If you ask most critics, 2016 has been a terrible year for movies. That’s not the case for Disney. The Mouse House announced today that it set a new record for itself by making this year its biggest at the box office to date — and the year isn’t even over.
Disney’s previous record calendar year was in 2015: the studio grossed $5.843.8 billion with films like Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Pixar’s Inside Out. As of this moment in 2016, Disney has already grossed $5.851.4 billion.
With Walt Disney Pictures, Walt Disney Animation, Pixar, Marvel Studios, and Lucasfilm under the Disney umbrella, the studio has so far nabbed four spots in the top 10 highest-grossing films of the year in America: Finding Dory at #1 ($485.7 million domestic, $1.02 billion worldwide), Captain America: Civil War at #2 ($408.1 million domestic, $1.15 billion worldwide), The Jungle Book at #4 ($364 million domestic, $966.4 million worldwide), and Zootopia at #6 ($341.3 million domestic, $1.02 billion worldwide).
This news comes on the heels of Doctor Strange’s release in theaters this Friday. The film is expected to add $65-$70 million to the yearly total from its opening weekend alone. Disney also has a couple other releases that could score big in the months ahead: Moana, a new animated film with a strong-willed Polynesian heroine in the title role, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the first of the Star Wars anthology films, starring Felicity Jones in the story of how the Rebels stole the plans for the Death Star. While it’s not a core trilogy installment, it features a number of A+ talent (like Mads Mikkelsen and Forest Whitaker) and some familiar characters (namely Darth Vader).
Last year was Universal’s year, as the studio received unprecedented success with Furious 7 and Jurassic World, with additional boosts from Fifty Shades of Grey and Minions. This year, Disney is already pulling ahead of the pack.
Chairman of Walt Disney Studios Alan Horn said in a statement:
For the second year in a row, The Walt Disney Studios has reached a new high at the box office thanks to an absolutely stellar collection of releases from Disney, Disney Animation, Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm. This success is a testament to the refined talent and innovative work the entire Studio team puts into making these world-class cinematic experiences.