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Universal hits $1 billion benchmark

Studio boasted several worldwide tentpoles

Universal is the latest studio to reach $1 billion at the international B.O., reaching the landmark a month earlier than ever before for the studio.

U’s previous billion-dollar benchmark was achieved by Aug. 16, 2008, thanks to such global blockbusters as “Mamma Mia!,” “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor” and “Wanted.”

This year, the studio has boasted several worldwide flagships, including “Snow White and the Huntsman” ($220 million), “American Reunion” ($177.4 million) and “Safe House” ($77.5 million). U’s big-budget gamble “Battleship” may have wound up disappointing Stateside, but the film stands as the studio’s biggest-grossing 2012 release internationally with $238 million.

It’s currently looking to expand two pics internationally: “Ted,” with more than $30 million from just four markets, and “The Lorax,” which expands shortly throughout Europe and China.

Disney was the first studio to reach $1 billion this year, followed by Warner Bros. and Fox. Sony reached the milestone last week; Paramount is the only major not to have crossed $1 billion internationally so far in 2012.

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