Moana Helps Disney Set New Industry Record at U.S. Box Office
The powerhouse that is Disney simply cannot be stopped at the box office. The Mouse House has been churning out hit after hit this year, with the most recent being the animated feature Moana, which also helped to further cement Dwayne Johnson's status as box office gold. Now, Walt Disney Studios can officially claim a new industry record, with their movies grossing a total of $2.5 billion at the domestic box office alone in 2016.
Deadline reported that this take for Disney was good enough to best the impressive record-setting year that Universal had last year, bringing in $2.45 billion for 2015. Disney was able to cross the milestone thanks to Moana and Marvel's Doctor Strange performing incredibly well upon release. Doctor Strange has already grossed a very impressive $215 million on the domestic side. Moana still has a long way to go, as it just won its second weekend at the box office in the U.S., but it has already made $119 million domestically for Disney, proving that their original properties are just as strong, if not stronger in some cases, then their recognizable franchises.
Looking at the larger, global picture, Disney is also crushing and may be able to take another record away from Universal. In 2015 Universal managed to pull in a tremendous $6.89 billion worldwide, much of it coming from massive movies like Jurassic World and Furious 7. As of this writing, Disney has officially crossed $4 billion internationally. Coupled with their domestic take of $2.5 billion, and with nearly a month left to go in the year, Disney should easily be able to cross the $7 billion mark for 2016, which would give them the worldwide record as well. The studio has had unprecedented levels of success in recent years, but this is the first time Disney has ever crossed $4 billion internationally.
Moana and Doctor Strange should still produce good returns for Disney in the coming weeks as we approach the end of the 2016 calendar year, but the studio still has one giant ace up their sleeve. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is hitting theaters in a little over a week and pre-sale tickets alone have been monumentally large. The movie is tracking for a $130 million debut domestically, but with the pre-sale numbers factored in and the fact that box office tracking for these massive movies has been inaccurate in recent years, it isn't hard to imagine the movie doing much better than that. It almost certainly won't match what Star Wars: The Force Awakens was able to do last December, but it is still a Star Wars movie, and this one has Darth Vader in it. That should easily help push Disney over the edge for any remaining records they have yet to break.
Disney, at the moment (and it isn't very likely to change), has the top four highest grossing movies of 2016. Captain America: Civil War came out on top with $1.15 billion, followed by Finding Dory, which pulled in $1.027 billion. That narrowly bested Zootopia, a completely original animated movie, which brought in $1.023 billion and lastly the live-action version of The Jungle Book nabbed just shy of $1 billion, with $966 million. Doctor Strange has also already cracked the top 10 for the year with $635 million worldwide, good enough for number 9 at the moment. The era of Disney dominance is definitely upon us, but if they continue to deliver movies that audiences like as much as these, people aren't likely to complain about it anytime soon.