Uni joins the $1 bil club

Studio is third to reach int'l milestone in '08

Universal Pictures International on Wednesday became the third major overseas distribution company to pass $1 billion in foreign boxoffice earnings. Paramount International Pictures hit the mark June 17 and 20th Century Fox International joined July 9.

Universal chairman Marc Shmuger and co-chairman David Linde said it marks the fastest time that the studio's overseas unit has made it to $1 billion and "puts it on track to its most successful year in history."

The key films that helped fuel the rise of UPI — observing its second year as a stand-alone company under president David Kosse — include "Mamma Mia!" at $180 million to date; "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor," at $152 million with 32 more markets still to play; and "Wanted," at $123 million with 20 more territories standing by. (partialdiff)