- Paramount Pictures
- Disney is the box-office champion this year with 38% of the domestic market share.
- Other studios are struggling to build up franchises to compete.
- But the future could be brighter, as Disney’s slate next year won’t be as strong as this year or last.
- We broke down the biggest movie assets of six Hollywood film studios to give a better sense of where they stand and what the future could bring.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Disney is the box-office champion of 2019 with 38% of the domestic market share and four movies in the top five earners both domestically and globally. And it still has “Frozen 2” and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” on the way.
But it wasn’t always like that. Disney’s streak began in 2016, but in 2015, Universal was the top movie studio of the year. In 2014, it was Fox; in 2013, Warner Bros.; in 2012, Sony; and in 2011, Paramount.
So what happened?
Disney has built up a strong collection of assets that attract audiences to the theater and that’s never been more apparent than this year, from Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” and “Captain Marvel,” to Pixar’s “Toy Story 4.” And it’s capitalizing on its own Disney brand by remaking its classic animated movies, the most successful of which, “The Lion King,” has grossed $1.6 billion worldwide this year.
Here’s what the 2019 domestic market share looks like as of September 22, based on numbers from Box Office Mojo:
- Disney – 34.1% of the box office with $2.82 billion domestically
- Universal – 13.6% with $1.123 billion
- Warner Bros. – 13.5% with $1.117 billion
- Sony/Columbia – 11.3% with $939 million
- Lionsgate – 6.6% with $546 million
- Paramount – 4.9% with $406 million
- Fox (now owned by Disney) – 3.7% with $303 million
Paramount, one of the five major Hollywood studios (along with Disney, Universal, Warner Bros., Sony) has fallen far since 2011, when it released “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” “Kung-Fu Panda 2,” “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” and two Marvel movies before Disney took over full distribution rights. Now Paramount is behind Lionsgate and barely ahead of Fox, which was acquired by Disney in March.
Movie studios are racing to build up tentpole franchises to compete with Disney, but many attempts have backfired this year. In a lackluster summer of sequels, movies like Warner Bros.’ “Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” Sony’s “Men in Black: International,” and Fox’s “Dark Phoenix” dramatically underperformed compared to their predecessors.
Could the future be brighter?
Disney’s domination could be vulnerable next year. The MCU will be entering a new phase, there aren’t any anticipated Pixar sequels coming, and no “Star Wars” movies are on the release slate until 2022. It’s hard to count out the Mouse House, but other studios may have an opportunity to pounce.
For a better idea of where each studio stands and what the future may bring, we’ve broken down their biggest movie assets below.
- Marvel Studios
- The Marvel Cinematic Universe is the biggest franchise of all time, with $22.5 billion over 23 movies and 11 years. The culmination of it all so far, “Avengers: Endgame,” is the highest-grossing movie of all time, topping “Avatar” with $2.8 billion. The franchise is seemingly unstoppable, and it will enter a new phase next year that includes Disney Plus TV shows.
- Despite the box-office disappointment of “Solo,” Disney is still confident in the “Star Wars” franchise. A new trilogy written and produced by the “Game of Thrones” showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss begins in 2022 and “The Last Jedi” director Rian Johnson is developing a separate trilogy. Aside from “Solo,” every Disney-era “Star Wars” movie has grossed over $1 billion worldwide and December’s “The Rise of Skywalker” is bound to enter that category, too.
- Pixar, the animation studio that Disney acquired in 2006, is on a box-office roll. “Toy Story 4” has made over $1 billion this year. Last year’s long-awaited sequel, “Incredibles 2,” is the studio’s highest-grossing movie both worldwide and in the US. 2016’s “Finding Dory” grossed over $1 billion globally. And 2017’s “Coco” and 2015’s “Inside Out” both earned over $800 million worldwide.
- With Disney’s acquisition of Fox earlier this year, the company now owns Fox’s film studio and many of its television assets. The film franchises now in Disney’s possession include “Avatar” and “Planet of the Apes.” Four sequels to “Avatar” – now the second-biggest movie ever behind “Endgame” – are in the works and will be released in 2021, 2023, 2025, and 2027.
- The “Fast and Furious” franchise got its first spin-off with “Hobbs and Shaw” this year. While it didn’t perform as well as recent “Fast and Furious” movies (“Furious 7” and “The Fate of the Furious” both made over $1 billion worldwide), it has still grossed over $700 million globally. It shows that the franchise still has some gas in it, which it will need if the ninth installment wants to succeed next year.
- With $1.6 billion worldwide, “Jurassic World” is one of the highest-grossing movies of all time. It spawned a sequel last year that earned $1.3 billion and a third movie hits theaters in 2021. A short film from director Colin Trevorrow, called “Battle at Big Rock,” debuted online last week and previewed what audiences can expect from the third entry.
- The production company Blumhouse specializes in low-budget movies (primarily in the horror genre) that attract audiences to theaters, such as Jordan Peele’s Oscar-winning “Get Out” ($255 million worldwide off of a $4.5 million budget) and last year’s “Halloween” ($255 million worldwide off of a $10 million budget), the latter of which has two sequels coming in 2020 and 2021. Universal has a first-look deal with the company that has paid off.
- Universal distributes movies from the animation studio, Dreamworks. While the studio hasn’t reached the heights of Pixar, it had made plenty of hits like the “Despicable Me” series, the third movie of which grossed $1 billion worldwide. The series’ spin-off, “Minions,” also made over $1 billion. It’s also known for the “Shrek,” “Madagascar,” “Kung-Fu Panda,” and “How to Train Your Dragon” movies.
- Warner Bros.
- After the critical and box-office disappointment of “Justice League,” Warner Bros. has steered its DC Comics superhero movies in a new direction, focusing on more standalone stories rather than a connected universe. The next, “Joker,” is projected to be a box-office hit and break records in its debut.
- WarnerMedia announced it had struck a deal with “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” director J.J. Abrams and his production company Bad Robot to create exclusive content across all of the company’s platforms, including theatrical releases for Warner Bros. and TV shows for its upcoming streaming service, HBO Max.
- The “Conjuring” universe has been a consistent presence at the box office since the first movie debuted in 2013, with $2.8 billion worldwide. It includes two “Conjuring” movies with another hitting theaters next year, three “Annabelle” movies, and “The Nun.”
- Warner Bros.’ “MonsterVerse” hit a speed bump this year with “Godzilla: King of the Monsters.” The movie grossed $385 million worldwide off of a $200 million production budget, while its 2014 predecessor, “Godzilla,” made $529 million worldwide and cost less to make. The franchise will try to rebound next year with “Godzilla vs. Kong.”
- Sony owns the film rights to Spider-Man, and a deal with Marvel Studios recently collapsed after Sony refused to budge (Disney reportedly wanted a 50/50 cofinancing stake in future “Spider-Man” movies). Tom Holland will likely return to play the character, but won’t appear in future MCU movies unless something changes. It makes sense that Sony wouldn’t compromise on its most valuable property, but the “Sony Universe of Marvel Characters” goes beyond Spider-Man. The studio owns 900 Marvel characters; “Venom” grossed over $800 million last year and a sequel is in the works.
- “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” is Sony’s biggest domestic movie ever (before inflation) and made $962 million worldwide. A third “Jumanji” movie comes to theaters this year.
- The most recent “Men in Black” movie, “Men in Black: International,” is one of the biggest flops of the year with $80 million domestically and $253 million worldwide off of a $110 million budget. The previous movie, “MIB 3,” earned over $600 million globally. Sony studio chief Tom Rothman told Business Insider in July that there was “not a strong enough idea in the story.” But that doesn’t mean the franchises is dead. Rothman said that it remains a “very important asset that the company owns, and I would be very surprised if that is the last movie.”
- 2016’s all-female “Ghostbusters” reboot was also a disappointment, grossing $229 million worldwide off of a $144 million production budget. But Sony is trying it again with “Ghostbusters 2020” next year, which will bring back original cast members from the 1984 movie.
- The “John Wick” action franchise is one of the most pleasant surprises in movies right now. Not only has each movie grossed more than the last, but they’ve nearly doubled their box-office takes, which is extremely rare. With low-to-modest budgets, “John Wick” has managed to attract and audiences and reap the benefits. The latest entry, “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” made $321 million worldwide and was made for $55 million. A fourth movie and a TV series spin-off at Starz are in the works.
- The four “Hunger Games” reeled in a combined $3 billion worldwide, so it’s no surprise that Lionsgate is looking to adapt author Suzanne Collins’ upcoming prequel novel, which will be released next year.
- After eight “Saw” movies, which grossed a combined $976 million worldwide, Lionsgate is developing a reboot of the popular horror franchise starring Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson. It hits theaters in October 2020.
- Paramount’s deal with toy company Hasbro has generated the lucrative “Transformers” franchise and the lackluster “G.I. Joe” movies. The “Transformers” series has grossed $4.8 billion worldwide with five “Transformers” movies and the spin-off, “Bumblebee.” The franchise’s future is questionable at the moment, though producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura told Slashfilm in December: “We are going to do another big ‘Transformers’ movie. It is going to be different than the ones that we’ve done before.”
- Last year’s “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” was the franchise’s highest-grossing movie yet with $791 million worldwide. Two more “Mission: Impossible” movies are in the works from “Fallout” director Christopher McQuarrie and franchise star Tom Cruise.
- Since rebooting the “Star Trek” movie franchise in 2009, the three movies have grossed $1.2 billion worldwide. They haven’t been major hits, but director Quentin Tarantino has written an R-rated script for his own “Star Trek” movie.
- Paramount coproduces and distributes Nickelodeon movies as both are owned by Viacom. In recent years that has included two “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” movies in 2014 and 2016, and this year’s “Dora and the Lost City of Gold.” The first “Ninja Turtles” made a decent $493 million worldwide, while its sequel plummeted to $245 million. Paramount is hoping to capitalize on Nickelodeon’s library of animated programs with a live-action/GGI hybrid “Rugrats” movie, which is currently in development.