Universal Pictures International has already reached $1 billion in foreign ticket sales in 2015, the earliest in a calendar year that the studio has ever clocked 10 figures.
The gross is thanks mostly to the muscle car fueled Furious 7 which has tallied $316 million overseas in its first week. Scott Mendelson notes this is the fourth-biggest global debut of all time and bets that the seventh Fast & Furious movie is well-on-its-way to eclipsing the $1 billion worldwide milestone.
This is all despite the fact that the film has been pirated over 2.5 million times on torrent sites, according to piracy-tracking firm Excipio.
The lace and leather film adaptation Fifty Shades of Grey helped Universal’s international efforts, grossing $401.2 million overseas since its Valentine’s Day launch, while Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything has pulled in $85 million in foreign ticket scores.
Furious 7‘s turbo-charged cinema sales have also translated to the charts, where the movie soundtrack is at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 this week, selling 74,000 units. Hip-Hop Cash King Wiz Khalifa fronts the record’s lead single, “See You Again,” which is a tribute to former Fast & Furious star Paul Walker who died in a car accident in 2013.
Fellow Hip-Hop Cash King Ludacris, who stars in Furious 7 alongside Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson, also sees good sales from the timely release of his latest album. Ludaversal landed at No. 3 on the album chart with 73,000 units sold, just below the soundtrack. It is his first full-length release since 2010’sBattle of the Sexes, which debuted at No. 1 with 137,000 copies sold in its first week.
Universal will be thanking popcurn crunchers worldwide for their patronage.Furious 7 is estimated to have cost some $250 million to make, according toThe Hollywood Reporter. Aside from hefty insurance costs and special effects, the franchise’s picture car coordinator Dennis McCarthy told the Wall Street Journal that more than 230 cars were destroyed during filming.
Universal has grossed $1 billion internationally for the last nine years. With upcoming titles featuring a slew of sequels including Pitch Perfect 2, Jurassic World and Ted 2, the studio looks set to have a hot summer at the Box Office.
source: forbes.com by Natalie Robehmed