Rampaging dinosaurs, avenging superheroes, and some screaming-fast cars have set 2015 on track to become the biggest year at the box-office in movie history (and no, that’s not adjusting for inflation). Driven by the massive success of hits like Jurassic World, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Furious 7, 2015 is outpacing 2013 — the reigning box-office champ — with Universal, Warner Bros., and Disney each having crossed $1 billion in box-office receipts.
But it’s not just films targeting young men boosting the bottom line: Six of the year’s top 10 films feature female protagonists, from Cinderella herself to 11-year-old Riley in Pixar’s Inside Out to Pitch Perfect 2’s brash Barden Bellas. “We are on pace for the first $5 billion summer, the first $11 billion North American box office, and the first $40 billion global box office,” says Rentrak’s -senior media analyst, Paul Dergarabedian. “The diverse slate has been essential.”
Adds Dave Hollis, Disney’s EVP of theatrical distribution: “The event films of this summer are proof that high-quality storytelling can draw audiences into multiplexes, and when they have a great experience, they return. If the movies on deck deliver, the outlook is promising.”
That deck is stacked: This month sees the animated flick Minions arrive and Tom Cruise return in Mission: Impossible —Rogue Nation. Bond is back in November’s Spectre, the same month that Katniss Everdeen makes her final stand against the Capitol in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2. And then there’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the relaunch that’s expected to make record-setting returns at light speed. If those franchise films outperform their earlier installments by just 10 percent, 2015 is destined to top the leaderboard.