Consider this a “world” record for Universal Pictures. The studio said today that it has set a personal-best global take for a single year with $3.82 billion, wiping out its previous high of $3.69 billion in 2013. And in case you don’t have a calendar handy, it’s still June.
The bounty is fueled, of course, by the blinding success of Jurassic World, which continues to pick off records like pterodactyls swiping tourists. While the sequel starring Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard goes tromping toward its third weekend, it’s easy to forget that Universal also had a little film in the spring called Furious 7, which peeled out in early April en route to becoming the fourth-biggest worldwide grosser in history. Factor in such other hits as Fifty Shades Of Grey (nearly $570 million worldwide) and Pitch Perfect 2 ($272 million), and Universal is having quite a half-year, er, year.
Universal leads the way in 2015 market share and has left a trail of dead in its wake, especially during the past 11 weeks. The studio set industry box-office speed records as the fastest to $1 billion domestic, $2 billion overseas and $3 billion worldwide. The aforementioned four pics all bowed at No. 1 domestically and have combined for nine weeks at the top, more than any other studio. Furious 7 became Uni’s first pic to hit the billion-dollar milestone, followed earlier today by Jurassic World. Fifty Shades seduced the best opening for an R-rated film, and Pitch Perfect was the second-biggest for a PG-13 and No. 1 for a musical.
“This has been a fantastic year for our studio, as we’ve had the privilege of releasing some of the most highly anticipated films of 2015,” said Jeff Shell, Chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment. “Together with my partners Ron Meyer and Donna Langley, I’m incredibly proud to lead a team of people at Universal who are the truly best in the business.”
Said Langley, Chairman of Universal Pictures: “We are fortunate to be in business with some of the most talented filmmakers in the industry today. Together with our Universal team, we’re thrilled to celebrate a slate of fantastic films that audiences have embraced all over the globe. From production to marketing and publicity, music, and the front lines of distribution, it is that passion, commitment and hard work that makes an achievement like this possible.”