the$100m mark internationally in a single weekend.

As well as theaforementioned titles, upcoming international releases for 2003 include ClintEastwood's mystery Mystic River, starring Sean Penn, Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne and LauraLinney; and Ridley Scott's Matchstick Men, starring Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell and Alison Lohman.