In 2016, Disney set the industry record for box office earnings with a whopping $7.6 billion. The studio finished the year with six movies in the top 11 grossing movies of that year, including the top four: Captain America: Civil War ($1.1 billion), Finding Dory ($1 billion), the Oscar-winning Zootopia ($1 billion) and The Jungle Book ($966.6 million), with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ($801.9 million) and Doctor Strange ($658.3 million) adding to the tally.
2018 will end as another highly successful year; the second-best for the studio, as it clocks in at $6.5 billion, which is also the third-highest ever in the industry. Of course, that should come as no surprise thanks to a couple titanic hauls this year, which saw three of the four movies that crossed the billion dollar mark this year belonging to Disney. Avengers: Infinity War became only the fourth movie to ever cross $2 billion, while Black Panther and Incredibles 2 went over $1.1 billion.
However, considering the sheer volume of movies Disney will be putting out across many genres, 2019 is poised to be another dominating year for the House of Mouse, which could see it making its highest bank to date.
THE SUPERHERO FLICKS
Given the performance of Infinity War, it's a safe bet that its sequel, the untitled Avengers 4, will come close to hitting the $2 billion mark as well. The Avengers franchise has become one of Hollywood's strongest brands, to the point people are still hyping the movie with little to no marketing done so far. The fact that it's bringing down the curtain on Phase 3 and setting up a new era of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is more than enough to fill theaters.
Of course, while that comes out in May, Captain Marvel will be hitting screens in March. It's Marvel Studio's first female-led movie and, as such, there's a lot of anticipation regarding how the film sets up Brie Larson's Carol Danvers to enter the fray in Avengers 4. Projecting this to hit $1 billion isn't far-fetched at all, because this is one Marvel movie that seems to be picking up steam as the months roll by, with fans as excited as ever for a female superhero to shift the male-centric focus of the MCU. Black Panther showed fans love inclusivity and diversity. Captain Marvel could get wrapped into a similar zeitgeist.
Of course, Marvel is also creative partner on Spider-Man: Far From Home, which kicks off Phase 4. That movie opens next July, but in this case it's more of a Sony movie more than a Disney flick.
Disney will be ringing in the new year with copious amounts of nostalgia by also bringing back some classics. Toy Story 4 will be out next June, and after the third chapter crossed $1 billion, becoming the highest-grossing film in the franchise, one can assume the next installment will also come very close to hitting this mark again, as fans can't help but love anything Tom Hanks' Woody and Tim Allen's Buzz Lightyear partake in.
Then there are the live-action remakes to factor in. Aladdin will be out in May, although it's probably one of the ones you might not expect to hit a billion. The 1992 original made $500 million. Given Disney's brand strength, somewhere between $300 and $500 million could be expected, as it does have Will Smith's star power as Genie. There's also Tim Burton's Dumbo in March, a remake of the 1941 classic which garnered $1.6 million back then. Burton's 2016 sequel to the $1 billion-grossing Alice in Wonderland made just under $300 million for Disney -- ironically a similar figure he raked in for Fox that year with Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. So, one can set Dumbo around this mark too, as fans will undoubtedly be curious about how the beloved elephant escapes circus captivity.
July's The Lion King is a whole different beast, though. In 1994, the original cracked $968 million, and it's definitely poised to hit $1 billion this time around. Director Jon Favreau, famous for his Iron Man work, crossed $966 million with The Jungle Book remake two years ago, so expect momentum from that to make the rise of Donald Glover's Simba one of the year's biggest movies.