Universal Pictures had a lot to celebrate this weekend. Not only did Jurassic World open to record-breaking ticket sales, the studio set a new industry record for being the fastest to reach $1 billion domestically and $3 billion globally. With the help of its dinosaur friends (among others), Universal wrested the domestic record from Paramount, set on June 22, 2008. The international record was claimed from Fox, who had reached the $3 billion mark on June 30, 2010.
With an opening weekend that edged out The Avengers for biggest domestic debut, Jurassic World was definitely a key player in Universal’s impressive rise. It doesn’t get sole credit, though. 2015 has seen the studio earn box office crowns with four of its film’s opening weekends, as well as sit at the No. 1 spot eight times in North America. Top performers put out by the studio so far this year are Fifty Shades of Grey, Furious 7, and Pitch Perfect 2. What’s interesting to note is that each of these films had a preexisting fan base, whether they be because of a book in the case of Grey or courtesy of earlier franchise installments in the case of the others. It’s not an unfamiliar concept: moviegoers are drawn to what they’re familiar with and what they’ve enjoyed in the past. It’s no coincidence that 2008, Paramount’s record-setting year, included the release of Iron Man and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Capitalizing on the enormous success of Jurassic World already, Universal has locked its star, Chris Pratt, down for more. Pratt joked that he’s already signed on for 38 sequels. We’ll see if the dinosaur franchise’s subsequent films can help Universal hit these major financial milestones even faster.
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