Disney really iced out the box office competition this year.
Now that “Frozen 2” has earned $1.032 billion worldwide, the House of Mouse’s global box office total has cross the $10 billion mark, making it the first movie studio to ever do that in a single year. That breaks its previous record placeholder of $7.6 billion, which it set in 2016 with “Captain America: Civil War,” “Finding Dory,” the live-action “Jungle Book” remake, and “Rogue One.”
And the sequel to the 2013 animated smash is the sixth Disney flick to gross more than $1 billion this year, joining blockbusters including “Avengers: Endgame” ($2.798 billion), “The Lion King” ($1.656 billion), “Captain Marvel” ($1.130 billion), “Toy Story 4” ($1.074 billion) and “Aladdin” ($1.051 billion) in Disney’s domination of theaters. Indeed, the Walt Disney Co.
accounted for about half of all ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada over the summer, propping up the otherwise weak box office; otherwise, summer ticket sales finished 2% behind last year.
A note to Spider-Man fans: While Tom Holland’s webslinger is a part of the Disney-owned Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the MCU and Sony
co-produced “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” the rights to the character are still owned by Sony. That’s why “Far From Home’s” $1.131 billion haul this year doesn’t go towards Disney’s grand total. (Read more about Disney and Sony’s sticky Spidey situation here.)
What’s more, Disney’s still got another ace up its sleeve: “Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker” hitting this Friday. The hotly anticipated finale to the Skywalker saga that began with “A New Hope” in 1977 could become the seventh one of its flicks to bank $1 billion by the end of the year, which would be another record. Ticket presales already suggest an opening weekend in the $205 million range.
And if you count Fox titles such as “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” ($252 million) and “Ford v. Ferrari” ($167 million) following Disney’s $71 billion acquisition of 20th Century Fox earlier this year, then the studio’s worldwide box office total is already closer to $12 billion.
But “Frozen 2” puts the $10 billion milestone squarely in Mickey Mouse’s gloved hands.
It’s been a magical year for the company, which reportedly racked up 10 million Disney+ subscribers in just 24 hours when it launched its signature streaming service in November — shooting its stock price to a record high on Nov. 14. “The Mandalorian” has been an early Disney+ hit, with breakout character Baby Yoda becoming the must-have toy of the 2019 holiday season.
But Disney probably won’t be able to match this record-breaking box office success next year, as it doesn’t have as many sequels like “Frozen 2” or finales such as “Avengers: Endgame” and “Rise of Skywalker” slated. The movies it does have on deck include the live-action “Mulan” remake in March; Marvel’s “Black Widow” in May; and “Jungle Cruise,” an action film based on the Disney theme park ride of the same name, which stars The Rock and Emily Blunt due in July.
This story was originally published on Dec. 10, 2019, and has been updated with the latest “Frozen 2” and “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” ticket sales.