Thanks largely to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, 2015 was a record year at the domestic box office. Star Wars, though, was not the only dormant franchise brought back to life in full force, as Jurassic World hit theatres over a decade after Jurassic Park III, and grossed over $650 million at the domestic box office. In addition to The Force Awakens and Jurassic World, major 2015 releases included Avengers: Age of Ultron, Inside Out, Minions, and Furious 7, all of which grossed over $330 million domestically.
Following the record-setting year, the question no doubt turned to how 2016 would fare. With major tentpole releases like Batman V Superman, Suicide Squad, Rogue One, Captain America: Civil War, and more, this year clearly had what it takes to set a new record. It was reported in November that 2016 saw the box office earn $10 billion in record time, and things have not slowed down one bit.
Deadline is now reporting that the yearly U.S. box office has crossed $11.13 billion, besting the record set last year. The report doesn’t just state that 2016 has set a new record, rather, it appears that this year is going to blow past 2015. According to Deadline, ComScore is predicting that when all is said and done, the 2016 domestic box office haul will be around $11.3 or $11.4 billion.
While 2015 saw six films gross more than $300 million at the domestic box office, this year, that number has risen to nine. Suicide Squad, Batman V Superman, Zootopia, Deadpool, The Jungle Book, and The Secret Life of Pets all grossed over $300 million, while Captain America: Civil War and Finding Dory each topped $400 million. And don’t think we forgot Rogue One. The first of the Star Wars anthology films currently sits at $340 million and is projected to possibly earn Titanic-like numbers. Senior media analyst for ComScore, Paul Dergarabedian told Deadline:
“A strong early part of the year followed by a summer season that delivered solid returns despite a slew of sequels that underperformed, still gave the industry enough momentum to power a late fall and holiday season replete with strong offerings both big and small that gave us enough kick to post only the second-ever $11 billion plus year ever. And 2017 is likely to blow the doors off 2015 and 2016.”
Dergarabedian could end up being right about 2017, which features no shortage of blockbusters as well. In fact, it looks a bit inevitable that 2016 will hold this record for just a year, as 2017 sees the release of two DCEU films, Justice League and Wonder Woman; three installments in the MCU, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Thor Ragnarok; and Star Wars: Episode VIII — all of which are poised to earn big numbers.
What is clear, is that it has been a great few years to go to the movies.