Dinosaurs, fast cars spur Universal Pictures to world record box office

Wed Aug 5, 2015 3:20pm EDT
 
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

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

Led by the success of films such as "Jurassic World" and "Furious 7," Comcast Corp's Universal reached the milestone in seven months and beat the previous record of $5.52 billion worldwide, notched by 20th Century Fox in 2014.

"This tremendous success is a result of continued strategic decision-making from our production, marketing and distribution teams, along with strong dating choices," 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 $1 billion at the global box office with "Jurassic World," and $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 domestic 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 "Fifty Shades of Grey," April's "Furious 7," May's a capella comedy "Pitch Perfect 2," June's "Jurassic World" and July's animated "Minions."

In last month's earnings report, Comcast said revenue at the film studio rose 93 percent from a year earlier to $2.3 billion, bolstered by "Furious 7" and "Jurassic World."

Upcoming Universal movies this year include M. Night Shyamalan's horror "The Visit," drama "Everest," Aaron Sorkin's "Steve Jobs" biopic and Guillermo Del Toro's gothic horror "Crimson Peak."

(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Leslie Adler)