Universal Pictures Home Entertainment Q2 Revenue Tops $245 Million

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment July 29 reported second-quarter (ended June 30) revenue of $245 million, which was down about 18% from revenue of $299 million during the previous-year period. Through six months of the fiscal year, sales of physical, digital and related studio media topped $527 million, down about 8% from $573 million in the year-ago period.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Theatrical revenue increased $191 million to $198 million, from $7 million in the previous-year period — due largely to the box office success of F9: The Fast Saga. When combined with content licensing ($1.8 billion) and home entertainment, total studio revenue topped $2.2 billion, up 10% from $2 billion a year ago.

‘Old’ is Indeed New as M. Night Shyamalan’s Thriller Tops Quiet Weekend Box Office

Universal Pictures’ Old surprisingly topped the July 25 domestic box office with an estimated $16.5 million ($20 million globally) in ticket sales in another pandemic-affected weekend as infections of the new delta variant spike nationwide.

The horror/thriller from director M. Night Shyamalan, which stars Gael García Bernal and Rufus Sewell, among others, bested Paramount Pictures’ Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins and also exceeded the sophomore weekend take of Warner Bros. Pictures’ Space Jam: A New Legacy, starring LeBron James.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Space Jam: A New Legacy, which is concurrently streaming for free to subscribers on HBO Max, finished behind Disney/Marvel’s Black Widow. The superhero movie generated $11.6 million across 4,250 screens to up its North American box office total to $154 million.

Should Old generate less than $50 million at the box office after 17 days, Universal could distribute the title direct-to-consumers via PVOD as part of the studio’s revenue-sharing agreement with AMC Theatres and Regal.

Snake Eyes, the third live-action movie based on the “G.I. Joe” toy line and a reboot of the film franchise, generated a reported $13.3 million across 3,521 screens.

‘Old’ is New in Weekend Box Office Forecast

The Universal Pictures thriller Old, from director M. Night Shyamalan, joins Paramount Pictures’ newest “G.I. Joe” franchise release Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins as the July 25 weekend’s biggest new theatrical releases.

The two films will take on previous domestic box office champs Disney/Marvel Studios’ Black Widow and Warner Bros. Pictures’ Space Jam: A New Legacy

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Unlike Black Widow and Space Jam: A New Legacy, both Old and Snake Eyes will have exclusive theatrical runs. Universal, which has abbreviated window agreements with AMC Theatres and Regal, could offer Old to consumers in the home for $19.99 PVOD after three weekends if total ticket sales fall below $50 million.

The studio’s sequel The Forever Purge is available today (July 23) across myriad digital platforms, including Redbox Digital, Vudu Fandango and Amazon Prime Video.

Both Old and Snake Eyes are reportedly projected to generate around $15 million each this weekend across 3,500 screens, which includes Thursday (July 22) previews.

Black Widow and reigning box office topper Space Jam: A New Legacy, starring LeBron James, are concurrently available online, the former, starring Scarlett Johansson, via a $29.99 Premier Access Disney+ add-on, and the latter for no extra charge to HBO Max subscribers.

Recent data from Samba TV found that 2 million households have purchased Black Widow, a $60+ million tally Disney confirmed in its first-ever PVOD data disclosure. Some observers contend the strong in-home consumer demand hurt the Marvel superhero’s sophomore weekend box office, which plummeted about 68%.

Other holdovers include Universal’s F9: The Fast Saga with $4.8 million projected box office, according to Box Office Pro; Sony Pictures’ Escape Room: Tournament of Champions ($3.7 million); The Boss Baby: Family Business ($3.3 million, Universal); The Forever Purge ($2.2 million); A Quiet Place Part II ($1.5 million, Paramount), and Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain ($1 million, Focus Features).

‘Black Widow’ Bites Big as Marvel Cinematic Universe Returns Atop Domestic Weekend Box Office

Disney/Marvel Studios super hero tentpole release Black Widow ended the domestic box office weekend (through July 11) as most of its Marvel predecessors did: at No. 1.

The Scarlett Johansson-starrer generated $80 million across 4,160 screens over the three-day period. The first Marvel theatrical release in two years saw $39.5 million in ticket sales on Friday July 9 — the 10th biggest opening night for a June movie release. Black Window had generated generated more than $22 million at the foreign box office entering the weekend, pushing the title’s global haul past $215 million.

The movie also generated more than $60 million on subscription streaming service Disney+, where it is available for $29.99 purchase only.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Meanwhile, Universal Pictures’ trio of sequel releases that dominated the previous weekend’s box office continued strong, with F9: The Fast Saga generating more than $10 million, followed by The Boss Baby: Family Business with more than $8 million, and The Forever Purge with almost $7 million. Paramount Pictures’ enduring A Quiet Place Part II held strong with about $3 million — topping $150 million in domestic ticket sales.

The tallies suggest vaccinated moviegoers are returning to cinemas in greater numbers as business-as-usual returns to many public events following the pandemic — despite the increasing prevalence of the Delta variant in new COVID-19 infections.

(This story was updated on July 12)

Universal to Move Pay 1 Movies to Peacock From HBO

Universal Pictures July 6 disclosed it will begin distributing feature films through NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service, instead of HBO, in the Pay 1 window beginning in 2022.

The move, which impacts Universal franchises such as “Jurassic World,” “Fast and Furious” and “Despicable Me,” is aimed at bolstering Peacock sign-ups in addition to offering third-party distributors non-exclusive access. Specifically, Peacock will have exclusive access for the first four months and last four months of the 18-month Pay 1 window. Select third-party streamers and/or streaming service will have access to the movies during the middle 10-month period.

The unconventional pay-one structure mimics Universal’s new distribution deals with theaters that enables it to offer theatrical titles into the premium VOD window just 17 days after their box office debut depending on ticket sales.

“Since launching Peacock just one year ago, we have seen incredible viewership of movies and continue to expand our catalog with a range of films for every fan and occasion,” Matt Strauss, chairman of direct-to-consumer and international at NBCUniversal, said in a statement. “Universal Filmed Entertainment Group has been a fantastic partner and we are excited to not only bring their amazing slate of blockbuster films and beloved franchises to Peacock in the first-pay window, but also provide a steady stream of fresh, original films exclusively for Peacock customers throughout the year.”

By showcasing content across multiple platforms throughout the Pay 1 window, Universal says the titles will constantly refresh across the streaming ecosystem ensuring no title or platform is oversaturated.

This approach allows multiple audiences across a variety of streaming services to experience Universal’s award-winning and critically acclaimed film slate, according to Peter Levinsohn, vice chairman and chief distribution officer of UFEG.

“This new dynamic Pay 1 agreement demonstrates UFEG’s continued commitment to building a film ecosystem that allows filmmakers and artists to reach the broadest possible audience, celebrates and strengthens the theatrical experience, and, above all, empowers fans to experience the films they love on their own terms,” Levinsohn said.

Universal Dominates July 4 Weekend Box Office, Led by ‘F9’ Topping $100 Million in Domestic Revenue

Universal Pictures is projected to rule the July 4 weekend domestic box office, led by F9: The Fast Saga, which is expected to end the holiday weekend with $32.9 million across more than 4,200 screens. The ninth installment in the action franchise has totaled about $126 million in the U.S., and more than $460 million in revenue worldwide.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

With Disney/Marvel Studio’s Black Widow launching next weekend, Universal expedited rolling out sequels The Boss Baby: Family Business and The Forever Purge over the July 4 weekend, with the former generating a projected $26 million across 3,644 screens, while The Forever Purge generated about $16 million. Both movies exceeded industry estimates — underscoring the strength of the franchises and the box office’s return to normalcy following the pandemic as more moviegoers in major markets get fully vaccinated.

Among the top five movies over the weekend, Paramount Pictures’ enduring post-apocalyptic sequel A Quiet Place Part II generated an estimated $5 million, while Lionsgate’s The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard added another $4 million.

Despite Universal’s impressive weekend, Warner Bros. Pictures tops the year-to-date domestic box office with a reported $328.4 in revenue, followed by Universal with $192.4 million, and Paramount with $141.1 million. Warner’s tally is all the more impressive considering its entire 2021 theatrical slate has streamed concurrently for free to HBO Max subscribers.

July 4 Weekend Box Office Projections Favor Universal Pictures

NEWS ANALYSIS — With Universal Pictures set to dominate a second-consecutive domestic weekend box office with F9: The Fast Saga, the studio is rolling out two additional sequel titles over the extended July 4 holiday weekend.

Universal will debut kid-themed animated fantasy The Boss Baby: Family Business and horror sci-fi thriller The Forever Purge. The former is a follow-up to the 2017 box office surprise that generated $528 million globally, including $175 million in the U.S. The studio is estimating holiday weekend ticket sales from $13 million to $23 million — a tally that could see the Alec Baldwin-led voice cast movie head to premium video-on-demand after 17 days if the movie generates less than $50 million at the domestic box office.

Universal has a revenue-sharing agreement with select theater chains aimed at expediting new releases into the higher-margin PVOD direct-to-consumer retail channel.

The Forever Purge, obviously, is targeting a different audience. The fourth installment in the nightmarish-themed concept of an annual 12-hour period of sanctioned lawlessness (to make society safe for the rest of the year) sees it extended indefinitely by a group of marauders.

Universal is betting $6 million to $11 million worth of tickets are sold for the Blumhouse Pictures release before heading to PVOD. That would be less than the $31 million the first two installments each generated over their extended opening weekends. The franchise has generated $285 million over the four previous movies.

Regardless, F9 looks to control the holiday weekend theatrical market, despite a projected 60% drop from its opening $70 million weekend through June 27. The Vin Diesel-led ensemble cast actioner has generated more than $88 million in U.S. theaters and more than $425 million worldwide — the latter since its early May release in China.

Notably, since F9 has already topped $50 million at the domestic box office, the movie is set to bow on NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service by July 31 as part of the studio’s revenue-sharing agreement with exhibitors.

Meanwhile, weekend holdovers will be led by Paramount Pictures’ A Quiet Place Part II with $4.6 million in estimated ticket sales, Lionsgate’s The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard with $3.3 million, Sony Pictures’ Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway with $3.2 million, and Disney’s Cruella with $2.9 million — the latter also available through digital retailers.

AMC Theatres Posts Biggest Opening Weekend Since 2019

AMC Theatres, the largest theatrical exhibitor in the world, June 28 reported it attracted its most opening-weekend moviegoers since 2019, thanks to the U.S. debut of Universal Pictures’ F9: The Fast Saga, as well as other movies also currently playing at its theaters.

AMC said about 2 million people watched movies at domestic screens from June 24 to 27. These are the biggest numbers recorded by AMC in the U.S. since closing its theaters in March of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

F9 opened to an estimated $70 million in ticket sales, shattering the previous post-reopening record. In fact, the tally is the biggest opening weekend for any movie in the U.S. since late in 2019. The total global box office for F9 exceeds $400 million.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Six of the Top 10 busiest theaters in the U.S. across the whole movie theater industry were AMC’s. They were led by the AMC Burbank complex and Universal Cinema AMC at CityWalk Hollywood, which also were the top two movie theatre locations in the entire country.

More than 500,000 additional people visited AMC’s international theaters in Europe and the Middle East, also a post-reopening record, bringing the total global attendance at AMC’s theaters at home and abroad this past weekend to an encouraging 2.5 million.

“The big screen is back,” Adam Aron, CEO of AMC Theatres, said in a statement. “We salute our friends and partners at Universal Pictures following their post-reopening record-setting performance.”

Aron said the combination of widespread vaccinations and the release once again blockbuster movies is proving to be the “magic formula” for the return of moviegoing.

“We could not be more excited about this post-reopening record weekend, and the coming slate of what look to be more blockbuster movies being released this summer and beyond,” Aron said.

Universal’s ‘F9’ Shatters Pandemic-Era Opening Weekend U.S. Box Office at $70 Million

Universal Pictures’ oft-delayed summer blockbuster F9: The Fast Saga didn’t disappoint in its domestic weekend debut, generating a reported $70 million in estimated revenue across more than 4,100 screens through June 27.

The ninth installment in the “Fast & Furious” fast-car franchise was assisted by a strong Thursday “sneak” showing that brought in $7.1 million, followed by Friday haul that marked a pandemic-era record in large part due to many pandemic capacity restrictions being lifted recently across the U.S., with California rolling back its orders June 15. The movie also generated more than $5.5 million at Imax screens.

The opening weekend bested previous pandemic record holder A Quiet Place Part II, which earned $47.5 million before the latest round of restrictions eased. The Paramount Pictures sequel actually generated $10 million more ($57 million) in ticket sales in its second weekend.

The opening F9 domestic weekend still pales in comparison to the film’s China debut a month ago. F9 generated $59.1 million on its opening day in the Communist country, on its way to a $136 million opening May 21 weekend. Together with other foreign box office grosses, F9 has topped $405 million in ticket sales to date and more than $6 billion over the course of more than nine movies released in the franchise.

Overall, the weekend failed to edge out the four-day Memorial Day weekend with $97.8 million compared with $98.3 million over last month’s holiday period — the latter driven by Quiet Place 2.

The John Krasinski-helmed sequel again led supporting cast movies with $6.2 million in ticket sales, bringing its total to $248.4 million, including $136.3 million domestically. Lionsgate’s The Hitman’s Bodyguard’s Wife finished  third with $4.87 million, or $31.4 million ($25.8 million domestically). Sony Pictures’ Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway and Disney’s Cruella rounded out the Top 5 with $4.85 million and $3.7 million, respectively. Both former chart toppers have generated global revenue of $107.8 million ($28.8 million domestically) and $183.8 million ($71.3 million), respectively.

Analysis: Can ‘F9’ Jumpstart the Summer Blockbuster?

NEWS ANALYSIS — Universal Pictures June 25 finally releases the much-delayed F9: The Fast Saga on more than 4,000 move theater screens nationwide.

The ninth installment in the fast-car action franchise was, along with Disney’s Black Widow, Paramount’s A Quiet Place Part II and the 25th James Bond movie, No Time to Die, perhaps the highest-profile Hollywood movie casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Vin Diesel-led F9 was originally slated for release over the 2020 Memorial Day weekend. The movie, which reportedly generated $7.1 million in Thursday night preview shows, has already sold about $300 million ticket sales at the foreign box office. That’s due in large part to the franchise’s global popularity, especially in China, which helped send the previous nine movies’ total global gross past $6 billion ($1.69 billion in the U.S.).

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

To say domestic ticket sales expectations for F9 are big is an understatement. With moviegoers sluggishly returning to the cineplex, optimistic opening weekend industry projections range from $60 million to $80 million — significantly higher than current pandemic champ Quiet Place 2 with $48 million.

“There’s certainly a pent-up demand for movies meant to be seen on the big screen right now, especially after going an entire summer without such content last year,” Shawn Robbins with Box Office Pro wrote in a post.

With the U.S. leading the world in vaccination rates, and 70% of people having had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in several states, optimism is high theaters offering full-seating capacity (with a mask) will see record numbers — as has been the case in China for select titles.

“A few weeks ago in Los Angeles, movie theater owners, 13 movie studios, and talented filmmakers got together to tell you ‘The Big Screen in Back'” John Fithian, CEO of trade group National Association of TheatreOwners, said in a statement. “With pandemic cases falling, vaccinations rising, movie theaters in all major markets opening to 100% capacity, and big, crowd-pleasing titles being released all summer long, we’re keeping our word — with the kick-off of Cinema Week [through June 27], The Big Screen is Back.”

Fandango in a June 24 news release said advance ticket sales for F9 are outpacing those for A Quiet Place Part II, Fandango’s biggest ticket-seller of the year so far. Fandango also surveyed more than 2,000 moviegoers planning to see F9 on the big screen and found that:

  • 98% can’t wait to see the outrageous stunts and action on the big screen.
  • 88% are fans of the diverse, inclusive cast of F9.
  • 83% are Vin Diesel fans.
  • 72% are excited to see the return of Han (Sung Kang).
  • 69% are excited to see the return of Mia (Jordana Brewster).

 

“It’s the action-packed summer blockbuster fans have been waiting for,” said Fandango managing editor Erik Davis. “Breathtaking, adrenaline-fueled set-pieces complement a fun, inclusive ensemble cast. Longtime fans will love all the references to the previous movies in ‘The Fast Saga,’ and newcomers will be blown away by the scope and spectacle. It’s the kind of movie you’ll want to see on the biggest screen possible.”

Prior to the pandemic beginning in March 2020, Sony Pictures debuted Bad Boys for Life to an opening domestic box office of $62.5 million — an impressive tally for a franchise with less consumer pull than “Fast & Furious.”

“Any movie that opens with more than $40 million, that’s a good number [these days],” Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore, told CNBC.