Comcast's 'Furious 7' a Runaway Hit, Sales Near $1B Mark - Analyst Blog

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Universal Pictures, owned by Comcast Corp.CMCSA , has set the cash registers ringing with its latest release Furious 7 earning more than $800 million worldwide within the first two weeks of its release.

The movie, which was released over Easter weekend, is the highest opening week box-office grosser made by any movie in April in the U.S., collecting $143.6 million. The previous record was held by Captain America: The Winter Soldier produced by The Walt Disney Co. DIS , which grossed $97 million in 2013.

Notably, Furious 7 is the ninth largest opening week box-office grosser in the U.S. of all time. In the first week of its release, the movie collected around $384 million worldwide, which was twice the amount of its production budget. Several industry observers opine that Furious 7 may very well become Universal Pictures' first release to achieve over $1 billion box-office sales globally.

In the U.S., Furious 7 sales grossed $60.6 million in the second week of its release, well ahead of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc.'s DWAHome ($19 million) and The Longest Ride ($13.5 million) of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc.

So far, Universal Pictures most successful movie has been 1993's Jurassic Park, which accumulated around $970 million globally. However, the total box-office sales of this movie franchise reached $1.027 billion after Universal Pictures released its 3D format in 2013.

Meanwhile, industry analysts are hopeful that at this current run rate, Furious 7 will easily cross the $1 billion sales mark worldwide in its current format. The movie has just released in China and Russia and is yet to be released in Japan.

In Feb 2015, Universal Pictures had tasted another box-office success with Fifty Shades of Grey , which generated $85 million in the first week. This controversial film has made more than $566 million at the box office to date. The movie's production cost was just a little over $40 million.

Having acquired the entire stake in NBC Universal from General Electric Co. GE , Comcast is leaving no stone unturned to revamp Universal Pictures amid strong competition.

In 2014, revenues from the Filmed Entertainment segment of NBC Universal declined 8.2% year-over-year to $5 billion, reflecting lower theatrical and home entertainment revenues. The box-office success of Fifty Shades of Grey and Furious 7 will help NBC Universal regain its theatrical market share in 2015.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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