As President, Worldwide Marketing for Warner Bros. Pictures, Sue Kroll oversees the strategic creation and implementation of marketing campaigns for the Studio’s global releases, directing all aspects of marketing, advertising, media planning, promotion, publicity and research.
Since January 2008, when Kroll took over leadership of worldwide marketing in this newly created position, the Studio has opened more than 30 films at number one at the U.S. box. In 2011, the Studio amassed a worldwide box office tally of $4.7 billion ($1.83 billion domestically and $2.87 internationally). This marks the 11th consecutive year the Studio has exceeded $1 billion at both the domestic and international box offices and the third consecutive year Warner Bros. Pictures has surpassed $4 billion globally—both feats unmatched by any other studio.
Among the Studio’s recent releases handled by Kroll and her team are Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, which boasted a worldwide gross of $1.3 billion, marking the end of the top-grossing Harry Potter series with global receipts reaching $7.7 billion; The Hangover Part II, which took in $584 million worldwide, capturing the highest-grossing R-rated comedy crown from its predecessor; and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, the follow-up to 2009’s hit Sherlock Holmes, which has earned more than $500 million to date.
She previously spearheaded campaigns for many other global successes, including the record-breaking 2008 blockbuster The Dark Knight, which amassed more than $1 billion at the worldwide box office, landing as the third-highest-grossing film domestically of all time and the 10th-highest worldwide; Christopher Nolan’s Oscar-winning Inception, which grossed more than $826 million worldwide; and The Hangover, which earned $469 million worldwide.
For 2013, Kroll is currently overseeing the marketing of a wide range of Warner Bros. Pictures’ releases, including Jack the Giant Slayer (NLC), The Great Gatsby, The Hangover Part III, Man of Steel, Pacific Rim, 300: Rise of an Empire and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (NLC).
Kroll served as President of the International Marketing Division from 2000 through 2007, during which time she led campaigns for all the Studio’s releases overseas, including 32 films that grossed more than $100 million internationally. In 2004, Warner Bros. Pictures International crossed the $1 billion threshold in less than six months and went on to become the first studio ever to surpass the $2 billion mark in a calendar year, with a $2.19 billion box office total. That record held until 2007, when the Division’s receipts of $2.24 billion set a new Studio record.
During her tenure, Kroll oversaw the marketing of such hits as the first five films in the blockbuster Harry Potter franchise; I Am Legend which grossed $328 million internationally; and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory which earned more than $200 million overseas. Other successful international campaigns included 300, the Ocean’s movies, Happy Feet, Beowulf, The Departed, Blood Diamond, Batman Begins, Constantine, The Polar Express, Troy, The Last Samurai, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions and Clint Eastwood’s dual films about the Pacific in World War II, Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima.
Kroll is active in numerous mentoring and volunteering organizations, including Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles, which presented her with its prestigious Sherry Lansing Award in October 2009. She is one of the inaugural members of Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Women in Entertainment Mentorship Program. Additionally, she serves on the executive committee of Film Independent, the Los Angeles-based non-profit that produces the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival.
Kroll joined Warner Bros. Pictures in 1994 to head Programming & Operations for Warner Bros. International Channels. In this capacity, she devised the strategy and launch of the Studio’s venture into the international branded cable channels business, which was developed to expand the company’s global television presence with the creation of thematic programming services.
When the channels operations were shifted to Turner Broadcasting following the Time Warner merger with Turner, Kroll was asked to utilize her international marketing, branding and identity-building savvy in support of theatrical motion picture releases at Warner Bros. Pictures International, starting as a Senior Vice President prior to leading the Division.
Kroll started her career in New York, where she worked over a seven-year period in various divisions of Viacom, including Showtime Networks Inc., The Movie Channel and Viewer’s Choice. She next relocated to Atlanta to head the marketing department at Turner Network Television (TNT), developing and directing all marketing and promotional campaigns for the network and its programs, including its original feature films, sports programming and special events.
After four years, her role was expanded and she was named Senior Vice President and Managing Director of both TNT and Cartoon Network Europe. In this post, Kroll created the company’s first-ever overseas entertainment operations when she took the two networks to Europe. Relocating to London, she built and launched these networks from the ground up, developing and overseeing all operations for the networks’ eventual growth throughout the European marketplace. This marked a milestone for Turner Broadcasting as the company’s first entertainment venture outside of the United States.
Kroll holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Glassboro State University in New Jersey.