Audiences around the world spent less money watching movies in theaters in 2019 than 2018, but, largely because of Disney productions, it was still a lucrative year for the movie industry as a CNN article reports. Internationally, the total box office take was around $41 billion in 2019, and in the United States it was a little over $11 billion. The numbers mean that 2019 was the third-highest year for the box office in history even though inflation throughout the year makes totals seems a bit higher than they really are.
The traditional film industry is facing increasing competition from Netflix and other streaming services, so the 2019 numbers are even more impressive seen in that light. It seems that people still love seeing movies in theaters even when they have other options. Once attendance figures are released in a few weeks, there will be an even better sense of how well the box office did relative to streaming.
Films released by Disney were a big part of why 2019 was such a good box office year. Blockbuster films including “The Lion King,” “Avengers: Endgame,” and “Frozen 2” helped Disney rake in over 11 billion worldwide at the box office. This number was even better than Disney’s previous record, which was set in 2016, and Disney’s dominance in 2019 was so complete that only three other top-ten films for the year were released by other studios.
Most analysts agree that Disney probably won’t do as well in 2020 because other studios are studying their game and stepping up to match it. Warner Brothers and Paramount studios in particular are scheduled to release franchise favorites in 2020 that are as sure as a bet for success as you can get in the uncertain domestic and international film industries.
At the end of the day, industry experts can’t agree on why 2019 was such a great year. One trend of thought is that Disney simply got lucky. There is a general consensus though, that 2020 could be even better. This is because studios are scheduled to release a diverse group of films that have the potential to really blow up at the box office. Disney will doubtless be in the top ten with more than one film, but it is far from certain that they can repeat their stunning 2019 success.