Universal Pictures have broken their own record this year after taking an estimated $1.128 billion at the North American box office. The studio, which celebrates its centenary this year, has surpassed its previous record for yearly earnings ($1.127 billion), which was set in 2008.
Established in 1912, Universal is the oldest movie studio in the US, and third oldest in the world still in production (beaten only by Gaumont and Paramount). It is probably the most recognisable of all film studios, with its famous spinning Earth logo looming large on the screen at the beginning of many of our favourite movies. Universal’s films include: American Graffiti, Apollo 13, Back to the Future, The Big Lebowski, The Birds, E.T., Gladiator, Jaws, Jurassic Park, Out of Africa, Psycho, Scarface, Schindler’s List, Spartacus, The Sting, To Kill a Mockingbird, Two Lane Blacktop, The Deer Hunter, The Blues Brothers, Flash Gordon, On Golden Pond, Sophie’s Choice, The Breakfast Club, 12 Monkeys, Happy Gilmore, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Hot Fuzz, and The Bourne Identity.
And Cowboys and Aliens, but with a CV like the above, we can forgive them a few heinous screw-ups. Universal are right to be proud of their century of service to cinema, and after so much hard work and so much money spent in an effort to entertain us all, they certainly deserve to be making a hell of a lot of cash – and they are.
In 2012 the studio has been right at the top of the movie market, with releases such as Ted, Snow White and the Huntsman, The Lorax and Safehouse all scoring massive box office points. And, as the money men are keen to point out, the year ain’t over yet; still to come from Universal before the bell tolls twelve on December 31st are Pitch Perfect, The Man with the Iron Fists and This is 40, all of which are expected to do at least pretty well at the box office.
But even if all three tank, flop, bomb or otherwise go down like lead balloons, Universal Pictures will probably still be laughing all the way to the bank.