After the sinking of Battleship, you might not have thought Universal Pictures was going to have a big year at the box office to complement its 100th anniversary. Well, the studio didn’t just have a big year, it had its best year on record, passing the previous all-time best gross of $1.127 billion back in 2008 — and there are still three more months to go.
Universal has had four films finish in the top 15 domestically this year (to date), tied with only Sony. Ted led the way with more than $217 million, followed by The Lorax, Snow White and the Huntsman and Safe House. Franchise reboot The Bourne Legacy also falls in the top 20.
The studio had its share of financial duds this year too, however, with Battleship (which did fare better internationally), The Five-Year Engagement and American Reunion.
A few films still scheduled for October through December should add mightily to that total. Pitch Perfect opens in limited release Friday and has earned several positive reviews, contemporary kung-fu actioner The Man with the Iron Fists lands November 2nd and two likely hits await us in December: Judd Apatow’s This is 40 and the awards-vying musical Les Misérables.
Ted has by and large been the key to Universal Pictures’ 2012 success. Comedies rarely make the kind of money Ted has to this point and DVD/Blu-ray sales will probably be through the roof as well. Some surprise early-year hits in Safe House and even Contraband starring Mark Wahlberg certainly helped as well.