The worldwide box office for 2019 to date has been a story of winners and losers.
Sitting firmly in the winner’s enclosure are the tent pole movies dominated by Disney’s acquisition of the Marvel franchise, Lucas Films and Pixar.
The box office returns are flowing into the Disney coffers.
Five movies have broken the $1bn box office in 2019; four of them are Disney movies, ‘Avengers Endgame’, ‘The Lion King’, ‘Toy Story’, and ‘Aladdin’. The fifth movie that grossed over $1bn box office was Sony’s ‘Spiderman: Far From Home’.
To further drive home Disney’s box office supremacy, it is amazing to note that Disney’s movies account for 44% of all tickets sold globally so far this year. The top 11 movies in terms of box office draw this year are all reboots of earlier franchise films.
Sitting in 12th place is Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ with $300m takings and the only original major films to break the $100m barrier.
The bad news is when we look at the performance of Indie films. Two years ago the top 10 speciality titles took a combined $130m at the US box office; leading films being ‘The Big Sick’ ($42.9m), and ‘Wild River’ ($33.8m). The equivalent numbers for 2019 is $64m, a substantial drop. Well reviewed films this year such as ‘Late Night’, ‘Brittany Runs a Marathon@, and ‘Blinded by the Light’ gained $27m at the US box office against budgets of $42m.
Going forward it seems to get harder and harder for Indie films to get theatrical releases in a market dominated by Generation X and Millennials who want fast paced, special effects action.