We’re now already in July which means it’s time to look back at the first 6 months of 2016 at the box office in the US, internationally and worldwide.
Looking at the domestic top 10 below you’d think so far 2016 has been the best year ever at the box office, but sadly that couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, we’ve never had 6 movies gross more than $300 million so early in the year, that’s undoubtedly very impressive, the thing is those same 6 releases account for roughly 37.6% of 2016’s total gross ($5.8 billion in the US). That means most everyone saw the same 6-12 movies in cinemas and the rest were left with the scraps. Think about this, in the US top 10 only 9 films made more than $100 million and 6 of those are the $300+ million ones, so only 3 sit between $100 million and $300 million (actually they’re more like $100 to $150 million). For the industry to remain healthy you need people to watch more than the same 10-20 movies.
But enough about the bad, let’s look at the good. For only the second time ever in the US we have a whooping 6 movies with more than $300 million at the box office, and we’ve only just hit July. Deadpool, Zootopia, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Jungle Book, Captain America: Civil War and Finding Dory, these are the big 6, 3 superhero movies, 2 animations and a live-action re-imagining of an older animation. Not a lot of diversity there, and the rest of the top 10 isn’t much better. Another superhero flick, 2 animations and a supernatural horror. Also 7 of the 10 are sequels or spin-offs (Deadpool) and only a single one is an original property (Zootopia), not based on anything else (unlike The Angry Birds Movie, based on a video game, or The Jungle Book, based on a book and 60’s Disney animation).
Among other things the first 6 months of 2016 also gave us a new opening weekend record for animations (Finding Dory), and the worst multiplier ever for a movie that finished with more than $300 million in the US. That’s a film’s domestic total divided by its opening weekend. Up until Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice that number has always been higher than a 2 (among the $300+ million movies), but not anymore. Dawn of Justice stopped at 1.99 (I’m serious), and while that might not seem like a big deal for moviegoers, it’s a badge of shame for Warner, having the $300+ million release with the worst box office legs. Oh and Disney is absolutely killing it so far with 4 of the top 5 films of the year.
Okay, that ended up a lot longer than I originally planned so let’s now run quickly through the US top 10. These numbers go up to and including July 4th.
10. The Conjuring 2 – $96 million ($40.4 million opening weekend)
9. The Angry Birds Movie – $105.7 million ($38.2 million OW)
8. Kung Fu Panda 3 – $143.5 million ($41.3 million OW)
7. X-Men: Apocalypse – $153.7 million ($65.8 million OW)
6. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – $330.4 million ($166 million OW)
5. Zootopia – $340.8 million ($75.1 million OW)
4. The Jungle Book – $359.6 million ($103.3 million OW)
3. Deadpool – $363.1 million ($132.4 million OW)
2. Finding Dory – $381.8 million ($135.1 million OW)
1. Captain America: Civil War – $405.6 million ($179.1 million OW)
I’d say Captain America: Civil War will remain the top movie of 2016 for a couple more days as Finding Dory is moving towards it at a relentless pace (it’s already overtaken Finding Nemo‘s $380.8 million). Let’s just say that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will have to really pull everything it has to best the Pixar sequel. As far as the rest go, I’m pretty sure everything above $300 million will remain in the top 10.
Moving on to the international top 10 where the story isn’t as crazy as the one above, and by that I mean the box office is more evenly distributed (for the most part). Even more so than last year China ruled the overseas landscape and by next year it might even surpass the US to become the biggest box office market in the world. With the exception of Deadpool (no release over there), China has been the top international market for each one of the top 10 movies and in some cases it’s the reason they made it this high. Take Warcraft for example, grabbed about $221 million over there, more than half its international take. Or look at The Mermaid, a local comedy that became the biggest movie of all time in China earlier this year with $526.8 million. Most of the other big markets have been trending slightly downwards, but that’s also because of exchange rates, favoring the dollar and thus bringing in less internationally.
10. The Angry Birds Movie – $231.1 million
9. Kung Fu Panda 3 – $375.3 million
8. X-Men: Apocalypse – $375.4 million
7. Warcraft – $376.2 million
6. Deadpool – $420.7 million
5. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – $542.3 million
4. The Mermaid (Mei ren yu) – $550.6 million
3. The Jungle Book – $574.9 million
2. Zootopia – $678.7 million
1. Captain America: Civil War – $743.7 million
Of course Civil War is on top here too, followed again by Zootopia. Other than that notice there’s no Finding Dory or The Conjuring 2 in the top 10. In the case of the first it’s just not out in enough international markets while The Conjuring 2 is a horror sequel (typically not top 10 material) and it’s actually a lot higher than anyone probably expected with $179.3 million internationally (and still climbing). At this point Rogue One is probably the only other movie that could challenge Civil War for the top spot internationally.
And lastly the worldwide top 10, US plus international, where the most impressive numbers live. Already 2 movies cleared $1 billion (Captain America: Civil War and Zootopia) and at least one more is on the way, possibly 2. Those would be The Jungle Book (needs a strong showing in Japan) and Finding Dory. Well would you look at that, all of those were released by Disney and in case I didn’t make it obvious by now, they are having the best year ever at the box office, domestically, internationally, probably in space too. Even so in my opinion the most impressive thing in the top 10 has to be Deadpool, an R-rated superhero flick that for years Fox didn’t want to make ended up the highest grossing X-Men movie ever, and it did it without any help from China (which accounts for almost a 1/3 of X-Men: Apocalypse‘s international take).
10. Warcraft – $422.1 million
9. Kung Fu Panda 3 – $518.8 million
8. X-Men: Apocalypse – $529.1 million
7. Finding Dory – $548.3 million
6. The Mermaid (Mei ren yu) – $553.8 million
5. Deadpool – $783.8 million
4. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – $872.7 million
3. The Jungle Book – $934.6 million
2. Zootopia – $1.019 billion
1. Captain America: Civil War – 1.149 billion
Of the ones above, I’d say right now the top 5 are guaranteed to stay in the top 10 for the rest of the year. As far as the top spot goes, same as internationally, the only other movie that could hope to take down Captain America: Civil War worldwide is Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
It’s almost like this was a full year at the box office in half the time, but obviously there’s a lot more left in 2016, including but not limited to Star Trek Beyond, Jason Bourne, Suicide Squad, Doctor Strange, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Moana, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Assassin’s Creed, Passengers or Sing. We’ll check back in another 6 months and see where each one of those ends up.