Disney Reigns As 2018 Box-Office Champ

Led by big blockbuster action movies like “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Infinity Wars,” Walt Disney’s Buena Vista film unit soared well above other studios in 2018.

The studio has pulled in a record $3 billion in U.S. domestic box-office revenue through December 23 — a commanding 26% share of the theatrical movie business, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com.

Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures are in a distant race for second place, with Warner at $1.77 billion (a 15.6% share) and Universal at $1.74 billion (15.3% share).

Disney achieved top-tier standing by being efficient versus other studios -- with 10 movies that opened in the year, 13 movies that were running in theaters overall -- three opening in 2017. Disney had the top-three-grossing movies of the year: “Black Panther” with $700 million; “Avengers: Infinity War” at $678.8 million; and “Incredibles 2” earning $608.6 million.

By comparison, Warner Bros. started with 24 movies and 35 movies overall contributing to its results. Universal was at 21 movies that premiered in 2018 and 23 overall.

Warner’s big U.S. movies included “A Star Is Born” at $200 million; “Crazy Rich Asians” at $174 million; “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” at $154.5 million. Universal had “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” $416.8 million and “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch,” $253.6 million; and “Halloween” at $159.3 million.

Other major studios: Sony Pictures Entertainment with $1.1 billion (9.4% share); Paramount Pictures at $704.8 million (6.2%); and Lionsgate at $388.6 million (3.4%).

With a few days left in 2018, total U.S. box-office revenues are set to have their best year ever -- currently at $11.38 billion, with the average price per ticket up 2% to $9.14 and 1.25 billion tickets sold.

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