The domestic box office saw a 3.4% uptick in 2006 from the prior year, according to Variety. Overall movie business finished the year with $9.13 billion in receipts, up from 2005's $8.83 billion.
Disney, however, managed to land just a few percentage points behind -- at 16.1% -- while releasing fewer films (25) than its competition (30 from Sony). The studio also had the top two films, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and Cars. Disney generated $1.47 billion in domestic ticket sales.
Fox hit $1.4 billion, or 15.3% market share. X-Men: The Last Stand was its biggest earner, at $234.4 million, followed by Ice Age: The Meltdown at $195.3 million. Borat and The Devil Wears Prada were next, each taking in about $125 million.
Warner Bros. wound up No. 4 in market share, generating $1.06 billion. Happy Feet was the cornerstone of that finish: The movie ended the year with $175.9 million after a November rollout and will easily surpass the box office take of the mega-budgeted Superman Returns, Warners' top film of the year at $200 million.
Handling distribution on DreamWork's product, Paramount also was a beneficiary of animation. The studio's biggest film was DreamWorks Animation's Over the Hedge ($155 million), which helped the studio hit $961.3 million in ticket sales and take 10.5% of the market.
Like Paramount, Universal, in a transition year under new leadership, wasn't able to crack $1 billion. The studio was sixth, with The Break-Up its biggest pic at $118.7 million.
New Line was eighth, finishing behind indie brand Lionsgate, which led all stand-alones or studio specialty divisions.
Lionsgate took in more than $331 million, led by its horror franchise hit Saw III.
The Weinstein Co. ($223.6 million) and Focus Features ($180.6 million) also finished among the year's top 10 distributors.
Fox Searchlight, which had the Sundance hit Little Miss Sunshine on its slate, grabbed $161.5 million, ahead of Sony Classics' $60.1 million, Paramount Vantage's $46.5 million and Miramax's $46.1 million.
MGM saw some year-end life with Rocky Balboa but was ranked 11th in market share as the studio gears up under Harry Sloan.