2019 was another great year for cinema that included the decade long pay off of Avengers, the conclusion of the latest Star Wars trilogy, live-action re-incarnations of classics such as Alladin and The Lion King, and critically acclaimed movies such as Joker and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood hitting Australian screens. Which in turn has resulted in the third biggest year in Australian box office history making a total of $1,228,741,000.
Disney’s Avengers Endgame was the highest-grossing film of 2019 finishing third overall in Australian box office history and achieved an impressive number of records:
• Highest opening day in cinema industry history
• Highest ever individual Wednesday / Thursday / Friday / Saturday / Sunday gross in industry history
• Highest ever 5 day opening weekend (Weds-Sun) – beating Avengers: Infinity War
• Highest ever 4-day weekend (Thurs-Sun) – beating Star Wars: The Force Awakens
• Highest ever presale total
• Highest ever opening screen count
• Highest & second-highest single days of total business in industry history (Wednesday $11.46m & Thursday $11.26m)– beating Anzac Day 2018 $11.25m
Helping Avengers: Endgame into top spot was the number of screens showing the film on opening day. On Anzac Day last year, Disney opened Avengers: Infinity Wars on 871 screens, in 2019 Avengers Endgame opened on Anzac Day eve on 1,070 screens.
The second highest-grossing film of 2019, The Lion King was also the fifth highest-grossing movie of all time in Australia and had the fifth-biggest opening weekend of all time, and is the most successful Disney live-action remake to date in Australia.
Disney was involved in eight of the top ten films including their cooperation with Sony on Spider-Man: Far from Home, the two non-Disney films where both DC offshoots with the Roadshow distributed Joker and Warner Bros. Aquaman being the outliers.
Both, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Aquaman’s totals were diluted by the fact that a sizeable portion of their releases was outside 2019 with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’s 2019/2020 total sitting at $44.25m to date, and Aquaman’s 2018/2019 total sitting at $41.81m. Which would have made the films #3 and #4 respectively, while Frozen 2 is also still in theatres and would be #6 with $38.74m.
Toy Story 4, was able to see off Frozen 2 to be the highest-grossing animated film of the year with over $41m, although Frozen 2 could still overtake it in 2020.
Australian films took over $40m in 2019. The highest-grossing film, Ride Like a Girl, directed by Rachel Griffiths, has taken $11.7m to date.
The top ten films of 2019 accounted for $435.94m of the $1.22b total for the year.
1 Avengers: Endgame $84.16m
2 The Lion King $64.04m
3 Captain Marvel $41.62m
4 Toy Story 4 $41.62m
5 Joker $40.54m
6 Spider-Man: Far from Home $37.32m
7 Aladdin $35.26m
8 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker $34.01m ($44.25m 19/20)
9 Frozen 2 $32.56m ($38.74m 19/20)
10 Aquaman $24.77m ($41.81m 18/19)