Disney topped the 2021 domestic box office

Disney topped the 2021 domestic box office

Simu Liu stars as Shang-Chi in Marvel’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.”


The Marvel Cinematic Universe propelled Disney to the highest of the home field workplace in 2021.

Whereas the pandemic continues to weigh on the movie show enterprise, cinemas have been capable of acquire $4.58 billion in ticket gross sales in the USA and Canada, greater than double what was garnered in 2020.

A whopping 25.5% of that was generated by Disney, which tallied $1.17 billion from movies like “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” “Black Widow” and “The Eternals.” The corporate, which launched movies from studios, together with Disney Animation, twentieth Century and Searchlight, had the very best haul of the yr.

Sony was an in depth second, securing $1.05 billion throughout the yr, greater than half of which was delivered within the final two weeks of the yr from “Spider-Man: No Method Residence.” The movie, a collaboration between Disney and Sony, is the highest-grossing movie of 2021.

“It took a village to construct again the field workplace in a most uncommon 2021,” stated Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore. “The key studios confirmed their confidence in and understanding of the worth of an enormous display launch for his or her most high-profile titles and have been met by enthusiastic moviegoers hungry for the massive display expertise.”

Since reopening to the general public, film theaters have had colossal ups and downs in ticket gross sales. The home field workplace has rebounded from historic lows in 2020, however has but to succeed in the consistency seen previous to the pandemic.

Franchise movies have at all times been well-liked and throughout the pandemic period they’ve been the strongest draw for cinemas. Actually, of the highest ten highest-grossing movies just one, Disney’s “Free Man,” was not based mostly on current mental property.

In 2021, solely 13 movies surpassed $100 million, a feat that was often reached by round 30 motion pictures previous to the pandemic. Nonetheless, having greater than a dozen motion pictures high this determine is a constructive signal for the home field workplace.

“The outcomes have been spectacular and a much-welcome confidence booster for an resilient trade that can face challenges in 2022,” he stated.

Whereas these blockbuster options have rekindled religion in the way forward for the field workplace, considerations over new Covid variants in addition to lackluster ticket gross sales for nonfranchise movies may imply a slower restoration for the trade.

Since film theaters reopened, movies aimed toward older audiences like “Home of Gucci,” “The Final Duel” and “West Aspect Story” have had a tough time drawing massive crowds. Whereas adult-pitched movies typically make much less cash than main tentpoles, they’re nonetheless vitally necessary to the general field workplace. Collectively, these so-called “mid-level” options contribute billions to the entire annual haul.

That has led many field workplace analysts to foresee the 2022 home field workplace topping out round $8 billion as a substitute of the $11 billion that was seen previous to the pandemic.

Trying on the high three highest-grossing studios this yr, it is clear what movies and genres have been most profitable and what we will count on will proceed to carry out nicely in 2022.


Disney’s three highest-grossing movies have been tied to its Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” “Black Widow” and “Eternals” every generated greater than $100 million on the home field workplace.

Subsequent yr, Disney will launch three extra high-profile MCU movies together with “Physician Unusual and the Multiverse of Insanity,” “Thor: Love and Thunder” and “Black Panther: Wakanda Endlessly.” If present field workplace traits persist, these movies needs to be set for sturdy ticket gross sales.

Disney’s 2021 home field workplace numbers additionally present how twin releases in theaters and on Disney+ led to smaller field workplace hauls for movies like “Raya and the Final Dragon” and “Cruella.” Whereas these movies have been launched early on the calendar, when audiences have been simply beginning to return to cinemas, it turned clear shortly that availability on the residence market minimize into theatrical revenues.

Moreover, with older audiences remaining tentative about returning to cinemas, “West Aspect Story” generated simply $28 million in ticket gross sales on a manufacturing finances of round $100 million, not together with advertising and marketing prices. That is regardless of a 93% “Contemporary” score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Households, too, have been gradual to return. “Encanto,” which acquired glowing crucial critiques ended the yr with round $90 million in ticket gross sales within the U.S. and Canada.


Sony generated greater than half of its $1.05 billion haul in the previous couple of weeks of 2021, due to its collaboration with Disney. “Spider-Man: No Method Residence” tallied $572.9 million domestically, probably the most of any movie launched in 2021.

The studio additionally noticed success from “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” which secured $212 million within the U.S. and Canada and from “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” which garnered $122 million. Like Disney, Sony benefited from beloved franchises drawing audiences again to theaters.

Nonetheless, not all of its follow-ups have been profitable. Smaller finances movies based mostly on current IP like “Do not Breathe 2,” “Escape Room: Event of Champions” and “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon Metropolis” failed to attract in vital crowds.

Sony additionally offered off various motion pictures to streamers over the past yr together with “Resort Transylvania: Transformania,” “Happiest Season,” “Fatherhood,” “Greyhound,” “Cinderella” and “American Pickle.” It is not assured that any of those movies would have generated vital ticket gross sales for the studio, however they’re titles that would have boosted Sony’s total field workplace haul for 2021.


The third-highest grossing studio was Common, which tallied round $715 million domestically from movies like “F9,” “Halloween Kills” and “Sing 2.”

Like Sony and Disney, Common’s franchise movies are well-positioned for fulfillment in 2022. The studio is ready to launch “Jurassic World: Dominion,” “Minions: The Rise of Gru” and a but untitled animated Mario Bros. movie. If households really feel extra snug bringing vaccinated youngsters to theaters, extra child-friendly fare may begin to rebound for studios.

Disclosure: Comcast is the dad or mum firm of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal owns Rotten Tomatoes.

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