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You know you're having a good year when you're making as much money in eight months that competitors took 12 months to earn - and that's the story of Universal Pictures in 2015. Thanks to hits like Fifty Shades of Grey, Furious 7, Jurassic World, and Minions, the studio has been pulling in an incredible amount of money, and they've actually just passed yet another record. This time it's in the category of grosses from abroad, as to date since January the company's has pulled in $3.78 billion internationally - which makes it the highest-grossing year ever at the international box office.
The Hollywood Reporter has the latest jaw-dropping figures, and notes that Universal has released four of the top five released movies in 2015 - with Disney's The Avengers: Age of Ultron being the title in the way of the studio's clean sweep. The news comes right on the heels of the news that the international branch of the studio reached the $3 billion mark faster than any other studio ever - and that came after it became the fastest ever to reach $2 billion. Combined with the amount of money that Universal has generated from domestic sales, grosses have already been pushed above $5 billion total, and it's only the fourth studio to reach that mark (and, again, it's only August).
There has been a lot of speculation in regard to exactly what's been driving Universal's absolutely amazing box office run this year, and while there are certainly many factors, slate diversity has clearly played an important role. Box office grosses for Jurassic World and Furious 7 show that they're being enjoyed by everyone, and Minions clearly speaks to kids around the world, but hugely successful titles like Fifty Shades of Grey and Straight Outta Compton have respectively brought women and black audiences to the theater, and it's worked out exceptionally well for them.
With the amount of cash that's already been raked in, Universal could sleepwalk through the rest of the year, but the reality is that they still have some huge titles coming in the next four months (even without anything as big as Star Wars: The Force Awakens or The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2). Arguably the biggest upcoming title is Danny Boyle's Steve Jobs - which had a seriously rough trip through pre-production, but now stands to not only make a good chunk of change, but also get some attention from the Oscars. Further bolstering the slate are the likes of Guillermo del Toro's Crimson Peak, Baltasar Kormákur's Everest, Angelina Jolie's By The Sea, Michael Dougherty's Krampus and even M. Night Shyamalan's The Visit. So just how high will the total go? We'll be very interested to see the final numbers when January comes around again.