(HOLLYWOOD) — 2019 was Disney’s year at the box office.
The studio released six of the top-10 highest-grossing movies of the year — Avengers: Endgame, The Lion King, Toy Story 4, Captain Marvel, Aladdin, and Frozen II — and co-produced another, Sony’s highest-grossing film Spider-Man: Far from Home. Disney’s Marvel Studios also scored the bragging rights of having the highest-grossing movie of all time, when Avengers: Endgame topped Avatar’s long-held $2.79 billion box office highwater mark.
However, 2019 had some other surprises, too, including the blockbuster performance of Ryan Reynolds’ Pokémon Detective Pikachu, which ended the year in the #15 slot; Warner Bros.’ Shazam!, which made the top 20; and Jordan Peele’s horror hit Us, which opened to more than $70 million bucks on a budget of $20 million. It ended up making $255 million worldwide, one of the highest-grossing, and most profitable, movies of the year.
But the single most profitable film of the year is another top-10 finisher, the unlikely blockbuster Joker. Warner Bros. was reportedly hesitant to make the film, seeing as it’s an R-rated film with a superhero comic origin and no big CG battles — and no Batman. Instead, director Todd Phillips narrowed the scope to focus on his biggest special effect: Joaquin Phoenix’s electric performance as the ‘clown prince of crime.’
Made for $55 million, a relative pittance for a comic book movie, Joker so far has earned a staggering $1.04 billion worldwide. Along the way, the film also collected other records, like becoming the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time. It also put Joaquin Phoenix on an early Oscars short list.
But as in any year, there were also some high-profile stumbles.
2019 was also the Year of Keanu, with a hysterical appearance in the Netflix movie Always Be My Maybe, an E3 appearance that rocked the electronics expo, the filming of a third Bill & Ted’s movie, the announcement of new Matrix adventures, and John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum earning a series-high $326 million worldwide. But even Reeves wasn’t immune from dropping a bomb. His barely-there sci-fi movie Replicas earned a little over $8 million globally on a budget said to be $30 million.
The much-hyped reunion of Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger in the R-rated Terminator: Dark Fate from Deadpool director Tim Miller took a drubbing in theaters, earning a little over $125 million worldwide on a budget said to near $200 million. Similarly, the Charlie’s Angels franchise reboot and Doctor Sleep, the latter a sequel to The Shining, also stumbled badly.
Other fails included the troubled X-Men: Dark Phoenix, the last 20th Century Fox X-Men movie before Disney acquired the studio and its entertainment properties. The Sophie Turner-topped movie was plagued by re-shoots, and mustered a series-low $252 million on a budget of at least $200 million.
The final flop of 2019? The all-star, live-action adaptation of the hit Broadway musical CATS. Critically savaged by pretty much everyone, it opened over the December 20 weekend with a mere $6.5 million.
Here are the Top 10 highest-grossing movies of the year, with their domestic and worldwide grosses to date, according to Box Office Mojo:
1. Avengers: Endgame — $858.373 million/$2.79 billion2. The Lion King — $543.634 million/$1.65 billion3. Toy Story 4 — $434.035 million/$1.07 billion 4. Captain Marvel — $426.829 million/$1.12 billion5. Spider-Man: Far from Home — $390.532 million/$1.31 billion6. Aladdin — $355.559 million/$1.05 billion7. Joker — $330.523 million/$1.48 billion8. Frozen II — $288.845 million/$742.06 million9. It Chapter Two — $211.587 million/ $470.287 million10. Us — $175.005 million/$255.105 million
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