With final tracking estimates in for the year, Comscore has announced that the North American box-office is reportedly set to total a rough estimate of $11.45 billion for 2019 – a nearly 4% drop from 2018. On the flipside, worldwide ticket sales are expected to top last year’s all-time high of $41.1 billion.
The domestic total is still the second-best yearly haul to date, but is off by essentially $430 million from 2018. The discrepancy could be attributable to a number of high profile studio duds this year including “Cats,” “Charlie’s Angels,” “Dark Phoenix,” “Gemini Man,” and multiple titles at Warner Bros. Pictures which – “Joker” aside – didn’t have a good year.
Disney, along with its newly acquired Fox, dominated the marketplace however with eight of the top ten films domestically and with six films making over a billion globally.
Next year should see less Disney dominance. The Mouse House was stacked this year with tentpole sequels, live-action remakes, and key ‘ending’ films to years-long arcs in their two biggest franchises (Marvel, Star Wars). In 2020, the only live-action remake is “Mulan,” one Marvel film is a deliberately small title and the other a complete unknown, and the rest of their slate (including their Fox titles) is almost all smaller-scale original fare which doesn’t necessarily drive attendance.
The other studios will pick up the tentpole slack with new entries in franchises such as James Bond, “Wonder Woman,” “Top Gun,” “Bill & Ted,” “The Conjuring,” “The Fast and the Furious,” “A Quiet Place,” “Godzilla,” “Bad Boys,” “Kingsman,” “Venom,” “Halloween” and “Coming to America”.
2019 saw the release of 58 franchise films which accounted for 82% of the global box-office. Another trend was a big decline in original animated features with audiences not responding. Art film distributors like Searchlight, Magnolia, Focus Features and A24 also got hit hard with notable drops from last year despite some big success with “Midsommar,” “Parasite,” “The Peanut Butter Falcon” and “The Farewell”.