Dinosaurs, fast cars spur Universal Pictures to record $7.65 billion year

Jurassic World scored the biggest opening weekend in history at both the North American and worldwide box offices when it opened in June.
Jurassic World scored the biggest opening weekend in history at both the North American and worldwide box offices when it opened in June. PHOTO: UIP

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Universal Pictures made history on Wednesday, becoming the first movie studio to gross US$5.53 billion (S$7.65 billion) worldwide in one year, setting an industry record.

Led by the success of films such as Jurassic World and Fast & Furious 7, Comcast Corp's Universal reached the milestone in seven months and beat the previous record of US$5.52 billion worldwide, notched by 20th Century Fox last year. "This tremendous success is a result of continued strategic decision-making from our production, marketing and distribution teams, along with strong dating choices," Mr Jeff Shell, chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, said in a statement.

Earlier this year, the studio set records for becoming the fastest to reach US$1 billion at the global box office with Jurassic World, and US$5 billion worldwide from its cumulative film releases.

Jurassic World, a reboot of Steven Spielberg's hit dinosaur action adventure franchise Jurassic Park, scored the biggest opening weekend in history at both the North American and worldwide box offices when it opened in June. A sequel is set for June 2018.

Universal has so far had five films that have topped the North American box office this year: February's erotic romance Fifty Shades Of Grey, April's Fast & Furious 7, May's a capella comedy Pitch Perfect 2, June's Jurassic World and July's animation Minions. In last month's earnings report, Comcast said revenue at the film studio rose 93 per cent from a year earlier to US$2.3 billion, bolstered by Fast & Furious 7 and Jurassic World. Upcoming Universal movies this year include M. Night Shyamalan's horror comedy The Visit, drama Everest, biopic Steve Jobs and Guillermo Del Toro's gothic horror fantasy Crimson Peak.