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Entertainment giants don't get too much more prominent than Disney in 2017, as the family-oriented studio has definitely proven itself as a box office juggernaut. Disney has produced hit after hit, and with 2017 now drawing to a close, the numbers seem to indicate that there's reason for it to celebrate this holiday season. In fact, even without the highly-anticipated release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi two weeks from today, the studio has already raked in over $5 billion.
Ahead of the December 15 release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, it appears that Thor: Ragnarok's $800 million haul has officially helped Disney inch passed the $5 billion worldwide box office benchmark for the third year in a row. Between the boost experienced by 2016 winter releases like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Moana, as well as the blockbuster successes of films like Beauty and the Beast and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, not to mention Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Coco, Disney has been hitting it out of the park on a global scale all year.
This number will only go up with the release of The Last Jedi on December 15. Though it remains unclear as to whether or not Episode VIII will manage to overtake the record-breaking $250 million haul experienced by The Force Awakens (which had decades of anticipation backing it at the box office), Rian Johnson's film is expected to bring in roughly $200 million during its opening weekend alone.
In the process of crossing this mark, Disney has officially passed Universal to claim the top spot. The competing studio still has one trick left up its sleeve with December's release of Pitch Perfect 3, but the odds of it doing Star Wars numbers don't seem particularly good.
Also worth noting in The Wrap's report about Disney's success in 2017 is the fact that the studio is still ranked second for domestic sales, which have reached $1.75 billion. Warner Bros. (which produced hits like Wonder Woman, Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk, and Annabelle: Creation this year) currently holds that title with $1.96 billion, but the aforementioned release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi could knock WB from its throne and deliver the win to Disney by year's end. There is also still a chance that Disney might not match the domestic haul brought in by its 2016 slate of films (which included massive hits like Captain America: Civil War and The Jungle Book), but bowling the $5 billion turkey before the release of one of the most highly-anticipated movies of the year is impressive by pretty much any metric.
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