The 2020 ticket office was ruled by old films, early hit success

The 2020 box office was ruled by old movies, early blockbuster success

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Will Smith and Martin Lawrence star in “Bad Boys For Life.”


The studio with the greatest box-office haul in 2020 was one that postponed the majority of its movie slate to 2021.

After CNBC combed through information from Comscore, Sony became the leading earner in a year spoiled by a worldwide pandemic. The studio represented 22.2% of the domestic movie market, with simply under $500 million in ticket sales.

“If you need a symbol of just how unusual 2020 was at the box office, you need look no further than the fact that Sony’s ‘Bad Boys For Life,’ a mid-January release, would remain at the top of the box office chart for the entire year,” stated Paul Dergarabedian, senior media expert at Comscore.

The movie amassed $206.3 million, a far cry from the $858.3 million in sales that “Avengers: Endgame,” the top-grossing movie in 2019, scored.

Sony’s market share was boosted by ticket sales from “Jumanji: The Next Level” and “Little Women,” which were both launched in 2019. The “Jumanji” follow up was the fourth-highest earning movie of the year, while “Little Women” was the 8th.

In truth, if you just take a look at package workplace from when the pandemic forced theaters to close through completion of the year, Sony just amassed around $29 million after March 20.

“The box office year of 2020 had a split personality,” Dergarabedian stated. “It boasted a strong performing pre-pandemic marketplace, but its trajectory was severely impacted in mid-March when theaters were sidelined. It then struggled through spring, summer and fall with a severely limited number of open theaters and a striking dearth of new movies.”

The worldwide coronavirus pandemic has actually maimed the domestic ticket office, requiring studios to delay smash hits and location other significant function movies on premium video on-demand or top quality streaming services.

Studios that had the ability to launch movies prior to the pandemic closed down theater in March kept their box-office gains and stayed leading earners for the year, according to information from Comscore. These studios’ box-office overalls were likewise enhanced by movies that had actually been launched in 2019 however continued to play in movie theaters in early 2020.

In truth, the lion’s share of the $2.2 billion 2020 ticket office was produced throughout the very first 3 months of the year. From Jan. 1 through March 19, the U.S. and Canadian ticket office tallied $1.8 billion in ticket sales, Comscore information exposed. The staying $400 million was gathered in between April and December.

“The pandemic profoundly changed the fortunes of studios and their films that were either cut off in midstream back in March or were rescheduled for 2021,” Dergarabedian stated. “That unforeseen and unfortunate turn of events took what started off as a promising and potentially record-breaking year at the multiplex and turned it into one of the toughest ever for the business.”

A close 2nd

Universal was the second-highest earning studio in 2020, gathering 21.9% of the marketplace share. The ticket office distinction in between Sony and Universal was just $5.8 million.

Universal postponed most of its films till late 2020 or early 2021. However, as theaters started to resume and it ended up being more clear that audiences weren’t returning en masse, the studio moved its technique.

It struck handle a number of significant theater chains in the U.S. and Canada that would permit it to reduce the length of time its movies required to be in movie theaters. This permitted the studio to put its movies on premium video on-demand or on its streaming service Peacock quicker and monetize its movie amongst customers who were not ready to leave their houses.

The bulk of the Comcast-owned studio’s box-office share originated from the war drama “1917,” which was launched in late 2019. The movie got a finest image Academy Award nod in February 2020, which tempted spectators to see it in droves. The movie gathered $158 million in 2020, making it the studio’s highest-grossing movie and the domestic ticket office’s second-highest earning movie for the year.

Universal had 2 significant releases prior to the theater shutdown, “Dolittle,” which took in $78 million, and “The Invisible Man,” which generated $70 million.

The business likewise had a handful of movies concern theaters throughout the pandemic, consisting of “Trolls World Tour,” “Freaky” and “The Croods: A New Age.” Together, those movie amassed simply under $50 million.

The studio likewise gained from the rereleases of “Jaws” and “Jurassic Park,” which included around $10 million in ticket sales to the business’s overall. These movies, which initially debuted in 1975 and 1993, were amongst the top 20 highest-grossing movies that were played in theaters in between completion of March and December 2020.

The bronze medal

In 2019, the Walt Disney Company launched 7 movies that exceeded $1 billion internationally and held almost 40% of the marketplace share of the domestic ticket office. It had actually scored more than $4 billion in ticket sales in between its Disney movie circulation and its freshly obtained 20th Century Fox residential or commercial properties, one of the most of any studio.

Just one year later on, Disney’s share diminished to 20%, taking it from the leading box-office earner to third-best after generating simply $442 million.

Disney had a jam-packed movie slate heading into 2020. Between its Disney production studios and its freshly obtained Fox studio, the business was set to launch around 2 lots movies. However, the pandemic triggered the business to make brand-new strategies.

For one of the most part, Disney displaced its 2020 titles, that included 2 significant Marvel movies, the Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson-led “Jungle Cruise” and an adaption of Stephen Sondheim’s “West Side Story.”

While most of Disney’s movies were pressed into 2021, the business did provide its live-action variation of “Mulan” on its streaming service Disney+ for $30 in September and positioned its Oscar-competitor, Pixar movie “Soul,” on the platform totally free.

While Comscore separates Disney and 20th Century as 2 various suppliers, CNBC has actually picked to integrate their ticket sales since they are both owned by Disney. Together, they have the third-largest market share, or about 20%.

According to Comscore’s information, Disney as a solo supplier amassed $255 million in ticket sales in 2015, while 20th Century tallied $187 million. Had these figures not been integrated, Disney would have had the fourth-largest market share and 20th Century would have been 5th.

Warner Bros., which offered $258 million in ticket sales in 2015, would have been 3rd. Compared with an integrated Disney and 20th Century, Warner Bros. is 4th.

Rey and Kylo Ren take on in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.”


Disney’s highest-grossing movie of 2020 was “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” which was launched in late December 2019. The movie tallied $128 million in 2020 and was the fifth-highest earning movie at the domestic ticket office.

Like that of Sony, most of Disney’s overall ticket office originated from movies launched in the start of the year or holdovers from 2019. “Onward,” “Call of the Wild,” “Frozen 2” and “Spies in Disguise” all added to its haul in the early months of 2020.

“The New Mutants” was Disney’s highest-grossing theatrical release throughout the pandemic. The movie reported around $32 million in sales.

Disney likewise had a variety of rereleased movies that added to its tally, consisting of “Hocus Pocus,” “Star Wars,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Black Panther.” These titles represented almost $30 countless Disney’s haul.

Disclosure: Comcast is the moms and dad business of NBCUniversal and CNBC.

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