How well a film does during awards season is not always an indicator of a film’s quality, and the same can be said for how something does at the box office. But with that little bit of hand washing out of the way, let us sully ourselves with talk of money and see which Hollywood execs earned their holiday bonuses this year.
The big winner, naturally, is The Walt Disney Company. They’ve got Marvel, they’ve got Lucasfilm, they’ve got Pixar and they’ve got reliable animated fare like Frozen 2. And, since earlier this year, they’ve got everything Fox. (Future bar trivia: the first motion picture distributed by 20th Century Fox under Disney was Roxann Dawson’s Breakthrough.)
Domestically, seven-and-a-half (we’ll get to that) of the top 10 films released were Disney titles. Avengers: Endgame, the highest grossing motion picture of all time, is obviously number one. Second through fifth are The Lion King, Toy Story 4, Captain Marvel and Frozen 2.
Sixth place goes to Spider-Man: Far From Home, which is a Sony-Disney co-production. The story development came from Marvel, but its distribution was through Sony.
Seventh and ninth place are back to Disney with Aladdin and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which is still earning as the year ends. Eighth and tenth place go to Warner Bros. for Joker and It: Chapter Two, respectively.
The worldwide top ten is largely the same, but bump It: Chapter Two down to 15th place and raise Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw up from 12th to 9th.
The 11th-ranked film worldwide is the animated Chinese film Ne Zha and 12th is the sci fi adventure The Wandering Earth, based on a novella by The Three-Body Problem author Liu Cixin. (They ranked 175th and 150th respectively in the United States). Another breakout title on the international list, ranking 17th, is My People, My Country, an omnibus film from seven different Chinese directors. It is 197th on the domestic tally with $2.356 million, just a few bucks shy of this year’s take for Welcome to Marwen.
With all that, then, let’s crack out the abacus and add it all up. The numbers, if showbuzzdaily.com is to be believed (and if you can’t trust showbuzzdaily then why even get up in the morning?) are as follows:
Disney: $10.774 billion. Business Insider puts the number at $12.7 billion. They are unstoppable.
Warner Bros. gets the very distant silver medal with $3.543 billion. In addition to Joker and It: Chapter Two they did well with Detective Pokémon, Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Shazam!.
Universal gets the bronze with $3.362 billion. Fast & Furious and the latest How to Train Your Dragon both did over half-a-billion, and the newest Secret Life of Pets came close. Us, Glass, Downton Abbey and Abominable were also big earners.
Sony is next with $3.086 billion. Spider-Man was a money machine, even if it was shared with Disney, but Jumanji: The Next Level was a rampaging success at nearly $500 million worldwide. Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood was also a smash earning $372 million.
Next on the list, but after a substantial gap, comes Lionsgate/Summit with $1.440 billion. John Wick: Chapter Three — Parabellum was their leader at $326 million and Knives Out was a surprise win at over $250 million worldwide.