Superheroes and Disney paved the way for a record-breaking year at the box office.
The worldwide box office nabbed a record $41.7 billion in 2018 with Disney’s “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Black Panther at No. 1 and No. 2 respectively. The global box office benefited from a strong performance at North American theaters where there was an increase in both revenue and foot traffic.
The domestic box office raked in $11.9 billion in 2018, beating the $11.4 billion record set in 2016.
North American theater attendance was up by about 5% over last year, according to the media measuring company Comscore. But it’s still down from 2016, when that year’s record-breaking revenue was set with the help of higher ticket prices rather than by more bodies in theater seats. Higher ticket prices could also contribute to 2018’s massive haul, but it will be a few weeks before official attendance numbers are released.
Last year’s numbers are still impressive, however, given the competition that movie theaters are facing with Netflix and Amazon’s growing slate of prestige and licensed content.
Several studios cranked out big hits throughout the year. Universal’s “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” Paramount’s “Mission: Impossible — Fallout” and Fox’s “Deadpool 2” all made the top ten. But the king of the 2018 box office was undoubtedly Disney, which had five films in the top-ten highest-grossing movies domestically.
Disney posted the biggest box office year in North American history, grossing more than $3 billion at the U.S. box office. This makes Disney Hollywood’s top studio by more than a billion dollars, dominating an estimated 26% of the market share.
Disney’s content library grow even more once it completes its purchase of 21st Century Fox‘s assets this year.
2019 could mark another year in which theaters could see an even bigger windfall. This year’s film slate includes a number of potential blockbusters. Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” follow up, “Us,” “Avengers: End Game,” a live-action/animated remake of “The Lion King” starring Beyoncé and the final chapter of the new “Star Wars” trilogy, “Star Wars: Episode IX” are all scheduled for release in the coming months.