North American movie box office sets record US$11.4bil in 2016


A general view at the premiere of "Finding Dory" at El Capitan theatre in Hollywood, California U.S., June 8, 2016. - Reuters

NEW YORK: The North American movie box office raked in US$11.4 billion in 2016, making it the highest-earning year in history, according to box office tracker comScore.

Last year's total eclipsed the previous record of $11.14 billion in 2015.

The crop of blockbuster movies in 2016 was topped by "Finding Dory," which tallied $486.3 million in sales in the United States and Canada, comScore said.

The latest Star Wars movie, "Rogue One," finished the year in second place, but it was only released on Dec. 16 in the United States and continues to enjoy strong sales.

Disney had six of North America's top 10 grossing movies in 2016 and all of the top three, including "Captain America: Civil War," which took in $408 million, according to comScore.

"Forgetful fish, super-heroes, household pets and space travelers led the charge in a year that was marked by an incredibly diverse selection of films from every genre and of every size and scope from all the studios," comScore's senior media analyst, Paul Dergarabedian, said in a news release on Sunday.

Mewhile Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" and "Sing" loomed large at the multiplexes over the New Year's holiday, racking up the biggest grosses and ringing out 2016 on a high note.

The Star Wars spinoff topped the box office for the third consecutive weekend, earning just under $50 million for the three-day period and a projected $64 million for the four-day holiday. The movie business is tacking Monday on to New Year's weekend, because many companies and schools are observing it as a national holiday. The weekend gross pushes the space opera over the $400 million mark domestically. It currently ranks as the year's second highest-grossing domestic release, with $425 million, behind only "Finding Dory."

"Rogue One" concludes a record-annihilating year for Disney. The studio became the first to top $7 billion in a single year, has fielded four of the five top grossing domestic releases, and should see four of its movies top $1 billion at the global box office. - Reuters

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