This blog is not simply a case of procrastination of my post-Oscars break. This is a case where I was too wrapped up with Oscar articles to publish my annual look at the box office. Note that I only did one other focus back in November. Sure, 2015 may be almost three months past but I still feel a focus on the box office is still worth it even now. Especially since 2015 was a record year.
Once again, I thank Box Office Mojo for the research data.
November already promised to be a big month with both the James Bond movie Spectre and the final Hunger Games movie Mockingjay Part 2 to be released. That was the case with Spectre opening with over $70 million on its opening weekend and Mockingjay opening with $102.6 million. However it received added boosts with the continued success of The Martian leading into the month and strong showings from The Peanuts Movie and Creed. Surprisingly November 2015 grossed a total of $1.082 billion, falling short of November 2014 by $58 million. Nevertheless it did not take 2015 off of its record pace.
Then came December. Already people were expecting this to be a hot one as Star Wars: The Force Awakens was expected to open to record numbers. The first two weekends saw Mockingjay remaining at the top and modest box office number happening. Then The Force Awakens shattered opening weekend records, December records and all-time records like nobody’s business. As expected, this December became the highest grossing December ever with $1.792 billion. The previous record was $1.636 billion set back in 2009 when Avatar, the previous all-time record holder, opened.
Overall 2015 did it. It broke the all-time annual box office record with a total of $11.127 billion dollars. It pulled in 1.32 billion tickets, up over 4% from 2014. It gave people reasons again to go back to the movies. While 2014 failed to place a movie in the all-time Top 10 grosses, 2015 gave us three with The Force Awakens, Jurassic World and Avengers: The Age of Ultron. Actually there were five movies in 2015 that had bigger grosses than 2014’s biggest grosser: American Sniper.
With all these stats, it’s no wonder I keep on looking back at the box office of 2015 by saying 2016 has a tough act to follow. No kidding the numbers from 2015 should make 2016 nervous. Plus it’s questionable if this year’s box office fare has what it takes to challenge 2015 if not overtake it. Nevertheless it did give January a higher total than 2015 with continued success from The Force Awakens and additional successes from Kung Fu Panda 3 and The Revenant. February had it tougher despite the surprise success of Deadpool. The upcoming months of 2016 will tell more of how the box office is doing and how well the year is going even if it can’t break 2015’s record.
2015 was a record-breaking year at the movies. Now it’s 2016’s turn to make its mark.