Under Langley’s stewardship, Universal had the highest-grossing year ever in 2015 for a studio in industry history. The year marked the first time any studio tallied three films to cross a billion dollars at the worldwide box office, with Furious 7, Jurassic World and Minions all reaching that milestone.
Now in her third year as sole chairman of the film studio since starting with Universal Pictures 15 years ago, Langley oversees all aspects of Universal’s production and marketing operations worldwide, including the international production and acquisitions arm as well as the studio’s specialty division, Focus Features. Langley has been behind some of the studio’s biggest hits, including Fifty Shades of Grey, Unbroken, Neighbors, the Oscar-winning Les Misérables, Pitch Perfect, Ted, Bridesmaids, Mamma Mia!, Knocked Up and Wanted, among others. Langley is credited with reinvigorating and growing some of Universal’s most lucrative and popular franchises including the Fast & Furious series, which has grossed more than $3.9 billion, and the Bourne series.
Yesterday, Langley sat down with Elizabeth Banks at the annual Women at Sundance Brunch to talk about shattering the glass ceiling.
“We are extremely grateful that Donna has accepted the 2016 Pioneer of the Year Award and will be receiving this well-deserved honor,” said Chris Aronson, president of WRMPPF and president of Domestic Theatrical Distribution of 20th Century Fox. “She is a true Pioneer in our industry, demonstrating great leadership not only of her company but the community at large. We look forward to celebrating Donna’s personal and professional accomplishments at CinemaCon 2016, as well as raising much needed funds for the Pioneers Assistance program.”
Past honorees include Cecil B. DeMille, Jack Warner, Darryl F. Zanuck, Jack Valenti, Terry Semel, Sumner Redstone, Sherry Lansing, Alan Horn, Kathleen Kennedy, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Tom Sherak and the 2015 honoree, Jim Gianopulos.