×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

2018 Worldwide Box Office Hits Record as Disney Dominates

2018’s movie business hit all-time benchmarks of $11.9 billion in North America and $41.7 billion globally, with Disney taking in nearly a fifth of that figure.

ComScore announced the official 2018 final figures Wednesday with Disney taking in $7.33 billion globally last year — the second-biggest year for a studio in industry history, behind only Disney’s own 2016 record of $7.61 billion. Its domestic box office hit $3.09 billion as a new industry record ahead of Disney’s previous record of $3 billion in 2016, as “Black Panther,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” and “Incredibles 2” each surpassed $600 million this year. International box office was $4.23 billion, Disney’s second-biggest year.

More than one in four of U.S. moviegoing dollars went to Disney, as its domestic market share was 26.1% despite only releasing 14 films all year.

Studio chairman Alan Horn said in a statement, “Thanks to the support of fans of Disney, Pixar, Marvel Studios, and Lucasfilm around the world, it’s been a monumental year for The Walt Disney Studios. I want to especially acknowledge Marvel Studios’ pivotal year, during which ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ sparked conversation and broke records and expectations to cap an unprecedented first decade for this exceptional studio.”

Worldwide moviegoing gained a healthy 2.7% with most of that hike coming from North America, where domestic grosses surged 7% from 2017. Four titles joined the $1 billion worldwide club: “Avengers: Infinity War” ($2.05 billion), “Black Panther” ($1.35 billion), Universal’s “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” ($1.3 billion), and “Incredibles 2” ($1.24 billion). Sony’s “Venom” finished in fifth place worldwide with $855 million, followed by Paramount’s “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” with $791 million.

Universal edged Warner Bros. for second place in North America with $1.96 billion to WB’s $1.93 billion, followed by Sony with $1.28 billion, Fox with $1.24 billion, and Paramount with $757 million. Lionsgate saw domestic grosses plunge by more than half to $389 million, followed by STX at $269.6 million and MGM at $164 million.

The year alleviated fears that the domestic movie business would continue to struggle as it had in 2017, with a 2.3% decline in North America amid concerns that streaming services were pulling apart the customer base. Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with comscore, said the major studios have responded well with figuring out which movies will attract crowds.

“2018 was an incredible record-breaking year that not only saw the highest revenue ever achieved, but also represented an increase in actual attendance over 2017,” he said. “An incredibly diverse slate of films combined with a love for the movie theater experience and the need for escapism that was the hallmark of last year’s success looks to continue in 2019, with ‘Glass’ expected to enjoy one of the best January openings ever over MLK weekend.”

Upcoming titles include “The Lion King,” “Avengers: Endgame,” “Toy Story 4,” “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” and “Star Wars: Episode IX.”

“2019’s hit parade gives the industry the potential to blow the doors off 2018’s impressive box office haul,” Dergarabedian added.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • La vaca

    Alec Baldwin’s El Dorado Boards Debut by Chile’s Francisca Alegria (EXCLUSIVE)

    In what marks the company’s first Latin American project, Alec Baldwin’s El Dorado Pictures has boarded Chilean filmmaker Francisca Alegria’s debut feature, “The Cow Who Sang a Song About the Future.” The multi-Emmy-winning actor and his El Dorado partner Casey Bader will serve as executive producers of the film, slated to start principal photography in [...]

  • Hustlers Box Office

    Box Office: Why 'Hustlers' Soared While 'The Goldfinch' Flopped

    Though STX’s “Hustlers” and Warner Bros.’ “The Goldfinch” couldn’t be more different in terms of genre or style, the two new releases prove the divergent paths that mid-budget movies can take at the box office. Both films arrived last weekend in an environment that has been increasingly hostile to anything that’s not of the superhero [...]

  • The Irishman

    Martin Scorsese's 'The Irishman' Set for Centerpiece Screening at Rome Festival

    Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” will be among highlights of the upcoming Rome Film Festival, following its European launch as the closing film at the BFI London Film Festival. As with the Oct. 13 London premiere, key cast members of the hotly anticipated Netflix film are expected to attend the screening in Rome, as is Scorsese. [...]

  • 'Cheer Up, Mr. Lee' to be

    Korean Comedy 'Cheer Up, Mr. Lee' to be Remade in French

    Currently on-release South Korean comedy drama, “Cheer Up, Mr. Lee” is to be remade in French. “Mr. Lee” is the story of a mentally-challenged man who learns that he has a sick daughter, and embarks on a voyage of discovery with his new family member. A remake deal was struck between Yong Film, part of [...]

  • The Bad Guys: Reign of Chaos

    Korea: 'The Bad Guys: Reign of Chaos’ Rules Chuseok Holiday Box Office

    Local films dominated cinemagoing in South Korea over the 4-day Chuseok holiday weekend, traditionally one of the year’s busiest periods. The winner was “The Bad Guys: Reign of Chaos.” Opening on Wednesday, the CJ Entertainment release earned $20.2 million from 1.97 million admissions over five days. A film adaptation of CJ E&M’s 2014 hit TV [...]

  • Disco

    New Europe Sells Toronto and San Sebastian Film 'Disco' to Several Territories (EXCLUSIVE)

    Jan Naszewski’s New Europe Film Sales has signed several distribution deals on “Disco,” which had its world premiere in Toronto Film Festival’s Discovery section and makes its European premiere in San Sebastian’s New Directors competition. The film has been picked up by Palace for Australia and New Zealand, Artcam for Czech Republic and Slovakia, Kino [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content