North American box office brings in $11.4bn in banner year for Hollywood despite disappointing ride for Passengers and Assassins Creed
The North American movie box office took in $11.4bn in 2016, making it the highest-earning year in history, according to the box office tracker comScore. The total eclipsed the previous record of $11.14bn in 2015.
The crop of blockbuster movies in 2016 was topped by Finding Dory, which took $486.3m in the US and Canada, comScore said.
The latest Star Wars movie, Rogue One, finished the year in second place, but it was only released on 16 December in the US and continues to enjoy strong sales.
Rogue One and Sing led the way over the New Years holiday. The Star Wars spin-off topped the box office for the third consecutive weekend, earning just under $50m for the three-day period and a projected $64m for the four-day holiday.
The movie business is tacking Monday on to New Years weekend, because many companies and schools observe it as a holiday.
The weekend gross made Rogue One the years second-highest-grossing domestic release, with $425m, and concluded a record-annihilating year for Disney. The studio became the first to top $7bn in one year, fielded four of the five top-grossing domestic releases, and should see four of its movies top $1bn at the global box office.
Sing, the latest collaboration between Illumination and Universal, racked up $41.4m during its second weekend in theaters. It is projected to earn $53.7m for the four-day holiday weekend and has made $177.3m stateside. The company also scored with last summers The Secret Life of Pets.
In third place, Passengers, a critically derided science fiction romance with Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, earned $16.1m over the three-day weekend and was projected to take $20.7m over the four-day. As of Sunday, its domestic haul stands at $61.4m. With a $110m budget and millions more spent on promotion, Passengers will need a lift from foreign audiences.
The same is true for Foxs Assassins Creed, which took in $8m for the weekend and a projected $10m for the holiday. The video game adaptation has earned $41m a dispiriting result given its $125m budget.
Fox is having more luck with Why Him? The R-rated comedy earned $10m over the three-day period and an estimated $13m for the four-day holiday. The film about the rivalry between a father (Bryan Cranston) and his daughters fiance (James Franco) has earned $37.6m and cost an economical $38m to produce.
Paramounts Fences expanded nicely. Denzel Washington directs and stars in the August Wilson adaptation, with Viola Davis playing a key supporting role. The drama earned an estimated $13m for the holiday. It has made $32.7m since debuting three weeks ago in limited release.
Lionsgates La La Land continued to capitalize on awards buzz. The musical is projected to make $12.3m over the four-day holiday, which would bring its gross to an estimated $37m. On Friday, La La Land passed Hell or High Water to become the highest-grossing movie in limited release for the year.
Foxs Hidden Figures also looks strong. The drama about the African American scientists and mathematicians who played a pivotal role in the early days of Americas space program, earned $815,000 for the three days and $1.1m for the four days from just 25 theaters. It goes into wide release next weekend.
20th Century Women and Paterson were released just under the wire in order to qualify for Oscars. 20th Century Women, a comedy-drama that has earned some of the best reviews of Annette Benings career, earned $112,705 for the weekend. A24 is handling the rollout. Paterson, a drama about a poetic bus driver, made $70,760. It is being released by Amazon Studios and Bleecker Street.
Overall in 2016, Disney had six of North Americas top 10 grossing movies and all of the top three, including Captain America: Civil War, which took in $408m.
Forgetful fish, superheroes, household pets and space travellers led the charge, comScores senior media analyst, Paul Dergarabedian, said in a news release on Sunday.
The year, he said, was marked by an incredibly diverse selection of films from every genre and of every size and scope from all the studios.