Universal Pictures has flown past the $1 billion mark overseas joining Disney, Fox and Warner Bros. which have already hit that mark earlier this year. Worldwide, including Universal and Focus Features’ stateside slates, the studio is at $2.19B. Broken down that’s $1.07B in foreign ticket sales, $1.1B in domestic stubs.
The studio’s biggest performer abroad is without question, Illumination Entertainment’s The Secret Life of Pets which has amassed $257.1M ($593.3M worldwide). The Yarrow Cheney-Chris Renaud movie debuted in the top spot in 28 territories, and logged the year’s best opening for an animated title in 17 of them. The Secret Life of Pets marked the best opening of all-time for an original animated feature in Spain, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Argentina, Mexico, Hungary, Ukraine, and Venezuela, The film is currently ranked seventh on this year’s worldwide list and scaling the charts as one of the top 26-grossing feature toons of all-time worldwide.
Even without China, Warcraft was big business for Universal International which minted $170.3M for the video game feature adaptation; 3.6 times the amount of the cash the Duncan Jones movie made in U.S./Canada ($47.2M). Global ticket sales including the $220.8M from the Middle Kingdom, Warcraft stands at $438.3M.
Matt Damon’s return in Jason Bourne has driven overseas ticket sales currently to $119.2M, $246.2M worldwide, already surpassing The Bourne Identity ($214M global). Jason Bourne opened day & date in 48 territories and was the biggest international opening weekend of all the Bourne films and the No. 1 film in the world during its first frame. It posted the No. 1 opening weekend for the Bourne franchise in 42 markets.
The Huntsman: Winter’s War tanked in the states with $48M, but Uni International was able to squeeze 2.4 times the business for the Charlize Theron-Jessica Chastain-Chris Hemsworth movie overseas with $116.96M. Though not enough to recoup its estimated $115M production cost and P&A, it’s still the fourth best movie overseas to date for Uni.
In fifth place, Universal handled overseas on Central Intelligence, taking the Kevin Hart-Dwayne Johnson action comedy to $81.8M. The pic hit No. 1 in 14 territories during its first weekend. The New Line co-production was one of Warner Bros. bright spots this summer at $126.7M and worldwide has tallied $208.5M.
Uni’s other top grossing pics overseas in order (with global B.O. in parenthesis): Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising – $52.6M ($107.9M), Ride Along 2 – $33.9M ($124.8M), Hail,Caesar! – $33.9M ($64M), My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 – $29.4M ($89.1M), The Purge: Election Year – $21.4M ($100.4M) and The Boss – $15.6M ($78.7M).
Uni is a far cry from where it was last year, which was largely propelled by a confluence of blockbusters on the schedule including Jurassic World, Minions and Furious 7. Jurassic World by the end of last summer reached $1B overseas, and drove Uni through the first eight months of 2015 to $6B worldwide, $3.9B overseas. Uni ended 2015 with an industry record of $6.8B worldwide, the highest ever for a studio. Could Disney, with book-ended Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story beat that record this year? They’re already at $5.4B, while Fox worldwide is at $3.5B and Warner Bros. north of $3.2B.