Wednesday write-thru on previously Monday, 10:49 AM: Driven by the strength of titles of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Sing sitting atop what is one of the most packed box office holiday seasons in recent memory, the nation’s b.o. just passed the record-setting 2015 $11.13B today after reaching the $11B mark on Monday. So far, this week has been strong in moviegoing and ComScore is predicting that the year is on its way to an $11.3B or $11.4B total, and that is entirely possible. The New Year’s Eve weekend is an especially heavy time for moviegoing. We will have specific gross numbers later this afternoon.
Grosses from January 1 through Monday tallied $11,059,624,118 so far, and the box office was up 2.3% from a year earlier. The past weekend — about which one distributor said, “It’s the craziest weekend I have seen in quite some time; there are so many movies in the marketplace” — has seen a number of titles bowing on Christmas Day to start their Oscar-qualifying run. This weekend took in $278M alone.
PG-rated movies made their mark in 2016 with Finding Dory ($486.29M), The Secret Life of Pets ($368.3M), The Jungle Book ($364M), Zootopia ($341.26M), Moana ($184M-$185M) and now Sing ($76.7M-$78M+) all contributing substantially to the year’s success, according to ComScore’s senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian. Also contributing were superhero/fantasy films — Captain America: Civil War alone grossed $408M domestically, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice took $330.3M, Suicide Squad grabbed $325.1M, and Doctor Strange posted $228.5M — along with a number of sequels and a plethora of awards-season hopefuls that dropped to make their mark in front of Oscar voters (especially this past weekend).
“In a year that had more ups and downs than the biggest roller-coaster in the park, we will wind up with the biggest revenue-generating year ever in North American history,” comScore’s Dergarabedian told Deadline. “A strong early part of the year followed by a summer season that delivered solid returns despite a slew of sequels that underperformed, still gave the industry enough momentum to power a late fall and holiday season replete with strong offerings both big and small that gave us enough kick to post only the second-ever $11 billion plus year ever. And 2017 is likely to blow the doors off 2015 and 2016.”
The record is total box office gross and does not take profitability into account.