It didn’t take long for Universal Pictures International to whip past the $1 billion milestone this year. The studio said today it hit the mark in record time, topping its previous best by more than seven weeks (May 31, 2013). The run was fueled by the $401.2M heat generated overseas by Fifty Shades Of Grey and by Furious 7, which peeled off the starting line with $250M this past weekend and has banked a total of $316M so far — and has yet to open in China or Russia. UPI’s math also was helped by Best Picture Oscar nominee The Theory Of Everything, which kicked in $85M.
“This year we are thrilled to offer audiences some of our biggest and best homegrown franchises with huge prospects in our international markets,” said Duncan Clark, UPI’s President of Distribution. “The early results have been terrific, and today we celebrate a milestone with our filmmakers, distribution partners and talent who have worked tirelessly to bring these fantastic films to theaters across the globe.”
The studio will look to pad its 2015 stats with summer sequels Pitch Perfect 2, Jurassic World and Ted 2, along with Despicable Me spinoff Minions and Judd Apatow’s Amy Schumer comedy Trainwreck.