Universal Pictures

by Kayla Bressi

 Universal Pictures

Universal Logo

http://www.nbcuni.com
http://www.universalpictures.com

 A Brief History:

Universal Studios Inc, or Universal Pictures, is one of 6 major movie studios. It is owned by Comcast and is a division of NBC Universal. Some of their most notable films include E.T: The Extra Terrestrial, Jurassic Park, Meet the Fockers, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Jaws. [1]

In addition to theatrical film, Universal Pictures has also produced direct to DVD and classic films, as well as the broadway hits Wicked and Billy Elliot: The Musical. [3]

 

Key Executives

Brian Roberts

Brian Roberts is the chairman and CEO for Comcast Corporations. His company is the majority owner of NBC Universal.  [2]

 

Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham, president of Universal Pictures International Entertainment, joined the company in 1994. He currently overseas distribution in international countries and looks for opportunities for international business opportunities. [2]

 

Jimmy Horowitz

Jimmy Horowitz is the president of Universal Pictures. He has worked for the studio for 18 years, and has helped oversea and lead Universal Stage Productions to success.[2]

 

 

Cindy GardnerCindy Gardner is the Senior Vice President of Internal Communications and NBC Universal & Corporate Affairs. Cindy overseas corporate media relations, philanthropy, and organizes special events. [2]

 

 

 Recent Releases

Jurassic Park 3D PosterJurassic Park 3D
Release Date- April 5th, 2013
http://www.jurassicpark.com

While the original debut in 1993 saw blockbuster results, there are mixed reviews on whether or not a 3D version of Jurassic Park was necessary.

Since the 3D release was set around the time of the movie’s 20th anniversary, some have said it seems like a celebration. Alicia Loots from Hollywood.com says, “a 3D re-release feels like an interesting way to pay homage to a film that was way ahead of its time technologically.” [4] However, some seem to disagree, calling it a “gimmick.”

Many fans asked a popular youtube channel, “Screen Junkies” to make a spoof regarding the conversion of this classic blockbuster into 3D.

 

Originally opening with $47 million in 1993, Jurassic Park made $7 million on Friday and is expected to make $18 million over the weekend. These results put it behind Evil Dead, which made close to $11.5 million. According to CinemaBlend.com, “The huge blockbuster opening this weekend was made 20 years ago, and the horror film is a remake of a classic from the 80s, but the box office is humming as if both of them were brand new.” [5] With a production budget of only $10 million, Jurassic Park 3D should prove to be profittable for Universal Pictures. [6]

 

Identity ThiefIdentity Thief
Release Date- February 8th, 2013
http://www.identitythiefmovie.com

Identity Thief, featuring Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy, was the #1 film during its opening weekend, racking in $34.5 million.  [7]

As of April 7th, Identity Thief had an estimated domestic total of $131,254,000 and a worldwide total of $157,054,000. It is also currently rotten, with only a 20% approval rating on RottenTomatos.com. It is set to release on DVD and Blu-Ray on June 4th, 2013.

 

 

Les Miserables
Release Date: Dec 25, 2012
http://www.lesmiserablesfilm.com

Les Miserables all-star cast helped put this movie in the top of Universal Picture’s most recent accomplishments in film. With famous actors and actresses, including Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Sacha Baron Cohen, Amanda Seyfried, and Helena Bonham Carter, Les Miserables started out strong. On opening day, Les Miserables made $18.1 million, putting it in first place for a musical on opening day. [8]Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman in Les Mis

In an interesting move, the actors of Les Miserables sang live during filming, instead of along to a pre-recorded rendition. Some support this, however according to Sandy Schaeffer on Screenrant.com, theatre die-hards tend to prefer “dedicated singers, rather than performers who are actors first and singers second.” [9]

Les Miserables was nominated for 8 Oscars, and won 3 of them: Actress in a Supporting Role, Makeup and Hairstyling, and for Sound Mixing. [10] It has a domestic total of $148,809,770, and a worldwide total of  $435,809,770, meaning this film had more foreign success. [11] It also currently has a fresh rating of 70% on RottenTomatoes.

Despicable Me 2
Release Date: July 3rd, 2013
http://despicableme.com

Fan Art of Despicable Me

Following the success of Despicable Me, which gathered a worldwide total of $543,113,985, ( Putting it at #6 on Universal Picture’s top grossing films), Universal Pictures decided to create a sequel that is set to release this summer.

On the official movie website for Despicable Me 2, you can find a collection of pictures, items, and gifs from loyal fans and other websites, such as Tumblr.

 

 

 

Universal Pictures Despicablimp

To promote the film, Universal Pictures has launched a large “Despicablimp.” TheDespicablimp will cross over the United States 3 times, set to make its first appearance at the Nickelodeon’s  Kid’s Choice Awards in March. [12]
Fans are able to visit the “Despicablimp Command Center.” They can share sightings on twitter, instagram, and flickr using the hashtag #despicablimp. Fans can also enter a sweepstakes for a trip to the premiere, and a ride in the Despicablimp. There is an interactive map that allows fans to see fan sightings as well as future tour stops. [13]

 

Important Future Releases:

Jurassic Park 4

Universal Pictures recently named Colin Trevorrow to direct the future Jurassic Park 4.  Trevorrow has previously directed “Safety Not Guaranteed” and two other films. [14] 

 

In Other News:

Backed by Universal Pictures, Prima Cinema is offering a box that will allow viewers to watch theatrical releases at home. For a price, ($35,000), you can get a box in your home that allows the newly-released films to play on your television. There is also an additional cost of $500 per movie. So far, Universal Pictures is the only film studio to offer its titles, including Les Miserables, Jurassic Park 3D, and Identity Thief. The worry that this might affect theatre sales is lessened by Prima’s hefty price tag. Prima also insures that the home viewing of these theatrical releases will not be viewed by more than 25 people in a single home theatre. [15]

 

 

 

 

[1] Top Universal Films- http://www.boxofficemojo.com/studio/chart/?studio=universal.htm

[2] NBC Universal Corporate Site- http://www.nbcuni.com/corporate/

[3] NBC Universal Pictures History- http://www.nbcuni.com/film/universal-pictures/

[4] Jurassic Park Poster Reavealed- http://www.hollywood.com/news/movies/43830315/jurassic-park-3d-the-bigger-the-dinosaur-the-better-poster?page=all

[5] Katey Rich on Friday’s Box Office- http://www.cinemablend.com/new/Both-Evil-Dead-Jurassic-Park-3D-Bring-Big-Friday-Box-Office-36808.html

[6] Jurassic Park 3D Financial Figures- http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=jurassicpark3d.htm

[7] Identity Thief Opening Weekend- http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-11/-identity-thief-is-weekend-s-no-1-film-34-5-million.html

[8] Opening Day for Les Mis-http://boxofficemojo.com/news/?id=3593&p=.htm

[9] Live Music Performances in Les Mis- http://screenrant.com/les-miserables-music-songs-featurette/

[10] Oscar Nominees – http://oscar.go.com/nominees

[11] Les Mis Box Office Info- http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=lesmiserables2012.htm

[12] The Despicablimp- http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/universal-pictures-and-illumination-entertainments-despicable-me-2-despicablimp-takes-flight-on-march-23-199574591.html

[13] Despicablimp Website- http://www.despicablimp.com

[14]  Jurassic Park 4 Director- http://www.salon.com/2013/03/15/universal_pictures_names_jurassic_park_4_director/

[15] Prima Cinema- http://www.bizjournals.com/losangeles/news/2013/04/05/universal-films-available-in-home.html

 

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