There is a possibility one can come to steal the crown from another if the circumstances are lined up properly and the intrigue is at an all-time high. Universal Pictures has quite a few blockbusters lined up for next year’s global releases with a possibility to win the box-office next year. The question is can it overcome Disney’s glory streak as an underdog or will it just fall short?
Disney has been the king of the box office for the past several years and is fixated on maintaining its superiority (as stated here). Owning the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars and now Fox properties have built them into a colossal film empire. They have slain some of the highest-grossing box office spots ever since 2014 with a few titles making the top-ten list per year. Universal? Not in the same boat.
The last time Universal genuinely was king of the box-office was in 1993 with the release of Steven Spielberg’s classic Jurassic Park. Some can make a case they exceeded expectations in 2000 and 2015. However, they have struggled to compose a feature (or series) to solidify themselves as the top dog in the box-office.
Yes, they have been doing very well with Despicable Me, the Jurassic Park (or World) franchise, and Fast and Furious. But even then, those series are becoming inferior to many others. Mainly because the product has grown stale and not resonated with audiences the same way as before. It is always crucial to maintain a sense of freshness in any franchise, and that is something Disney and other companies have succeeded with. Some may believe this writer is biased, but if you look at the reception of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom or Despicable Me 3, one will notice a steep drop. It’s a shame as Universal could give other companies a battle of their lives, but they fall a tad bit short.
Despite all that, they have a shot at redemption in 2021. Due to conflicting schedules and external circumstances, they have pushed several biggies into next year. Boss Baby 2, F9, Jurassic World: Dominion, Minions: The Rise of Gru, Halloween Ends, and more have settled down to conquer and rise. Some of these flicks are highly anticipated and will be welcomed by a solid chunk of the general audience.
Will other studios be challenged to their slate of films? Most likely and given the fact that each blockbuster is put in a prime marketing spot, it will stain other blockbusters’ success. Will it outperform Disney, Sony, and the rest? Assuming the stars align, Universal may be the breakout star next year.
Only time and patience will tell.