The cat-astrophe that is “Cats” aside, it has been a pretty remarkable year for the United States’ box office which will close with more than US$11 billion in earnings.
Currently, film releases have raked in around US$11.26 billion in the US, according to a CNBC report, which puts it behind last year’s record-breaking haul of US$11.88 billion. The year’s final figure is expected to be between $11.36 billion and $11.39 billion.
Three major films continue to play in wide release across the US – “Jumanji: The Next Level”, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” and “Frozen II” which have all performed well with moviegoers.
Star Wars has earned $362 million in the US already while Jumanji has raked in $176 million with the earliest release of the three, Frozen, totaling $421 million. All three are expected to do well going into the New Year.
Perhaps the biggest story of the year however, is the remarkable performance of Disney which put out an enviable slate of movies including six that topped the billion dollar mark globally, one becoming the top grossing film of all time (without adjustments for inflation).
Among Disney’s hits this year were Frozen II (US$1.03 billion globally), Toy Story 4 (US$1.07 billion), Aladdin ($1.05 billion), Captain Marvel ($1.13 billion), The Lion King ($1.65 billion), and Avengers: Endgame, the last film in the series, which had tickets sales of $2.79 billion. Had Star Wars been released earlier, Disney would have been all but certain to have another title added to that roster.
Only one other film, The Joker, released by Warner Bros passed that milestone.
Next year will also be another watershed time for the box office with numerous blockbuster releases in the line-up. Among those expected to do well are “Wonder Women” 1984”, “Fast and Furious 9”, “Mulan” and “Black Widow”.
Notably, Cats, a film release based on the hit musical of the same name, bombed at the box office, despite having a star-studded cast which includes Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, James Corden and Hollywood legend Dame JUdi Dench. The movie was panned by critics and audiences alike and took in less than US$40 million worldwide so far on a budget of US$100 million.