Top Gun: Maverick won the calendar year, as Avatar: The Way Of Water was released late, but overall Disney won the year thanks to the usual suspects. In a pretty lean year, the studio pulled in $4.9 billion worldwide with $2 billion coming domestically.
This is the seventh time on the bounce that Disney has topped the annual charts. As usual, it is driven by their ownership of some reliable franchises that just keep delivering the lucre. Six of their movies debuted at No. 1 in North America and gave Disney a 27% market share. Main drivers for the studio this year were:
Avatar: The Way of Water – $1.303 billion
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness – $956 million
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – $817 million
Thor: Love and Thunder – $761 million
Lightyear – $226 million
This is interesting as some of those movies are held as underperforming, or even downright flopping, so the next level question is one of profitability. Lightyear is a top earner at the box office for them, but made a significant loss. Avatar is their biggest hit of the year, and yet has only just passed into profitability so far. The share price slide will not be halted by this news.
Universal Pictures came in second place with $3.9 billion worldwide.
Disney will have more of the same next year. Avatar will keep performing for a couple of months, then Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania takes over. Later in the year they have Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and The Little Mermaid. Pixar pitches in with Elemental while Fox will have Poirot’s Haunting in Venice, Wish and Next Goal Wins adding to the overall pot.