“Jurassic World” opened to the number one highest-grossing opening ever, domestic and worldwide. The movie notched $208.8 million in North America, passing 2012’s “The Avengers” ($207 million), and internationally, the film’s opening gross was $315.3 million, surpassing 2011’s “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” ($314 million). And as of this weekend, Universal Pictures crossed the $5 billion mark at the worldwide box office, faster than any other studio in history. (That’s $1.709 billion domestic and $3.292 billion international.) Twentieth Century Fox exceeded this number with $5.5 billion– for the entire year of 2014.
Langley has shepherded a diverse and varied slate that has worked with audiences.
Universal projects rocked both CinemaCon in April and Comic-Con in July. Schumer told CinemaCon her story of being elevated by Apatow from mere writer to star of her very personal story, “Trainwreck,” which also wowed SXSW. “Maybe I’m really pretty,” she said. “But my stunt double was a guy.”
Top of the Universal fall line is Baltasar Kormakur’s true story action adventure “Everest” (Working Title, September 18), which will open August’s Venice Film Festival and boasts an all-star cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Keira Knightley, Jason Clarke, Robin Wright, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes and Emily Watson. They shot in horrific below zero conditions at 12,000 feet where donkeys had to carry the equipment. Kormakur set out to keep the mountain-scaling drama authentic and intimate.
Comic-Con’s Legendary panel showcased “Crimson Peak” (October 16), Guillermo del Toro’s reinvention of the “Rebecca” style “classical straight gothic romance,” he told Hall H, “with certain twists, a little more gender liberated, a little more about being yourself.” He wrote this “operatic fairy tale” eight years ago. Mia Wasikowska plays a young naif who marries dashing Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston), who brings her home to his four-story gothic mansion and Mrs. Danvers-like sister (the ubiquitous Jessica Chastain). All is not right–and of course our heroine descends where she’s forbidden, into the basement. The movie looks visually sumptuous–del Toro built sets and used practical effects when possible–and terrifying, as del Toro mashed his art-film Spanish-language sensibility with a mainstream studio one.
Other Universal titles coming this fall include Danny Boyle’s biopic “Steve Jobs,” starring Michael Fassbender, which Langley snatched from Sony’s then-studio-chief Amy Pascal, when she was worried about its cost and commerciality and “By the Sea,” starring Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.