Last year, the U.S. box office reached unprecedented heights, as 2015 saw a record $11.12 billion worth of domestic ticket sales. This feat, of course, was in no small part due to the long awaited continuation of the Luke Skywalker saga in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which grossed a stunning $652 million in 2015 (its final gross was a record $936 million). But 2016 has seen its share of massive hits as well, many of which are Disney films. Finding Dory, Captain America: Civil War, The Jungle Book, and Zootopia are all Disney-backed films that have grossed over $300 million domestically this year (Finding Dory and Captain America have both grossed over $400 million).
Finding Dory leads all films at the U.S. box office this year with over $486 million in receipts. Other strong showings this year include The Secret Life of Pets ($367 million), Deadpool ($363 million), and the two newest installments of the DCEU, Batman V Superman ($330 million) and Suicide Squad ($325 million). While 2015’s record $11.12 billion at the U.S. box office remains intact (for now), the fastest year to cross $10 billion domestically was in 2013, when the mark was reached on December 7. Well, 2013 can no longer lay claim to that record.
Variety is reporting that the U.S. box office has topped $10 billion in record time, according to the National Association of Theater Owners. Of course, 2016 is not over yet, so the question now moves to whether 2015’s $11.12 billion record haul is in jeopardy. And the mark is definitely in reach.
Still to open in 2016 are potential hits like Assassin’s Creed, Passengers, and Sing, which all open on December 21. Furthermore, Disney’s animated hit, Moana, is slated to gross near $85 million in its first five days, and surely will have some legs as we approach the new year. Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter prequel/spinoff, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, is also in its second weekend of release and has grossed an estimated $129 million to date. Of course, the grand daddy of all the late 2016 releases is the first Star Wars anthology film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which will be released domestically on December 16th.
Rogue One is currently projected to gross in the neighborhood of $130 million over its opening weekend and could move past $250 million before the new year. With 2015, however, including such hits as Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Jurassic World, and Avengers: Age of Ultron, 2016 may not have the muscle to move past the record $11.12 billion domestic record. Still, with over a month left in 2016, and quite a few hits yet to be released, it’s not over until it’s over.