Disney is undoubtedly one of the preeminent powers in the film industry, and this year served as the latest example of the studio’s entertainment might.
The House of Mouse announced Monday (Dec. 19) that it surpassed $7 billion in global box office receipts in 2016, becoming the first movie studio to reach the milestone.
Disney credits the impressive box office numbers to the fact that all five of its most recognizable and profitable brands – Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm – released films in the same calendar year for the first time ever.
“This historic achievement is possible because all of our film studios are bringing their absolute best to the table, telling great stories of all kinds that resonate with audiences across borders, gender, and generations,” Alan Horn, Chairman of Walt Disney Studios, said in a statement. “These films work because each one has not only something for everyone, but everything for someone. It’s our honor to be able to create these experiences for audiences, and we’re thankful to them for continuing to come out to the theater with us.”
The recent release of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” which earned $290.5 million globally in its opening weekend, provided the last-minute boost necessary to get the studio to the unprecedented milestone. The film is expected to continue its domination into next year, giving Disney a jump on the competition in 2017. That is significant because “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” opened in December of 2015, but $736.6 million of its ridiculous $2 billion earnings came in 2016, contributing to the $7 billion total.
But those are just two of many examples.
The studio holds five of the top 10 releases of the year, including “Captain America: Civil War” ($1.15 billion), “Finding Dory” ($1.03 billion), “Zootopia” ($1.02 billion), “The Jungle Book” ($966.6 million) and “Doctor Strange” ($652.8 million). Other releases like “Moana” and “Pete’s Dragon” shouldn’t be overlooked, as both films earned more than $100 million.
Most importantly, audiences and critics were pleased with the aforementioned releases. Each film earned an “A” CinemaScore and no less than an 84 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the popular review aggregation website. However, not every release from Disney was a hit, as “The BFG” and “Alice Through the Looking Glass” were considered among the biggest disappointments of the year.
Universal Studios set the record just a year ago, when box office smashes such as “Jurassic World,””Furious 7” and “Minions” helped to generate $6.89 billion in global receipts.
Will the record fall again in 2017? It’s certainly a good possibility with major blockbusters on the horizon from various studios.