Universal City, U.S.A. — Universal Pictures announced that the studio has reached the $1 billion mark at the domestic box office, three months earlier than at any time in history. The previous record was set during the weekend of November 7, 2008 with films that included ˜Mamma Mia!′, ˜The Incredible Hulk′, ˜Wanted′ and ˜The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor′. This will be the seventh time Universal has reached this milestone. With five films yet to be released in 2012, the studio is on track to have its highest-grossing year ever at the domestic box office, a record also set in 2008.
Universal’s 2012 success at the North American box office has been fueled by a strong slate of films including five that became No. 1 (˜Contraband′, ˜Safe House′, ˜Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax′, ˜Snow White and the Huntsman′ and ˜Ted′), two that grossed more than $200 million (˜Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax′ at $214 million and ˜Ted′ at $203.6 million*) and two that grossed more than $100 million (˜Safe House′ at $126.4 million and ˜Snow White and the Huntsman′ at $153.8 million*). Universal is one of only two studios so far this year to have two films that have grossed more than $200 million domestically. Currently, Universal has four of the 15 top grossing films of the year, more than any other studio.
Universal and Illumination Entertainment’s ˜Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax′ was the highest opening for an animated film in 2012 ($70.2 million) and the highest-opening film for Universal this year.
As the breakout comedy hit of the summer, ˜Ted′ set a new record for the highest opening for an original R-rated comedy in history ($54.4 million) and is well on its way to becoming one of the all-time highest-grossing R-rated comedies ever.
The studio’s February hit ˜Safe House′ was Denzel Washington’s second biggest opening of his career and his second highest-grossing film ever.
Universal Pictures International passed $1 billion at the overseas box office on July 17, also setting a new studio record.
This week, Universal will release the next chapter in the studio’s hugely popular espionage franchise, ˜The Bourne Legacy′. In October comes the new out-loud comedy ˜Pitch Perfect′ and the action-thriller ‘The Man With the Iron Fists′ arrives in November. Universal will close out 2012 with two films in December: ˜Les Miserables,′ the motion-picture adaptation of the global stage sensation seen by more than 60 million people in 42 countries and in 21 languages around the world, and ˜This Is 40,′ the latest comedy from writer/director Judd Apatow.