Disney has broken a box office record by earning more than $3 billion domestically in 2018. As most people who follow the entertainment industry know, the Mouse House is by far the most powerful studio in Hollywood these days. Between their various popular subsidiaries (Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm) and in-house productions, Disney seems to have a hit film playing in theaters any time of the year. Case in point: half of the year's 10 highest-grossing titles all fall under the Disney umbrella, including the top three.
While there were some stumbles along the way (Solo becoming the first Star Wars movie to lose money), the past 12 months gave Disney executives plenty to be happy about. Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War celebrated Marvel Studios' 10th anniversary in style by rewriting the record books together. Incredibles 2 set a new all-time high for an animated film by crossing the $600 million mark. Based on how wildly successful Disney's films were this year, it isn't surprising they collectively set a new mark.
According to EW, Disney grossed a whopping $3.092 billion at the U.S. box office in 2018, setting a new record. Worldwide, the studio brought in $7.3 billion, narrowly missing out on topping their 2016 record of $7.6 billion. What's impressive about this accomplishment is that Disney did it by releasing only 10 movies in 2018, tied with Paramount for the fewest by a major studio.
Looking over the studio's lineup, there's a clear correlation between critical reception and box office performance. For the most part, films that received widespread praise and acclaim (like Black Panther) did very well, while the rare critical duds (A Wrinkle in Time, Nutcracker and the Four Realms) were sunk costs. Solo, which earned generally positive reviews, was an outlier here, though it still ended 2018 in the domestic top 10 and scored the sixth-highest opening weekend of the year. This illustrates Disney has mastered the art of crafting entertaining and engaging stories moviegoers want to see on the big screen. There are always concerns the multiplex has lost a bit of its luster with the bevy of options available to consumers, but year in and year out, people show they'll go out to see something if it's worth the investment. Several of Disney's movies are of high quality, building a sense of trust with the audience. There's a reason they're typically the safest box office bets.
And Disney may break their own record in 2019. This year is stacked with several hotly-anticipated titles, including Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame, Aladdin, Toy Story 4, The Lion King, Frozen 2 and Star Wars: Episode IX. Right now, all of those are expected to do very well commercially, and some of them may challenge for all-time marks when they open. Of the 10 movies they have on deck for this year, the iffiest one in terms of box office prospects is arguably Artemis Fowl, so it's going to be a huge year.