Disney’s record-setting year at the box office simply won’t quit until the calendar rolls over. This past weekend, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hit theaters and opened to a huge $175.5 million. While that’s not as large as either The Force Awakens or The Last Jedi, it’s still going to make the movie a huge hit for Disney and gives them another spot in the top ten highest-grossing domestic releases of 2019. As such, Disney has now produced eight of this year’s top ten, which is a truly unprecedented level of success.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker managed to edge out Jordan Peele’s acclaimed Us, which grossed $175.05 million at the box office domestically earlier this year. That now gives Disney the number 10 spot this year. Avengers: Endgame ($858.3 million), The Lion King ($543.6 million), Toy Story 4 ($434 million), Captain Marvel ($426.8 million), Spider-Man: Far From Home ($390.5 million), Frozen II ($374.2 million) and Aladdin ($355.5 million) also sit in the top ten, all of which were produced by Disney. The only non-Disney movies to crack the top 10 in North America this year were Joker ($333.3 million) and IT Chapter Two ($211.5 million). It’s worth mentioning that both of those titles were produced by Warner Bros.
As a caveat here, Disney’s Marvel Studios produced Spider-Man: Far From Home while Sony handled distribution. So that box office doesn’t technically count towards Disney’s total for the year, but the movie grossed $1.13 billion globally, the fourth-highest total for any movie in 2019, and certainly wouldn’t have done that well were it not connected to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Plus, The Rise of Skywalker still has a long way to go and Frozen II is still chugging along.
Globally, Disney became the first studio in history to bring in $10 billion at the box office in a single year, and that total doesn’t count Spider-Man: Far From Home, nor does it account for the Fox titles the studio distributed following the $71.3 billion merger of the two companies earlier this year. All of this to say, Disney is having an alarmingly good year and the competition is, without a doubt, struggling to accomplish even a fraction of that success financially.
Disney’s box office dominance is poised to continue in the new decade, as they will now be in full control of Fox’s properties moving forward, with the X-Men and Fantastic Four just a couple of examples of franchises that can be exploited for further financial wins. Is this good for the industry? Will things find a way to balance themselves out in the coming years? It’s difficult to say, but people are ultimately voting with their wallets in favor of Disney products in a big way. This news was previously reported by The Verge.