BREAKING: Remember the bruising that Universal Pictures brass received over the summer when Battleship failed and when rumors were published that Comcast had courted DreamWorks partner Stacey Snider to return? Now, Universal’s Ron Meyer, Adam Fogelson and Donna Langley have reason to take a bow. The studio, which passed the record for Universal’s domestic grosses back in October, is now on course to blow past its global record, even before Les Miserables gets released on Christmas. Grosses aren’t profits, of course, but hits like Safe House and Ted certainly have created some momentum. Here is the official release:
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA, December 20, 2012—Universal Pictures today announced that 2012 will mark its best year at the worldwide box office in the studio’s 100-year history with global theatrical grosses exceeding $2.927 billion to date. Universal broke its domestic record ($1.127 billion) in October and the studio will surpass its international record ($1.716 billion) Friday, December 21.
Universal’s success has not been buoyed by a single traditional franchise film but, rather, a portfolio of diverse films that saw warm reception at the box office. Universal was the only studio in 2012 to have five non-franchise films gross over $200 million at the worldwide box office. The slate featured seven films that grossed over $200 million worldwide – more than any other studio (Safe House $209.1m, American Reunion $235.5m, The Bourne Legacy $276.3m, Battleship $307.8m, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax $349.7m, Snow White and the Huntsman $400.8m, Ted $502.5m).
Universal had six films claim the number one spot at the domestic box office in 2012. The studio also has one of the highest per film average grosses at $80.7 million.
Individual Film Records for 2012:
Ted became the highest-grossing original R-rated comedy of all time. At $502.5 million worldwide and counting, it is Universal’s highest-grossing film of 2012. Ted opened number one in the U.S. and was number one in 27 out of 62 territories where it was released. It was the highest grossing comedy of the year overseas and Universal’s all-time biggest opening in Australia and Austria. Ted remained in the top three films at the international box office for seven weeks.
Illumination Entertainment solidified its place as a leader in the family and animation space with the highest 3-day opening for an animated film of the year – Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax ($70.2 million). Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax also had the eighth highest domestic opening for an animated film of all time.
Safe House marked Denzel Washington’s second biggest opening of his career and his second highest-grossing film ever behind only one other Universal film, American Gangster.
Closing out this year’s slate, Universal has two highly-anticipated films: This Is 40, the latest comedy from writer/director/producer Judd Apatow which opens tomorrow, and Les Misérables, the motion-picture adaptation of the global stage sensation seen by more than 60 million people in 42 countries and in 21 languages around the world opening Christmas Day.