In 2019, Walt Disney Studios may break box office records for having the highest-grossing year of all-time for a Hollywood studio. Ever since the start of Hollywood's golden age, Disney has been a prominent factor in pushing forward creativity, especially with regards to animation. While they certainly dabbled in live-action films over the years, it wasn't until the 2000s that they really took the medium seriously - and that was thanks to their very first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, The Curse of the Black Pearl.
Gore Verbinski's 2003 Pirates of the Caribbean movie was the studio's first PG-13 film ever, and its overwhelming success ultimately convinced the Mouse House to pursue even more movies in that vein. Eventually, that meant acquiring Marvel Entertainment in 2009 and Lucasfilm in 2012. And so, thanks to a steady stream of Marvel, Pixar, and Star Wars releases, as well as a new trend in live-action remakes from the company's flagship studio, Disney has dominated the worldwide box office. Now, it looks like they're about to take things to the next level.
Aside from Spider-Man: Far From Home, which is a Sony Pictures movie (despite being a Marvel Studios production), as well as Disneynature's Penguins, Walt Disney Studios is releasing nine blockbuster movies in 2019: Captain Marvel (March), Dumbo (March), Avengers 4 (May), Aladdin (May), Toy Story 4 (June), The Lion King (July), Artemis Fowl (August), Frozen 2 (November), Star Wars: Episode IX (December). While this is certainly a lot of movies for one year, it's really not the number of releases but the size of them that's astonishing.
In 2019, Disney is releasing the first-ever female-led Marvel Studios movie, which is already garnering significant buzz amongst audiences and critics alike, and that will undoubtedly set the stage for the studio's box office receipts for the rest of the year. Furthermore, in May, Marvel releases their concluding chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe's first saga, with a live-action adaptation of Aladdin coming a few weeks later. Then, there's Jon Favreau's The Lion King - a live-action version (in the way that it's filmed) of one of the most cherished animated films in history. And wrapping up the year in the holiday season is Frozen 2 - a sequel to one of the other biggest animated movies in history - with the final chapter in the Skywalker saga with Star Wars: Episode IX. (It's worth noting that this schedule doesn't include movies from 20th Century Fox that could release under Disney's banner following completion of the Disney-Fox deal.)
Taking all of these movies into account - two saga endings, two massive live-action remakes, and several other highly-anticipated films, with some other stuff spread throughout - Disney is on track to top their record of being the only studio in history to earn $6 billion at the worldwide box office twice. In fact, they just might be the first studio to hit $7 billion (if not higher) in 2019. With Avengers and Star Wars releasing in the same year, not to mention another Frozen film, it's certainly possible.
- Dumbo (2019) release date: Mar 29, 2019
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Aladdin (2019) release date: May 24, 2019
- Toy Story 4 (2019) release date: Jun 21, 2019
- The Lion King (2019) release date: Jul 19, 2019
- Artemis Fowl (2020) release date: May 29, 2020
- Frozen II (2019) release date: Nov 22, 2019
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019