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Disney Is The Box Office Champion Of 2017

It's been a banner year for the House of Mouse. 

With hits from Marvel Studios, Pixar, and Lucasfilm under its belt, not to mention a Pac-Man style devouring of 21st Century Fox currently in progress, 2017 has been a time of triumph for the studio Walt Disney built. 

For the second year in a row, the studio is going out on top of the domestic box office, having brought in a gross amount of $2.27 billion at the time of this writing, according to a report by Variety. Also for the second year in a row, Warner Bros. took second place, coming in behind Disney with $2.02 billion. 

Most of the heavy lifting for the studio was done by Star Wars: The Last Jedi and the live-action Beauty and the Beast, with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Thor: Ragnarok, Coco, Cars 3, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales filling out the roster with massive returns of their own. The studio is also in the middle of a late-game rally, going out of the year on top with The Last Jedi set to dominate the box office through December's end and beyond.

The end-of-year tally continues a disturbing trend in the business in which most of the incoming wealth is due to a small handful of blockbusters, with Disney's 12 releases this year trouncing the lineup of 31 movies from Warner Bros. It's a 1% vs. the 99% scenario, with a smaller number of movies being responsible for bringing an increasing proportion of all the money. 

More and more often, movies need to make it to the zeitgeist or bust—a worrying prospect for more modestly-budgeted films and the people who make them. 

While movie fans around the world were excited for the Fantastic Four to return to the control of Marvel Studios, Disney's growing dominance has some negative implications for the film industry as a whole, with the studio's rising clout allowing it to make more restrictive demands on movie theaters and push out competition with greater ease than ever. Many in the industry also decried Disney's acquisition of 21st Century Fox, saying that the massive merger concentrates too much power in the hands of too few people.

Overall, the North American box office will come in as being down 2.5% from last year, which brought in a record-setting $11.38 billion for the studios collectively. As far as genres go, the big winners of the year were comic book movies and horror films, with one of the more under-performing genres being R-rated comedies. 

So what can audiences expect from 2018? According to these trends, you'll be seeing more superhero action, more fear, and in all likelihood, more dominance from Disney, as the studio has already lined up its long-awaited Avengers: Infinity War and Solo: A Star Wars Story for release in the first half of the year. As 2017 comes to a close, the writing on the wall is pretty clear—if you're in the industry, it's a good time to be a Disney executive, and a fairly scary time to be just about anyone else.