How do you follow up the $1.6 billion success of “Jurassic World“? If you’re Universal, you set a 2018 release date and hurtle toward it. The dino movie played a big part of the studio’s massively successful record breaking year, and studio executive Donna Langley is taking it in stride, as she relates in a new roundtable talk.
“Obviously, this year has been extraordinary, and we are very grateful for it. And we can be objective about it and say it was part strategy, part timing and a lot of luck. We don’t have a magic bullet. We didn’t all of a sudden invent a formula for the movie business,” she told THR. “And [Fox‘s] Stacey [Snider] was just talking about failure. Out of failure does come a lot of self-reflection, and our studio was beleaguered for a very long time. And the last three years have been good for us. So that’s great. What do we have as we sit here today? Part of the success comes largely down to a good, strong operating rhythm. And looking at our ownership, looking at our management, it’s the best it’s been in a very, very long time. I reflect back on when the product wasn’t so great. It’s not about an individual, but I could look at the ownership. For many, many years, we didn’t have these built-in franchises. And for a long time we didn’t quite understand what ‘franchise’ meant. One of the things we’ve been able to do is say that franchises for us don’t necessarily need to look like a Marvel movie. It can look like ‘Pitch Perfect.’ It can look like ‘Fifty Shades of Grey‘ —movies that are made for a modest amount of money with a high profitability.”
While that’s a useful lesson to be learned in Hollywood, let’s be real: most executives are chasing the kind of monster success spawned by “Jurassic World.” Langley is confident they are going down the right path with the sequels —that’s right, it looks like there’s already more than one planned. “[Director] Colin Trevorrow is busy working on an outline. He’s been working with Steven [Spielberg]. And they have an idea for the next two movies actually. It was designed as a trilogy, unbeknown to us. It’s a happy surprise,” she said.
“Jurassic World 2” arrives on June 22, 2018.