Disney Crosses $2 Billion Box Office Mark, Again

By November 5, 2016
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For the second time in as many years, the Walt Disney Co. has crossed over the $2 billion box office threshold – all with two months (and a big Star Wars anthology film) left.

To date, Disney has earned $2.099 billion domestically, making it the top studio through October, and staying well ahead of Warner Bros., which – according to The Numbers – has earned $1.6 billion. Even better for Disney, it has done it all with just 15 films, translating to just under $140 million revenue per film.

Even Warner Bros. can’t touch that. It’s $1.6 billion came from nearly double the output, equating to just $55.7 million per film in North America.

This marks only the second time Disney has crossed into that territory, first doing it in 2015 when it earned $2.3 billion on, again, just 15 films. However, it didn’t finish on top. Instead, that crown went to Universal Pictures, which used 24 films – including Jurassic World ($652.2 million) and Furious 7 ($351 million) – to reach $2.4 billion.

findingdory110516Although Disney did earn some spillover this year from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it was just $194.4 million compared to the studio’s top film – Finding Dory, which is now at $485.8 million domestically. Overall, however, the Finding Nemo sequel has earned just a tad over $1 billion.

When accounting for worldwide box office, the leader stands at Captain America: Civil War, which has pulled in $1.15 billion in ticket sales for Disney’s Marvel division. It’s followed by Zootopia, which has an almost identical box office haul to Finding Dory. All three films are from Disney.

In fact, ticket counters would have to drop all the way to No. 5 before finding a non-Disney film. That spot is currently held by Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, which earned $868.2 million for Warner Bros. and DC Comics.

Disney commands nearly a quarter of the total domestic market share, while only two other studios have even crossed the $1 billion mark to this point – Twentieth Century Fox at $1.23 billion, and Universal at $1.18 billion.

Believe it or not, unless someone comes from behind to claim the top spot, this would be the first time Disney would finish No. 1 domestically since 2003 when films like Finding Nemo and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl helped it reach $1.5 billion, or just 16 percent of the total North American movie market.

Nearly $500 million separate Warner Bros. and Disney, but once again it will be Marvel who will help push the Mouse even further ahead as Doctor Strange starring Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role gets a wide release this weekend. The film already has grossed $32.6 million in Friday showings, finishing well ahead of Trolls ($12.3 million) and the Mel Gibson-directed film Hacksaw Ridge ($5.2 million).

Final weekend results will be released Sunday.

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Michael Hinman

Michael Hinman

Managing Editor at GeekNation
Michael has spent more than 18 years of his way-long journalism career in entertainment reporting as the founder of SyFy Portal, which would become Airlock Alpha after he sold the SyFy brand to NBC Universal. He's based in New York City.