‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ predictably shattered records with its unprecedented opening, but it didn’t quite generate enough to make parent studio Disney the top earner of the year. Even though ‘Star Wars’ usurped the biggest opening weekend record previously held by Universal’s ‘Jurassic World’, which itself topped Universal’s prior smash ‘Furious 7’, the seventh ‘Star Wars’ only has three weeks (and two weekends) to make its mark, whereas ‘Jurassic World’ had months. And although Disney also had major hits with ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ and ‘Inside Out’, Universal had ‘Furious 7’ which (believe it or not) also broke records with its debut.
Even at second place, Disney raked in over $5 billion. This bested their previous year-end high which was in 2013, bringing in $4.73 billion. This is the third year straight that Disney has generated over $4 billion.
Disney’s $5 billion is nothing to sneeze at, but couldn’t quite match Universal’s $6.8 billion haul. Universal released three movies that topped $1 billion. ‘Jurassic World’ still ranks as the #2 movie of the year with $1.66 billion, with ‘Furious 7’ landing at #3 with $1.5 billion. They also scored big with animated smash ‘Minions’ which took in $1.15 billion and ‘Straight Outta Compton’ which dominated the fall earning $188M. Other major releases for the studio included ’50 Shades of Grey’, ‘Trainwreck’ and ‘Pitch Perfect 2’.
In addition to ‘The Force Awakens’, Disney scored with ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron ($459M domestic, $1.4B worldwide), ‘Inside Out’ ($356.4M domestic, $855.4M worldwide), ‘Cinderella’ ($201.1M domestic, $542.5M worldwide) and ‘Ant-Man’ ($180.1M domestic, $519.1M worldwide).
Keep in mind, Disney paid $4 billion for Marvel and $4.06 billion for Lucasfilm, so its still in the process of recouping these payouts.
But ‘The Force Awakens’, having earned nearly universal positive reviews, should easily continue to do well into the New Year, giving Disney a nice foundation upon which to build for 2016. In addition, the studio has ‘Captain America: Civil War’ and ‘Doctor Strange’ coming from Marvel, plus live action adaptations of ‘The Jungle Book’, ‘Pete’s Dragon’ and the sequel ‘Alice: Through The Looking Glass’ , PIXAR’s ‘Finding Dory’ and of course, ‘Star Wars: Rogue One’.
What were your favorite movies of 2015?
Source: Comic Book Resources