Metacritic's First Annual Movie Studio Report Card

  • Publish Date: January 27, 2010
  • Comments: ↓ 14 user comments

Universal

Image
Summary of 2009 Films
Metascore Breakdown
Good / So-So / Bad:
27,40,33
Quality: Performance:
D+ D

Universal's best-reviewed movie of the year was Sam Raimi's low-budget horror hit Drag Me to Hell, which seems to be an appropriate title to summarize the studio's year. Across the board, Universal finished in the depths of the box office standings, placing last among the major studios in virtually every conceivable category.

The studio's 8.2% domestic market share in 2009 marked the first time that one of the major studios fell below 10% since Universal did so in 2006. And you'll have to go back to 2002 to find the last time that a major studio's total domestic gross (adjusting for inflation) was as low as Universal's $867 million take in 2009.

Universal had just two films surpass the $100 million mark last year: the Fast and Furious sequel Fast and Furious, and the critically-despised comedy Couples Retreat. Although Universal had good intentions -- exhibited by what on paper appears to be a solid roster of talent -- their release schedule is littered with commercial and critical disappointments, from Tony Gilroy's underperforming thriller Duplicity to Michael Mann's underperforming gangster film Public Enemies, to Judd Apatow's underperforming dramedy Funny People to Sacha Baron Cohen's underperforming mockumentary Bruno, to -- well, you get the idea. (All that, and we didn't even mention Will Ferrell's $100 million failure Land of the Lost.)

Last fall's management shakeup and the pending Comcast takeover of NBC Universal could mean that a turnaround is in the works, though a 2010 release slate that includes a potential bomb like MacGruber for every potential hit like Robin Hood may pose a problem.

2009 Film Quality Overview - Universal
Total Releases # Great # Awful Avg. Metascore Avg. User Score
15 1 0 49.3 6.0
Low - Median - High: 23 - 45 - 83 Score Distribution: 23,33.5,45,62,83

In the Score Distribution chart, half of all scores (from the 25th percentile to the 75th percentile) fall within the shaded box, with the vertical line in the middle of the box representing the median. The Metascore is a weighted average of scores from top professional critics, on a scale from 0 (bad) to 100 (good). The User Score is an average of scores submitted by Metacritic users, on a scale from 0 (bad) to 10 (good).

2009 Performance Overview - Universal
Category Total (in Millions) Rank Market Share
Domestic Gross $867 6th 8.2%
Foreign Gross $1,200 6th 11%
Per-Film Average Gross $58.6 6th  
# of Hits (Domestic Gross > $100M) 2 films 6th  

Per-Film Average is the average domestic gross of all films released during 2009, and includes receipts through January 25, 2010 for films still in theaters. Rank indicates the studio's ranking among the six major studios. Sources: Box Office Mojo, The Hollywood Reporter, and Metacritic staff research.

2009 Releases for Universal
Film Studio Domestic Gross* Metascore User Score
Drag Me to HellUniversal$42,100,625836.1
Public EnemiesUniversal$97,104,620706.3
DuplicityUniversal$40,572,825694.6
State of PlayUniversal$37,017,955647.4
Funny PeopleUniversal$51,855,045606.5
It's ComplicatedUniversal$98,270,085576.5
BrunoUniversal$60,054,530546.0
Fast and FuriousUniversal$155,064,265456.8
Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's AssistantUniversal$13,869,515436.6
The Last House on the Left [2009]Universal$32,752,215425.6
The Fourth KindUniversal$25,486,040346.3
Love HappensUniversal$22,965,110335.3
Land of the LostUniversal$49,438,370324.8
The Unborn [2009]Universal$42,670,410305.0
Couples RetreatUniversal$109,065,605235.6

* Domestic Gross includes box office receipts through January 25, 2010 for films still in theaters. The Metascore is a weighted average of scores from top professional critics, on a scale from 0 (bad) to 100 (good). The User Score is an average of scores submitted by Metacritic users, on a scale from 0 (bad) to 10 (good). Source for grosses: Box Office Mojo.

We're sorry, but comments are closed for this article.

Comments (14)

  • Pearl  

    This is an excellent report- well researched and written, AND VERY INTERESTING TOO.

  • Marc Doyle  

    Congrats to Warner. It's great to see some high Metascoring films (esp. The Hangover) do well at the box office. It's great to see the quality breakdown juxtaposed with the box office results.

  • Nick  

    This is fascinating. The color-coded numbers, the great stats--I'm thoroughly enjoying the new MetaCritic. As for the actual stats, I was surprised by Weinstein and Fox Searchlight. I thought they both put out mostly better than average movies. Guess not.

  • Dorothy Ivan  

    Wow! I'm blown away by this amazing report. Keep them coming.

New in Metacritic Features

  1. This Week's New Movie Trailers
    Film Friday (1/20): This Week's New Movie Trailers Image
    Published: January 20, 2017
  2. What Movie Should I See This Weekend? Image
    Published: January 19, 2017
  3. Metacritic Users Pick the Best of 2016 Image
    Published: January 5, 2017
  4. The Best Movies of 2016 Image
    Published: January 4, 2017
  5. The 15 Worst Movies of 2016 Image
    Published: January 3, 2017
  6. 10 Films to See in January Image
    Published: December 30, 2016
  7. What to Watch Now on Amazon Instant Video Image
    Published: December 22, 2016
  8. This Week's New Movie Trailers
    Film Friday (12/16): This Week's New Movie Trailers Image
    Published: December 16, 2016

What Our Users Are Talking About

  1. /feature/most-anticipated-albums-of-2017 Image
    2017 Music Preview: 100+ Notable Upcoming Albums
    January 10, 2017 - 9 comments
    1. applemapsfan : What about These New Puritans? Nothing from them this year? Couldn't find it. Read »
    2. waltermace : Goldfrapp have been teasing a new release since the beginning of the year. And Róisín Murphy was back in the studio... Read »
    3. Kaprawiec : Well Im waiting for something fresh from Watkin Tudor Jones / Anri du Toit. Everything else seems just meh. Now I go... Read »
    4. nathansoderberg : New Fleet Foxes, National, LCD Soundsystem, Sigur Ros, Beck and Arctic Monkeys?! Yes, please. Read »
    5. ajax7 : Ok, first, Sheezus was a great album. Secondly, Katy Perry's upcoming album will be her fourth, not fifth. Read »
    6. Pdfortune : The once great U2 has put out weak albums for quite a while, and I kept buying the non free ones. I'm not accepting... Read »
  2. /feature/2016-film-awards-and-nominations-scorecard Image
    Best of 2016: Film Awards & Nominations Scorecard
    November 29, 2016 - 22 comments
    1. TheLillypop : And the OFTA awards! Read »
    2. TheLillypop : You guys forgot custom designers guild awards nominees and Hawaii Film Critics Society awards nominees and winners!... Read »
    3. ashrock : Denver http://www.steamboattoday.com/news/2017/jan/16/moonlight-leads-denver-film-critics-society-awards/ Read »
  3. /feature/tv-premiere-dates Image
    2017 Winter/Spring TV Premiere Calendar
    December 15, 2016 - 138 comments
    1. cmcino : The Arrangement (New series) - March 5 @ 10p on E! Read »