Disney has once again won the domestic box office this year, thanks in no small part to Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Disney was already a powerhouse in theaters before it started buying up smaller, established studios, but the addition of Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm have seen the company skyrocket. The latter’s resurgence in the past few years has meant that just one Star Wars movie a year from the studio can help send Disney soaring to new heights. The Last Jedi broke $800 million globally this week, and it’s set to hit $1 billion any day now. Meanwhile, Marvel’s prolific output has been doing gangbusters.
Earlier this year, the MCU hit $5 billion domestically and crossed $13 billion globally thanks to Thor: Ragnarok‘s success capping off an impressive nine-year run for the studio to date. It’s mega-blockbusters like those in the Marvel and Star Wars universe that have allowed Disney to put out fewer films than its competition while still racking up more at the box office. This year, for instance, the studio only released 12 titles, compared to the 31 put out by rival Warner Bros. And that focus on quality over quantity has once again paid off.
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Variety is reporting that Disney has won the domestic box office for the second year in a row, pulling in $2.27 billion at home thanks in large part to The Last Jedi and Beauty and the Beast. The latter film started the year off with a bang by pulling in $504M, Disney’s biggest numbers of the year so far. Along with the two big films, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ($389.8M), Thor: Ragnarok ($309.1M), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales ($172.6M), Coco ($167.3M), and Cars 3 ($152.9M) helped push Disney past the competition.
Coming in just behind Disney was WB, which brought in $2.02B thanks to films like Wonder Woman ($412M), IT ($327M), Justice League ($223M), Dunkirk ($188M), and The LEGO Batman Movie ($175.8M). From there, the year saw Universal ($1.49 billion), Fox ($1.37 billion), Sony ($948 million), Lionsgate ($879.2 million), and Paramount ($522.7 million) round things out.
Overall, the 2017 box office saw a major dip from last year, with Disney personally seeing their total drop this year after earning $2.85B in 2016. WB, meanwhile, managed to increase their haul from last year’s $1.88B. There’s no telling if these trends will continue, but one of the year’s biggest entertainment stories will certainly upset things.
With Disney purchasing 20th Century Fox, the latter studio will no longer be a player at the box office. While it’s still unclear how much Disney’s output will grow once it has Fox’s various IPs under its control, the studio will certainly be harder to beat. Meanwhile, Fox’s absence will create a vacuum in which a new studio could step into the top spot, especially with companies like Paramount and Sony continuing to have shaky track records at the box office. Whatever the future brings, its seems that the domestic box office will be Disney’s to lose.
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