Everything is going according to plan for the House of Mouse. Disney began the decade with two key purchases: Marvel Entertainment in 2009 and Lucasfilm in 2012. The combined more than $8 billion investment has exceedingly paid off for Disney; Marvel Studios has made more than $28 billion at the box office alone, while Star Wars is the centerpiece of Disney’s future, Disney+. The goal was to build out franchises Disney could consistently use and build worlds around.
The strategy paid off. Each year of the last 10 years is punctuated by Disney’s dominance. 2018’s box office saw the successes of Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther, and Incredibles 2 — all from studios Disney acquired between 2006 and 2012. The Last Jedi and Beauty and the Beast topped 2017. Rogue One, Finding Dory, and Captain America: Civil War were 2016’s biggest releases.
The only years Disney didn’t completely dominate the top 10 domestic box office releases were between 2011 and 2013, just before any new Star Wars films came out, right as the Marvel Cinematic Universe was finding its pace, and before Disney’s live-action renaissance really took off. There’s something fitting, albeit sad and worrisome, about Disney ending its decade of rising into a singular Hollywood powerhouse by sitting upon the box office throne.
Source: Disney produced an unprecedented 80 percent of the top box office hits this year