Poor old Universal is the only major Hollywood studio never to have a movie earn $1 billion or more at the worldwide box office (excluding re-released films). But that could all change based on the current performance of FAST & FURIOUS 7, which opened to a record-breaking $384 million (USD) over the Easter weekend.
Seasoned box-office analysts believe FAST & FURIOUS 7 has favourable chances of crossing the $1 billion mark by the end of its run, considering the film achieved the fourth highest global opening of all time, and has little competition from other flicks over the next few weeks.
“Given that FURIOUS 7 is already closing in on $400 million globally and has the marketplace pretty much to itself for the next month until AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON opens, Universal is positioned perfectly for a race to the $1 billion mark,” stated Rentrak box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian.
Some claim the film’s success is owed more to Paul Walker’s unfortunate passing than the film’s quality. Though just as many hail the movie as a moving tribute to Walker, and a fitting goodbye to the actor.
Only 19 movies have ever passed the $1 billion mark (though sceptics say that increasing movie ticket prices make this easier nowadays). Steven Spielberg’s JURASSIC PARK is the only Universal flick to scrape in more than a billion; it topped out at $970 million globally upon its original release in 1993, although its gross grew to $1.027 billion after Universal reissued the movie in 3D in 2013 (again, we could argue ticket prices here – $970 million in 1993 is a fantastic achievement considering the average cinema ticket price in Australia was $7.00 back then!)
It is predicted the list of $1 billion films will grow this year, with AGE OF ULTRON and the new STAR WARS / JAMES BOND flicks tipped to rake in a fortune.