EXCLUSIVE: Given the number of tentpoles and sequels the studios were churning out, we predicted two years ago that 2015 was going to be a stellar box office year. And now, the industry is poised to top $11 billion domestically for the first time. That’s noteworthy unto itself, but here is another incredible stat: Worldwide, 2015 saw the release of four of the 10 highest-grossing films of all time. And Star Wars: The Force Awakens, whose year-end infinity-and-beyond release already has racked up about $529M worldwide in its first weekend, inevitably will join that list.
Thanks to Star Wars, Disney will cross the $5B mark in global box office in a calendar year for the first time, surpassing the previous full-year record of $4.73B set in 2013. All of the 2015 pictures stepping into the top 10 came from only two studios: Universal and Disney.
Not all of these pictures were released in the summer, but they certainly helped drive the season’s box office frenzy. In fact, together they helped pushed summer box office sales up 10% over the previous year to $4.48 billion, and together they are helping to tip the $11B scale.
Let’s take a quick look at the 2015 leader board by rank:
Jurassic World (Universal)
Catching everyone by surprise, Jurassic World tallied an opening weekend of $208.8M when it bowed June 12. As it stomped around the world, it gobbled up so many box office records — including best global opening weekend of all time with $524.9M — that it was hard to keep up with. (Of course, that is pre-Star Wars: The Force Awakens.) When the dust cleared, it had a total worldwide take of $1.66B, with $652.2M coming from North America and $1B foreign (or 60.9%). Between Furious 7 and Jurassic World, Universal emerged as the market share leader midsummer.
Jurassic World ranks No. 3 in all-time worldwide grosses, only behind Avatar ($2.78B) and Titanic ($2.18B).
Furious 7 (Universal)
Universal took to the street on April 3 with the latest installment in the franchise and blew the doors off the competition with a $147.1M opening in the States. It not only became the highest-grossing debut ever for the studio but also the most successful movie in the 14-year-old franchise. It ended its domestic run at $353M and drove in with another $1.1B international for a total haul of $1.5B. A whopping 76.7% of its take came from overseas audiences. Furious 7 joined Avatar and Titanic as only the third film in history to reach $1B internationally before the aforementioned Jurassic World also stepped into that club to become the fourth.
Furious 7 ranks No. 5 in all-time worldwide grosses, behind Marvel’s The Avengers.
Avengers: Age Of Ultron (Disney)
Summer came early when this superhero cluster flick was released May 1 and blasted into theaters with a $191.3M opening weekend domestically for Disney and Marvel. That gave it the No. 2 opening of all time, second only to its predecessor Marvel’s The Avengers ($207.4M). After the mega-openings of Jurassic World and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it now sits at the No. 4 domestic opener of all time. When it opened internationally, it took No. 1 in all 26 markets in which it was released. Total take? $1.4B worldwide with $459M stateside and another $946M (or 67.3%) of its box office from overseas. The picture helped Walt Disney Studios cross the $4 billion mark globally in record time, pushing past its previous record in 2014 by about six weeks. It also gave Disney its first billion-dollar summer.
It ranks No. 6 in the all-time box office chart.
The lovable yellow fellows stepped into the middle of the summer on July 10 and instantly chalked up record after record for an animated film, including the highest opening day. It also logged the second-biggest animated film opening of all time with $115.7M in its opening weekend (only behind Shrek The Third) and the biggest opening day for an animated film in China with $20.1M. So it’s no surprise that it currently ranks No. 2 as the biggest worldwide animated grosser of all time with $1.15B behind the Disney phenomenon Frozen, which tallied $1.27B. The Illumination Entertainment film ended its run with $336M domestically and $821.2M internationally (or 71%).
It ranks No. 10 currently on the Top Ten worldwide box office grossers list. But will soon be pushed out by:
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Disney)
Soon to join the ranks of all-time worldwide grossers, the latest installment of the fan-crazed favorite has soared into a new universe when it comes to box office performance — dwarfing board leader Jurassic World as the best domestic opening of all time with an estimated $248M three-day (compared to JW‘s $208.8M) and taking hold of the No. 1 worldwide bow of all time with an estimated $281M internationally. That means an estimated $529M globally right now.
So, let’s add up the records (so far). How about biggest U.S./Canada preview ever with $57M, biggest one-day domestic take with $120M, fastest to $100M (it did so by Friday at 1 PM), highest-grossing opening weekend domestically (estimated $250M) and a new Sunday record of $60.5M. Internationally, it was the biggest opening weekend ever in numerous territories including the UK (four-day), Australia, Russia, and Germany — and now is the No. 1 worldwide bow of all time, surpassing Jurassic World‘s $524.9M.
Midweek numbers should be astonishing. For the most comprehensive box office coverage, keep refreshing at Deadline.com.
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