NBCUniversal also owns several cable networks, including Bravo, E!, MSNBC and USA, which have faced declines in traditional TV viewing. NBC, its broadcast network, also lost viewers for its prime-time programming.
Although not the biggest movie studio in Hollywood, Universal Pictures was very successful. Highlights from 2022 include “Jurassic World: Dominion” and “Minions: Rise of Gru.” This year started off even stronger, with “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” closing in on $900 million in global ticket sales after just three weekends in theaters, making it the company’s highest-grossing animated film in its history.
Other highly anticipated films to be released this year include the 10th iteration of the “Fast and Furious” franchise along with Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated “Oppenheimer,” about the famous nuclear physicist. The studio also started a flexible distribution strategy that uses a staggered rollout between theaters and its streaming service, Peacock, for bigger films. For smaller titles, like “Marry Me,” starring Jennifer Lopez, and the horror film “Firestarter,” both of which came out last year, the theatrical and streaming debuts are simultaneous.
The company’s theme parks have been a bright spot, with higher attendance and visitor spending leading to record revenue last year. The company plans to open theme parks in Las Vegas and Frisco, Texas, in the next few years.
The NBCUniversal news group, which includes MSNBC, NBC News and CNBC, is trying to make up for sector-wide declines in traditional viewership with an advertising-supported news streaming service, NBC News Now, and new products for subscribers, including the CNBC Pro service. It has scored several programming wins, including “Inside With Jen Psaki,” a new Sunday show hosted by the former White House press secretary.
The company is scheduled to report quarterly earnings this week, and the conference call that follows is likely to be closely scrutinized.