Box office: African countries join as Disney aims to surpass $3bn revenue record
Already past the halfway point in the calendar year and Walt Disney Studios has already made an absurd amount of money at the domestic box office, powered by three huge blockbusters that exceeded expectations.
Powered by major releases like Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and The Incredibles 2, Disney has just passed the $2bn mark at the box office in North America alone.
Yes, it seems superhero movies are the talk of the town this year.
This puts Disney on pace to break the $3bn record year they had in 2016, as there are still major releases on the docket that are all but guaranteed to add to its success. They are already pacing 25% ahead of where they were in 2016, with films like Ant-Man and the Wasp, Mary Poppins Returns, Ralph Breaks the Internet, and Christopher Robbin still on the docket.
In Africa, “Black Panther “set records with the biggest opening weekend of all time in both East Africa and West Africa. In South Africa, it was the highest grossing Saturday ever in industry history. Black Panther has grossed 77.6 million rand (just under $6.5m) in South Africa and its neighboring countries, and another 102.4 million Kenyan shillings (just over $1m) in cinemas in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda. In Nigeria, Ghana, and Liberia the film has hauled in N642.5m ($1.77m).
Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, has less than 30 cinemas for a population of 180 million. Yet, it has the continent’s largest and most dynamic movie industry, which pumps out homegrown box office hits.
Avengers: Infinity War is another huge success story with $666m at the domestic box office and $316.7m at the international box office; recording the highest opening weekend in industry history in Korea, India (non-local), the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Brazil, Central America, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, South Africa, Turkey (non-local), the UAE and West Africa.
With the Marvel Studios movies coming out within months of the previous release, it stands to reason that the big crossover event will gain a bit more steam as Ant-Man and the Wasp hits theaters. And of course, all of this is capped off with the release of The Incredibles 2, which has already made $253m in the United States alone after just six days in theaters. It’s on the fast track to pass the highest grossing animated film of all time stateside, as Finding Dory capped with $486m.
The Summer and Fall seasons will see a lull after Christopher Robbin releases, but Disney will come back with an onslaught for the holiday as Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Ralph Breaks the Internet, and Mary Poppins Returns will all release in November and December.
Up next for the genre is Marvel’s Ant-Man and The Wasp, which hits next month. Teen Titans GO! to the Movies will also debut in July, though that is aiming at a different audience than DC and Marvel’s live-action films. Sony gets in the game later with their Venom spin-off starring Tom Hardy, which lands in October. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse will introduce Miles Morales to the big screen (in animated form), while DC’s Aquaman closes out the year in December.
The next few years are going to be packed with superhero films as well, with projects like Captain Marvel, Avengers 4, Shazam!, and Wonder Woman 2 all primed for release in 2019, not to mention the myriad of films in development for 2020 and beyond.
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