Dec 9, 2019 - Economy

Disney breaks $10 billion box office record

Photo Illustration: Miguel Candela/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

With the help of a successful weekend showing of "Frozen 2," the Walt Disney Company has officially raked in more than $10 billion this year in box office sales, a new record.

Why it matters: Disney’s box office success this year is attributable in part to a years-long strategy to invest in major tentpole franchises, like Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars. Most of its biggest box office hits this year came from those three brands.

By the numbers: Disney has distributed seven of the top 10 movies this year by theater ticket sales. Six of those films have brought in more than $1 billion.

These are the 2019 worldwide box office revenue totals, per Box Office Mojo:

  1. Avengers: Endgame: $2,797,800,564 (Disney)
  2. The Lion King: $1,656,313,097 (Disney)
  3. Spider-Man: Far from Home: $1,131,927,996 (Disney)
  4. Captain Marvel: $1,128,274,794 (Disney)
  5. Toy Story 4: $1,073,394,593 (Disney)
  6. Joker: $1,054,941,623 (Warner Bros)
  7. Aladdin: $1,050,693,953 (Disney)
  8. Frozen 2: $919,694,901 (Disney)
  9. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw: $758,910,100 (Universal Pictures)
  10. Ne Zha: $700,547,754 (Beijing Enlight Pictures)

Between the lines: Disney‘s success has prompted calls by anti-monopoly advocates for regulators to eye its box office dominance. Disney is expected to bring in roughly 40% of all box office revenues this year.

Yes, but: While its studio strength was evaluated as part of its deal to acquire most of 21st Century Fox last year, its acquisition of Fox’s movie studio hasn’t been what has led to its theater dominance.

The bottom line: Most of Disney's success at the box office in 2019 is attributable to the franchises it has acquired and built up over many years.

What's next: Disney's dominance is particularly notable given the fact that its upcoming Star Wars film, "The Rise of Skywalker," has yet to be released.

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Editor's note: This piece has been corrected to show that six of the seven Disney top-10 movies this year brought in more than $1 billion (not five).

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