For all the talk of people fleeing movie theaters for streaming services and staying home, the domestic box office continues to hit new records. Variety reports that the domestic box office hit a new high by reaching $11.383 billion with over a week to go left in the year. The previous record of $11.382 billion was set in 2016.
It should be noted, however, that the success was not equally distributed. Five of the top ten biggest domestic releases belonged to Disney with owning Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Incredibles 2, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Solo: A Star Wars Story. Disney also owned the three of the top five slots with #4 going to Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and #5 going to Deadpool 2.
As Variety points out, overperforming tentpoles as well as surprise performers like Crazy Rich Asians and A Star Is Born managed to alleviate some of the flops like Mortal Engines, Welcome to Marwen, and Robin Hood. Strong performances also helped struggling franchises pictures like Solo and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, which underperformed for their respective series.
It should be noted that while ticket prices hit a new high of an average of $9.38 over the summer, the cost of admission alone doesn’t account for the higher box office total. Attendance was also up 4% from the last year.
The question now becomes how will the box office fare in 2019? It remains to be seen how most studios fare, but Disney shows no signs of slowing down. Between Avengers: Endgame, The Lion King, and Star Wars: Episode IX, they should be just fine.
If you’re curious to see how each studio performed this year and how they might perform in 2019, be sure to check out Jeff Sneider’s Studio Report Cards.