Disney finished up 2019 with a record-smashing box office total that, in all likelihood, will never be topped again. That is, unless inflation ever hits a point that earning billions upon billions of dollars becomes unimpressive. All told, Disney pulled $13.2 billion globally last year, which is nearly double the previous record for a studio in a single year. While it’s true that Disney will probably continue to dominate in the years to come, it’s not at all reasonable to expect that they can ever top, or even come close to matching this number again.
Early in December Disney made headlines by becoming the first studio ever to cross the $10 billion threshold at the box office in a single year. However, thanks to Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which recently crossed the $800 million mark globally, and Frozen 2, which stands at $1.22 billion, the total ballooned. Another major factor is Disney’s acquisition of Fox. Even though many of the titles produced by Fox and subsequently released by Disney, such as Dark Phoenix ($252.4 million), Ad Astra ($127.1 million) and Stuber ($32.3 million) were relative bombs, they all added to the studio’s massive total for 2019.
Even without Fox, Disney eclipsed $11 billion, which no other studio even came close to touching. All told, Disney had six titles gross at least $1 billion, with Avengers: Endgame setting a new global record with $2.79, overtaking James Cameron’s Avatar. Other major hits included The Lion King ($1.65 billion), Captain Marvel ($1.1 billion) and Aladdin ($1 billion). Even Disney’s relative disappointments like Dumbo ($353.2 million} did reasonably well. Plus, Sony’s replicating a string of truly huge hits like that again seems like a nearly impossible task. The previous record for a single year, also set by Disney, was in 2016 with $7.6 billion. In 2019 alone Disney brought in $7.3 billion from international markets at the box office. They also set a new industry record with $3.76 billion at the domestic box office. As impressive as that all is, the $13.2 billion figure represents a serious anomaly.
Be that as it may, other studios are struggling to find a way to compete. The only other studios to crack the top ten worldwide at the box office in 2019 were Universal with Hobbs & Shaw ($758.9 million) and Warner Bros. with Joker ($1.06 billion). With Disney now in full control of Fox, it’s easy to see a future in which they’re able to exploit the studio’s library of IP to craft even more hits. Maybe not to the tune of $13 billion or more in a single year, but certainly a great deal more than the competition. This news comes to us via Deadline.