Universal Studios Has Enjoyed Several Record Shattering Box Office Triumphs in 2015
‘2015 continues to be an outstanding year for Universal, and we are very proud of the overwhelming success we have had at the international box office,’ said Duncan Clark, president of distribution for Universal Picture International. “With nine titles on our main slate still awaiting release, we are excited at what the remainder of the year has to offer.’
Universal has recorded one hit after another this year, including four of the year’s five biggest international grossers: Fast & Furious 7, Jurassic World, Minions, and Fifty Shades of Grey. Earlier this month, the studio set the calendar-year record for biggest global box-office, combining the totals of international and North American receipts. Looking ahead, Universal can pad its record with the continued success of Straight Outta Compton, as well as the anticipated releases of Everest, Steve Jobs, and Crimson Peak.
Thoughts: The Unlikely Success/Comeback Story of the Fast & Furious Franchise
It’s been one hell of a year for Universal Studios. In the era of superhero franchises, Universal has been able to develop it’s own franchises.
What’s most impressive is the resounding success of the Fast & Furious franchise. When you look at the seven films in the franchise, it’s interesting how at one point it looked as if it was dead in the water.
The first film back in 2001 was a surprise smash success that received mixed reviews, but nonetheless became a pop culture phenomenon. The 2003 sequel 2 Fast 2 Furious did pretty decent business but with a bigger budget and no Vin Diesel, received poor reviews. This was followed by the ill-advised, but still ultimately apart of the Fast & Furious cannon, The Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift. With an $85 million dollar budget and none of the characters from the previous two films, Tokyo Drift underwhelmed at the box office and reviews were bad.
Finally in 2009 Universal decided to bring back the original cast and keep the budget at $85 million dollars. The film was a box office success but didn’t receive good reviews.
Then something funny happened — the next three films in the franchise, Fast Five (2011), Fast & Furious 6 (2013), and Furious 7 not only were the first films in the franchise to receive positive reviews — but the films grossed more and more than the previous one. Making the Fast & Furious franchise one of the most unlikely successes in movie history.
Jurassic World was also a major score for Universal. I don’t think anyone anticipated the amount of success the film would have.
So, right now, Universal is easily one of the most successful studios operating right now. And they don’t necessarily have the firepower of the Marvel/Disney cinematic universes. Pretty incredible.