If you have been listening to reports of the U.S. box office you’d be forgiven for thinking that 2016 has been a poor year. This past summer there were news reports weekly of another movie under-performing or outright bombing. Ben-Hur, TMNT 2, Ghostbusters, or Disney’s The BFG, Pete’s Dragon, Alice Through The Looking Glass and others fell victim to low financial performance. However, the numbers are in and according to the National Association of Theater Owners, the domestic box office has passed $10 billion in record time.
The previous record holder was 2013, which passed the threshold on December 7th. In 2012, it was passed on December 8th and in 2015 on December 18th.
But with so many bombs, who do you have to thank for this (aside from inflation)? Well, mostly Disney who may have had flops with The BFG and Alice Through The Looking Glass, but in the Top 10 highest grossing domestic films of 2016 they occupy half of the list. Finding Dory ($486M), Captain America: Civil War ($408M), The Jungle Book ($364M), Zootopia ($341M) and Doctor Strange ($197M) all contributed to this $10 billion milestone. In fact, in the Top 10, eight movies are either comic-book related or animated (9 if you count The Jungle Book). But with Doctor Strange still taking in money as well as the arrival of Moana and the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Disney will continue to amass 2016 blockbuster hits.
Other companies have contributed as well, obviously. Universal had a smash-hit with The Secret Life of Pets, 20th Century Fox hit big with Deadpool and Warner Bros. had their DCEU offerings and the newly released Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. 2015 managed a finished yearly total of $11.12 billion thanks to Star Wars: The Force Awakens making $652M in the last two weeks of the year. If 2016 is going to hit that target then Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is going to have to perform as well as Disney wants it to and Universal’s Sing will have to exceed expectations, much like The Secret Life of Pets did.
IMAGES: Disney & Universal