Universal Pictures

 

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS

100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608

www.universalstudios.com

HISTORY

Universal Studios was founded by Carl Laemmle, Mark Dintenfass, Charles O. Baumann, Adam Kessel, Pat Powers, William Swanson, David Horsley, Robert H. Cochrane and Jules Brulatour. Following the boom of film studios of the time, Universal Studios became a vertically integrated company, linking movie production, exhibition, and distribution all into one corporate entity. Universal ranks among the “Big Six” film studios and is a subsidiary of NBC Universal who indirectly belong to Comcast, a huge media conglomerate. They’ve produced films such as Jurassic World which grossed at $651,926,506 making it the fourth highest grossing film of all time domestically and worldwide [15].

KEY EXECUTIVES

Donna Langley, Chairman

Donna Langley, Chairman, Universal Pictures – Source: Forbes [16]

Jeff Shell, Chairman (Filmed Entertainment)

Jeff Shell, Chairman (Filmed Entertainment), Universal Pictures – Source: BBG [17]

 

 

 

FINANCIALS

While Universal Studios is a privately traded company, Comcast is its parent company and they are publicly traded. In the most recent quarterly report, Universal cited a revenue increase of 25.8% to $1.6 billion compared to $1.3 billion in the previous year. There was a 74.9% increase in home entertainment revenue drive by the strong performances of Jurassic World and the Minions and Universal has cited an upward trend of revenue into the 2016 year. Earnings per share increased 6.8% with the value being held at $0.79 compared to the $0.74 reported in the fourth quarter of the previous year [7].Universal Studios is currently 5th place in terms of top grossing film companies with a market share of 7.7% and a total gross of $252.4 billion [12]. They hold an average of $36,054,255 per release for its 7 releases so far in 2016. Their top grossing release is Ride Along 2 which cited a total gross of $90,862,685 which exceeded their budget of $40 million [11]. Universal Studios is planning 15 releases for the rest of the 2016 year with the genres being split roughly in half between comedy and horror [13].

IN THEATERS

—The Boss

—The Boss (2016) [19]

The Boss

The Boss is another one of Melissa McCarthy’s slapstick style comedy movies and was released on April 8th, 2016. The opening weekend of The Boss beat out Batman V Superman by a mere $45,000 proving McCarthy’s star power as a movie she stars in tops another $20+ million opener. The movie opened its weekend with a total gross of $23.48 million with a reported budget of $29 million [1]. The second weekend saw a larger-than-expected 57.8% drop, but still remained in the top five grossing movies that week. The longevity of the movie may extend a little more seeing as the next R-rated comedy doesn’t release until around late May with Neighbors 2 [3].

—The Huntsman: Winter's War (2016)

—The Huntsman: Winter’s War (2016) [20]

The Huntsman: Winter’s War

The sequel to Snow White and the Huntsman, which grossed a total of $396.6 billion, called The Huntsman: Winter’s War was released on April 22, 2016. It charted at number 2 behind Jungle Book, even though Jungle Book was in its second week of circulation [2]. The Huntsman: Winter’s War earned a total of $20,080,000 in its opening weekend domestically and $80,200,000 internationally, proving the series popularity in the foreign market. With an estimated budget of $20 million, it brought in approximately 36% of the opening weekend total of its predecessor. The audience skewed 61% female and 39% male with 47% of the audience being over the age of 30. Comparatively, Snow White and the Huntsman attracted a much more evenly distributed gendered audience with about 53% of them being female [14]. Looking forward, it’s unlikely that the movie will reach an overall domestic cume of $55-60 million off their reported budget of $115 million.

SPRING/SUMMER 2016 RELEASES

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising is an R-rated comedy sequel to the popular Neighbors movie starring Zac Efron and Seth Rogen. Director Nicholas Stoller has said that the sequel was actually inspired by “Toy Story 2“. The film has a bigger budget than the previous one and is expected to focus of different aspects of college greek life. The movie is slated for release on May 20, 2016 [23].

The Purge: Election Year

The Purge: Election Year is also another movie in the series of Purge movies slated for release on July 1, 2016. The movie is third in the series and will follow Senator Charlene Roan played by Elizabeth Mitchell and her head of security Leo Barnes played by Frank Grillo as they escape those looking to kill them for the night. Director of the first two films, James DeMonaco, has agreed to return to direct this third installment [22].

FUTURE FOR UNIVERSAL PICTURES

Following competition from other big name companies like Paramount and Warner Bros, Universal Pictures has invested into turning a selection of its movies in 4K Ultra HD this summer. The upcoming Warcraft and Jason Bourne movies will pioneer the format along with UHD versions of Everest, Lucy, and Lone Survivor [6]. The home entertainment movie sector will offer an enhanced selection of new release and catalog titles mastered in Dolby Vision™ and plans to makes all titles available in 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray and 4K Ultra HD digital formats by the end of 2016 [8].

Jurassic World 2 teaser poster

—Jurassic World 2 teaser poster [18]

In terms of future releases, Universal will be continuing on the success of Jurassic World, the movie that brought in $1.6 billion dollars, and produce the sequel which has a release date of June 22, 2018. The director for the sequel was just announced on April 18th, 2016, to be J.A. Bayona, a Spanish filmmaker who make a name for himself through his tsunami drama The Impossible [5]. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, the stars of Jurassic World, are expected to reprise their roles for the follow-up film.

The Chinese media company, Perfect World Pictures, announced their plan to co-finance up to 50 movies, or movies for a time span of five years, for $500 million with Universal Pictures in an effort to diversify into the English-language film sector [4]. The president, Rong Chen, stated that an even larger phase of investment into Hollywood will follow the deal with Universal this year. Sources familiar with the deal states that Perfect World’s investment would get it a 25% share of most, but not all, of the films released by Universal [9]. This marks the first time a non-state-owned enterprise entertainment company from China will be working directly with a major U.S. studio. In addition, this will be the first time a Chinese company will invest in a multi-year deal with a major U.S. studio [10].

SOURCES

[1] Brevet, Brad (April 10, 2016) Melissa McCarthy’s ‘The Boss’ Narrowly Tops ‘Batman V Superman’ for Weekend #1. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 23rd, 2016.

[2] Mendelson, Scott (April 24, 2016) Weekend Box Office: ‘The Huntsman’Opens 64% Lower Than ‘Snow White And The Huntsman.’ Forbes. Retrieved April 25rd, 2016.

[3] Brevet, Brad (April 21, 2016) ‘Jungle Book’ To Repeat at #1 Over ‘The Huntsman: Winter’s War.’ Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 23rd, 2016.

[4] Brzeski, Patrick (April 21, 2016) China Exec Who Put $500M Into Universal Pictures Says “More To Come.” The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 23rd, 2016.

[5] Kit, Borys (April 18th, 2016) ‘Jurassic World’ Sequel Finds Its Director. The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 23rd, 2016.

[6] Palladino, Valentina (April 20th, 2016) Universal Pictures to release 4K Blu-ray movies, starting with Jason Bourne. ArsTechnica. Retrieved April 23rd, 2016.

[7] Comcast Fourth Quarter 2015. Comcast. Retrieved April 23rd, 2016.

[8] Unknown (April 19th, 2016) Universal Pictures Home Entertainment Unveils First 4K Ultra High Definition Offerings. PR Newswire. Retrieved April 23rd, 2016.

[9] Faughnder, Ryan (February 17, 2016) China’s Perfect World invest up to $450 million in Universal film slate. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 23rd, 2016.

[10] Petski, Denise (February 17th, 2016) Universal & China’s Perfect World Confirm 50 Film Funding Deal. Deadline. Retrieved April 25th, 2016.

[11] Ride Along 2. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 25th, 2016.

[12] Studio Market Share. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 25th, 2016.

[13] Box Office by Studio: Universal. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 25th, 2016.

[14] Brevet, Brad (April 24, 2016) ‘Jungle Book’ Repeats, ‘Huntsman’ Falls On His Axe and ‘Zootopia’ Tops $900M Worldwide. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 25th, 2016.

[15] Universal Studios. Comcast. Retrieved April 25th, 2016.

[16] Donna Langley. Forbes. Retrieved April 25th, 2016.

[17] Jeff Shell. BBG. Retrieved April 25th, 2016.

[18] Jurassic World Sequel Teaser. Twitter. Retrieved April 25th, 2016.

[19] The Boss. IMDB. Retrieved April 25th, 2016.

[20] The Huntsman: Winters War. IMDB. Retrieved April 25th, 2016.

[21] Youtube: Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising. Youtube. Retrieved April 25th, 2016.

[22] Youtube: The Purge: Election Year. Youtube. Retrieved April 25th, 2016.

[23] Jogwar, Sangati (April 13, 2016) ‘NEIGHBORS 2: SORORITY RISING’ INSPIRED FROM ‘TOY STORY 2’ AND ‘MAD MAX.’ Movienewsguide. Retrieved April 25th, 2016.

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