The year of 2015 is done and dusted, and the smoke has cleared on the battle for box office supremacy. There has been a couple of shockers this year, and the overall winner of both the domestic and worldwide title was far from expected. Similarly, there have been a few movies released this year that one would have expected to be in one or both of these lists but failed to make any sort of impact – Terminator: Genysis, Fantastic Four and Pan being just a few examples.
Overall, it’s been a great year for Disney who have four movies in the domestic Top 10 (with a total of $1.5 billion domestic) and a good year for Universal who have three (totaling $1.3 billion). Not only that, but Universal also nabbed the top spot with the surprise hit Jurassic World. At the start of 2015, no one expected the dino romp to take the number one position and be such a mega smash, but it just shows that there’s life in the franchise yet. Although you do have to wonder whether a certain movie from a galaxy far, far away would have been in a better position if it wasn’t released two weeks before the end of the year.
Interestingly, only one movie in our Top 10 is an original idea – Inside Out – with everything else either being a sequel, part of a Cinematic Universe, a spin-off, a live action adaptation or based on a book. In fact looking at the Top 20, there’s only three movies in the whole list not based off pre-existing material, the other two being Home and San Andreas (the Top 30 increases that number to seven, adding Spy, Trainwreck, The Good Dinosaur and Get Hard to the list).
Another interesting note is that of the Top 10 Movies of 2015, four films featured a female in the lead role. You could also make a case that Jurassic World features a joint male-female lead role, but Chris Pratt is angled as the hero of the film.
Domestic totals for 2015:
1. Jurassic World – $652 million
2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens – $651 million
3. Avengers: Age of Ultron – $459 million
4. Inside Out – $356 million
5. Furious 7 – $353 million
6. Minions – $336 million
7. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 – $264 million
8. The Martian – $224 million
9. Cinderella – $201 million
10. Spectre – $196 million
And here’s what just missed out:
Looking at the worldwide standings, it really shows just what an impact the Chinese and British markets have had on the box office over the last few years. Movies like Spectre and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation fared so much better due to international screenings, and that even translated into the Top 20 with titles like Fifty Shades of Grey, Kingsman: The Secret Service and Taken 3.
Last year we only had one movie push past the $1 billion mark (Transformers: Age of Extinction), but this year the top five films all joined the infamous billion dollar club, with one of them even becoming the third biggest movie of all-time. Seriously, no one thought Jurassic World would do this well. Furious 7 is also a surprise entry, but one has to wonder whether the shock death of Paul Walker had an effect on the film’s box office takings, the same way Heath Ledger’s passing gave The Dark Knight an unexpected boost.
And after having the biggest movie of 2012 and nearly having the biggest of 2013, Disney and Marvel will be disappointed that Avengers: Age of Ultron did not perform as well as The Avengers. More disappointing of course is Ant-Man, which didn’t even crackeither domestic or worldwide Top 10. Taking a combined total of $1.7 billion is hardly anything to be upset about, but when their Cinematic Universe is ever-expanding (there are two films next year in Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange, and three the following year in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-Man and Thor: Ragnarok), and competition from DC and Fox’s line-up (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, Deadpool and X-Men: Apocalypse), you have to wonder when the superhero bubble will burst.
Worldwide totals for 2015
1. Jurassic World – $1.6 billion
2. Furious 7 – $1.5 billion
3. Avengers: Age of Ultron – $1.4 billion
4. Star Wars: The Force Awakens – $1.3 billion
5. Minions – $1.1 billion
6. Inside Out – $851 million
7. Spectre – $850 million
8. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation – $682 million
9. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 – $616 million
10. The Martian – $593 million
And here’s what just missed out:
As mentioned earlier, next year really will be the test to see if more comic book movies is good for the genre or not. This year we only had three – Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man and Fantastic Four – but next year we have six: Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, Deadpool and X-Men: Apocalypse. But we’ve also got some other possible big hitters in The Jungle Book, Warcraft, Independence Day: Resurgence, Star Trek Beyond, The BFG, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It’s going to be a competitive year, that’s for sure.
Luke Owen is the Deputy Editor of Flickering Myth and a contributor on The Flickering Myth Movie Show. You can follow him on Twitter @ThisisLukeOwen.