2019 has just gotten started, and it's already looking like it could very well bring a box office as big as 2018. That's thanks in large part to Disney, which is sporting six -- yes, SIX -- films that could make a bid to earn over $1 billion worldwide this year. That's why the company dominates our predictions for the top 10 highest global grossing films of 2019, including the top five slots.
10.) "Spider-Man: Far From Home" (July 5) -- Sony will get in on the Marvel Studios money train with this sequel to "Spider-Man: Homecoming," which made $880 million worldwide in 2017. With "The Lion King" hitting theaters two weeks after this film, it's possible that "Far From Home" could see a smaller total figure due to the competition. What could counter that is if "Avengers: Endgame" leaves an intriguing narrative thread for the (currently dead) Peter Parker to pick up, creating more interest among fans to see the first post-Thanos chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
9.) "Captain Marvel" (March 8) -- Again, the connection to "Avengers" will play a factor here. Of the potential billion-dollar Disney releases, "Captain Marvel" seems the least likely simply because recent MCU films that introduce new heroes like "Doctor Strange" don't perform as well as the "Captain Americas" and "Avengers" of the franchise. "Black Panther" was the exception, but "Captain Marvel" isn't showing signs of the same cultural momentum. On the other hand, Carol Danvers is supposed to play a major role in "Endgame," so that might make this essential viewing for even casual MCU fans.
8.) "Jumanji 3" (December 13) -- "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" ended with the titular magical game being destroyed. But then the film made $962 million, so get ready for a plot loophole and a third jungle adventure. There's little reason to doubt that "Jumanji 3" will perform well again against "Star Wars." The question is whether the incredible chemistry between Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart and Jack Black will be enough to push this threequel even further and give Sony its second billion-dollar hit in the studio's history.
7.) "The Secret Life of Pets 2" (June 7) -- Illumination may not yet have Pixar's pedigree, but it is now a box office force beyond just the Minions. The first "Secret Life" was one of the top 10 films of 2016 with $875 million, and even though "Toy Story 4" comes out two weeks later, this sequel should have strong enough name recognition to have a solid hold with family audiences in June.
6.) "Hobbs & Shaw" (August 2) -- The full name of this film is "Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw," and it's probably going to be essential for Universal to put this spinoff's connection to its car franchise right in the title. The last "F&F" film, "The Fate of the Furious," made $1 billion in overseas grosses alone, and Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham have become as strong a draw as Vin Diesel and the franchise's original cast. Now it's time to see if Dominic Toretto and the Family can be removed from the equation without a drop in the numbers.
5.) "Star Wars: Episode IX" (December 20) -- This will be the most scrutinized release of the year. After "Solo" became one of the biggest disappointments of 2018, there will be many eyes on the final chapter of the Rey/Finn "Star Wars" trilogy and how it performs compared to the polarizing "Last Jedi." The popularity of both the old and new characters should push "Episode IX" back to $1 billion. But films like "Jumanji 3" show other studios aren't afraid of "Star Wars" anymore, and the standard of success for the godfather of movie franchises is higher than any other.
4.) "Toy Story 4" (June 21) -- Can you believe it's been nine years since "Toy Story 3" grossed $1 billion and earned a Best Picture nomination? Much like "Incredibles 2" last year, Buzz and Woody's fourth adventure should score a huge opening weekend. But word-of-mouth will determine how the film performs going into a July with "Far From Home" and "Lion King."
3.) "Frozen 2" (November 22) -- Six years after its release, "Frozen" has become the Disney classic for Gen Z in much the same way the Disney Renaissance and Pixar formed the childhood memories of countless Gen Xers and Millennials. Released ahead of Thanksgiving weekend, the sequel should hit theaters with overwhelming hype and a chance to pass the original's $1.27 billion global total.
2.) "The Lion King" (July 19) -- Nostalgia for "Beauty and the Beast" pushed its 2017 remake to $1.26 billion worldwide. "The Lion King" arguably has an even bigger nostalgia factor...and this remake has Beyonce and Childish Gambino in it. With no major family-film competition from mid-July through the end of the summer, this film is going to make incredible amounts of money.
1.) "Avengers: Endgame" (April 26) -- Is there any real doubt? Marvel has left its fans babbling about the "snap" since "Infinity War" came out last April, and every single one of them will be back in theaters to see how Captain Marvel and the remaining Avengers warp time and space to undo Thanos' genocide. The question isn't whether "Endgame" will be the top box office hit of 2019, but whether it will beat the $2.04 billion global total made by "Infinity War" or its record $257.4 domestic opening.