To say that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is successful would be an understatement, and that’s especially the case this year. 2019 saw the franchise releasing Captain Marvel in March, Avengers: Endgame in April and Spider-Man: Far From Home, and along with each of those movies receiving overall positive reception, they were also all commercial heavy-hitters. So much so that as a result, the MCU has crossed the $5 billion mark on its own this year.
Breaking down the worldwide numbers listed by Box Office Mojo, Captain Marvel walked away with $1.128 billion during its theatrical run, Avengers: Endgame made an astounding $2.795 billion and Spider-Man: Far From Home collected $1.096 billion. All together, that adds up to $5.019 billion across the globe, making for Marvel’s best year yet by a long shot.
It should be noted that because Disney/Marvel partners with Sony on the MCU-set Spider-Man movies, with Marvel having creative control and Sony handling the marketing and distribution, it’s Sony that’s collecting the majority, if not the entire amount of Spider-Man: Far From Home’s haul. Still, as evidenced by Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame’s performances, it’s not like Marvel’s hurting for money, and the fact that one franchise was able to generate over $5 billion in less than a year is impressive.
This is just one way Disney has been dominating the box office this year. Both Aladdin and The Lion King both surpassed $1 billion, and Toy Story 4 came close with $990.8 million. And 2019 isn’t over yet: Frozen II and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrive in November and December, respectively, and it’s a good bet that they’ll cross $1 billion too. Who knows, maybe even October’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil will outperform its predecessor and hit the $1 billion mark.
The MCU has now released nine movies that have made more than $1 billion, the previous six being The Avengers, Iron Man 3, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War. However, with The Infinity Saga wrapped up and Phase 4 marking a new era for the MCU, it will be interesting to see how the franchise performs commercially in the coming years compared to the previous three Phases.
It’s safe to say that it will be a long time before the MCU has this good of a year again commercially speaking, if at all. Releasing three movies in the same year that surpassed $1 billion is hard enough, and the fact that one of them went on to become the highest grossing movie of all time (unadjusted for inflation) is even more remarkable. The only way I see an MCU movie surpassing what Avengers: Endgame raked in is by adapting Secret Wars or having Galactus be the main antagonist of a future Avengers movie.
In any case, there’s plenty to look forward to from the MCU in Phase 4. Black Widow, The Eternals, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Thor: Love and Thunder are all scheduled for theatrical release, and there’s also the five Disney+ shows that will be counted as part of this Phase. WandaVision is especially noteworthy because the events of that show will directly tie into the Doctor Strange sequel, which includes Elizabeth Olsen reprising Scarlet Witch.
The film side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will pick back up with the release of Black Widow on May 1, 2020, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for continuing coverage. You can learn more about the MCU’s Phase 4 slate and beyond in our comprehensive guide.
Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.
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