It marks only the second time in studio history that Disney’s film division has hit those lofty heights and comes as the company’s latest animated offering, “Big Hero 6,” passed the $100 million mark domestically. Last year, Disney also topped $4 billion at the box office, but it didn’t reach that plateau until November 25, roughly two weeks later.
Disney is second in market share, trailing 20th Century Fox, which has set its own records thanks to hits such as “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and “Gone Girl.”
Disney said the biggest contributors to its 2014 numbers were Marvel films “Guardians of the Galaxy” ($770 million globally) and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” ($714.7 million globally), live action fantasy “Maleficent” ($758 million worldwide) and 2013 release “Frozen,” which earned $733 million of its $1.3 billion bounty this year. Unlike 2013, Disney did not have the benefit of a film from its animation division Pixar, which delayed the debut of “The Good Dinosaur” from 2014 to the following year.
The studio has one more major release on tap: its big screen adaptation of the Broadway classic “Into the Woods” will open domestically on Christmas day.