Universal and Their Most Dominant Year

Universal and Their Most Dominant Year


Movies, movies, movies! Hooray! Yeah, movies are pretty chill. So I was sitting around with two of my friends (for the sake of anonymity lets call them Paniel Deterson and Munter Horgan) and Paniel was all in my ear about seeing a movie to which I responded with, “yeah you know what, I’m down.” So it was settled we’re going to see a movie. Now you might be asking me why I’m telling you all about this insignificant interaction between me and my friend Daniel I, I mean ***Paniel, yeah Paniel, and to be totally honest with you I’m not really sure why I’m telling you about this either but just go with it, ok.


So what to see, what to see…oh? Jurassic World is still out? Hell yeah. So now you may be wondering to yourself how this guy who just 8 lines ago was proclaiming his love for the cinema has yet to see one of this biggest blockbusters of the summer. Why’d you have to bring that up? You know it’s a sore subject. The fact of the matter happens to be that I was on vacation when the movie was released and by the time I returned all my friends had already seen it.


So what to do? For a second I thought about going to the theater by myself but realized that would be too pathetic so I just decided to wait. And wait. And wait. Then finally, Paniel and I had the aforementioned conversation and we settled on seeing Jurassic World. Love it when a plan comes together.


Now, I’m perusing the Jurassic World IMDB and I saw something ‘production co: Universal Pictures’. So I thought to myself wow, Universal has had a pretty wild year so far.


The first film they released of the New Year, Blackhat. Yikes. The movie bombed, just completely bombed. Production budget was $70 million it only managed to take $1.7 million opening day and made $17.8 million total, not really off to a banner year for Universal. Then everything changed.


Now I haven’t seen it so I can’t really comment too much on the film but 50 Shades of Grey delivered the good stuff. Costing an estimated $40,000,000 to create the film made more than double that in the opening weekend ($94,395,000 in the USA). Wow. All together the film brought in $166,167,230, that’s a lot of S&M fans. But let’s be honest: 50 Shades of Grey set the volley and Furious 7 (RIP Paul Walker) spiked it right in the fat kids face cross-court (for the purposed of this article the fat kid is 20th Century Fox). $1,511,726,205. Boom. $147,187,040 in the opening weekend, that’s a lot of money.


So let’s flash forward two months to June 12, 2015 as Jurassic World is released. Along the way the film has shattered records. The movie made $524.4 million worldwide making it the biggest worldwide opening of all time. The movie is the highest grossing film of 2015. The highest grossing film ever released by Universal, the worlds largest worldwide IMAX opening. OH yeah I almost forgot: on June 22nd, 2015, Jurassic Park reached the $1 billion threshold making it the 22nd film ever to reach this milestone (the 21st to reach this milestone? Furious 7) and also managed to become the fastest movie to this milestone (13 days) breaking the 17 day record that was held by, I know you can guess it, Furious 7.


Along the way Universal has released Minions ($630,643,540 [oh also this movie was released 12 days ago, so 23rd movie to the billion club?]), Pitch Perfect 2 ($280,367,820), Ted 2 ($143,707,290), and Trainwreck, which opened this past weekend. The most optimistic estimates had the movie topping out in the high teens prior to the release and the film far outperformed opening at $30,097,040.


So, why the fuck am I telling you all this? Honestly? I’m not really sure, more just ranting with the hope that you’ll be interested in my ramblings. This one is for me ok? All the other posts I make are for you guys. I fine-tune the comedy, my sentences are concise and I write about topics that you, the reader, are concerned with. So just let me have one post to just completely nerd the fuck out. Alright back to my ramblings.


So remember what I said earlier about spiking it into the fat kids face (20th Century Fox)? Well here’s why. In 2014 Fox set the global box office record by earning $5.5 billion. Well guess what, Fox. You’re fucked! This past week Universal crossed the $5 billion dollar mark making it the fastest studio to ever do so. AND THERES STILL HALF A YEAR LEFT!!!!!


This leaves me wondering something: what does this say about the film industry that the two highest grossing years of all time for studios has come in the last two years? Does this say more about the increased market share for Fox and Universal respectively or does it say more about our emphasis on entertainment? Are we going to have to ‘trust bust’ the film industry? Will the record be broken again next year? Just how high will Universal go? Will Adam Sandler continue to release shitty movies? These are all questions we don’t know at this time. So we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.