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It looks like the champagne corks are popping over at Universal. It’s okay; they can totally afford it. While it seems that movie studios set box office records every year (ticket inflation will do that), this one is a little different. Universal Pictures has already grossed more money than any other studio ever has in a single year… and it’s worth pointing out at this time that it’s only August.
According to ComingSoon.net, 20th Century Fox did $5.52 billion in business last year. Universal has now done $5.53 billion in business this year, which means the next five months are nothing but gravy. It really helps your bottom line when you release two of the top 5 grossing films of all time in the same year. Jurassic World is now number three on the list, while Furious 7 is number five. The two movies make up more than $3 billion of that total by themselves. Universal also has four of the top eight highest grossing films for 2015 - the other two being Fifty Shades of Grey and Minions. It’s good to be the king.
While the season for box office blockbusters is wrapping up, Universal still has a handful of films that should compete strongly in the market, so they’ll probably just be making victory laps for the rest of the year. Straight Outta Compton, Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak, and the Steve Jobs biopic starring Michael Fassbender are all still to be released.
These numbers are all the more staggering when they are put up against the recent story that Sony Pictures has yet to have a film break the $200 million mark this year. Their highest grossing film of the year thus far…Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. Universal’s Pitch Perfect 2 did more in it’s opening weekend than Pixels has done in two weeks. Universal is living a success story. Sony is in the middle of a horror movie.
It seems strange to already know who this year’s box office champ is going to be. Only Warner Bros. and Disney have even crossed the billion dollar mark at this point, and even if we take the rosiest of predictions for Star Wars into account, it’s unlikely that The Force Awakens will do so much business before the end of the year that it will drastically change anything. As previously stated, Universal isn’t taking a nap for the rest of the year, so at this point everybody else will be battling for second place.
So thanks to the dinosaurs and the fast cars Universal has set a record, and done it in record time. With sequels to both their record-breaking franchises already planned, we expect Universal is going to try and improve on perfection again in a couple of years.