One of the most impressive things about Universal’s year is that in an era dominated by costumed avengers, the studio achieved record-breaking results without having a major superhero franchise to its name. In fact, Universal, perhaps not by choice, has largely ceded the comicbook moviemaking to Disney and Warner Bros., which boast the Marvel and DC Comics libraries, respectively.
“The fact that Universal has done this outside of superhero movies is a unique accomplishment, because at some point superheroes will fade into the sunset and Hollywood will need to find another cash cow,” said Jeff Bock, an analyst with Exhibitor Relations.
Universal’s successes show that there are alternatives out there for studios not looking to raid the outer recesses of the graphic novel and comicbook world in the hopes of competing. Yes, there are a lot of sequels on Universal’s dance card, with follow-ups to the “Fast & Furious,” “Pitch Perfect” and “Jurassic Park” franchises among its biggest grossers, but these are organically produced, homegrown series.