Thanks to movies like Finding Dory, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Captain America: Civil War, and The Secret Life of Pets, 2016 will be the biggest year in domestic box office history.
According to estimates from comScore, which tracks weekly charts and ticket sales for North American releases, audiences in the U.S. and Canada are expected to spend anywhere between $123 million and $138 million by Wednesday, pushing past 2015’s $11.14 billion record for an estimated $11.18 billion.
That number is expected to climb to $11.35 billion by the end of the year — a 1.9 percent improvement over 2015, which exceeded 2014’s total grosses by 7.5 percent.
“Despite all of the incredible small screen options for entertainment available today, going to the movie theater remains a powerful draw for many reasons, including the simple need to get out of the house, the desire to escape the stresses of everyday life, and of course the obvious allure of being immersed in a great movie for a couple of hours,” Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for comScore, told EW. “Though 2016 certainly had its box office ups and downs, there’s no arguing that the incredible range and diversity of content cumulatively drove large numbers of patrons to the multiplex.”
Dergarabedian said he remains optimistic about the future of the domestic box office as 2017 approaches.
“2016 is no box office one-hit wonder, since 2017 is shaping up to be the biggest year ever at the box office around the world with some of the most anticipated titles of any given year being rolled out in virtually every single month,” he said.
2016 also marks the first time in history that nine films have made more than $300 million domestically. Only one film in the North American top 10 — Marvel’s Doctor Strange — failed to hit the number.
According to Box Office Mojo, the top 10 grossing films of 2016 in North America are:
- Finding Dory – $486.3 million
- Captain America: Civil War – $408.1 million
- The Secret Life of Pets – $368.3 million
- The Jungle Book – $364 million
- Deadpool – $363.1 million
- Zootopia – $341.3 million
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – $340.6 million (and counting)
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – $330.4 million
- Suicide Squad – $325.1 million
- Doctor Strange – $228.9 million (and counting)