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Superhero films win 2018 box office; Disney set for a strong 2019

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Disney produced four of the nine superhero films that hit theaters this year, hauling in more than $2.2 billion in domestic ticket sales, according to Comscore data.

Continued interest from audiences bodes well for Disney, which is slated to release two more Marvel films in 2019.

“Captain Marvel” arrives in March, nearly a year after the cliffhanger ending to “Avengers: Infinity War” teased that she was the most powerful superhero and the only one who could take on villain Thanos. The film will take place in the ’90s and tell the origin story of Carol Danvers, who becomes Captain Marvel.

Two months later, Disney will release “Avengers: Endgame” finally giving some resolution to the events of “Infinity War” and could serve as the last film for several of the actors who donned the mask, cape or shield of Marvel’s most iconic characters.

“Avengers: Infinity War” brought in $678 million domestically and $1.37 billion from international markets, which means these sequels could have a solid fan base to draw from.

Other comic book-inspired films coming to the big screen in 2019 include DC’s “Shazam” and “Joker” as well as Sony’s “Spider-Man: Far from Home,” a project that fits into Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe.

In all, the House of Mouse had another stellar year at the box office, raking in nearly $3 billion in the U.S. alone. Disney accounted for 26.3 percent of all U.S. ticket sales in 2018.

Disney “could be looking at beating [its] own record next year,” Dergarabedian said, referencing its slate of films, which includes another “Star Wars” film, two animated features and three live-action classics.

For comparison, Universal Studios represented 14.9 percent of total U.S. ticket sales, while Warner Bros. accounted for 12 percent and Sony only 7 percent.

Source: Comscore

Disney hasn’t always been a powerhouse at the box office, however. While the company has held a significant portion of the market share over the last few decades, it was only in the last five years that Disney has captured such a high percentage of sales.

In 2008, Disney accounted for only 10.5 percent of the U.S. box office. However, its 2009 acquisition of Marvel Studios and subsequent release of “Iron Man 2” in 2010, which garnered $312 million domestically, helped boost Disney’s market share.

The production company got another lift in 2015, with the release of its first Star Wars film, “The Force Awakens.”

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