This has been a record-breaking year at the box office, with eight of the top 10 movies on the international charts surpassing the $1 billion mark, and one movie actually claiming the title of highest-grossing film of all time (sorry, AVATAR). There was a steady mix of sequels, superhero films, and one original film from a pioneering filmmaker who is proving to be a voice to which the industry must listen.
The best news? Most of the top earners from 2019 already are available to buy or rent through AMC Theatres On Demand. Use this list of 2019’s box office champions (from highest to lowest) to help you catch up on some of the best movies from the year that’s about to end. How many have you already seen?
The MCU assembles to stop Thanos.
It took 23 movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the full squad to finally come together and topple the Mad Titan, Thanos (Josh Brolin). It was a fitting send-off for some major characters, a thrilling showcase for Marvel’s stable of heroes, and is now the highest-grossing movie of all time.
The Lion King
The King holds court once again.
Disney is on a tear lately, reinventing some of their animated classics in "live-action" format. After test driving cutting-edge tech on movies like THE JUNGLE BOOK, Jon Favreau tackled the legendary THE LION KING, casting Donald Glover, Beyoncé, Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner in seminal roles. And do you know what? Audiences devoured it.
Toy Story 4
We’ll always have a friend in them.
Few Pixar fans probably thought we needed another TOY STORY movie after the emotional gut punch that was TOY STORY 3. And yet, the moment traditional characters Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz (Tim Allen) met newcomer Forky (Tony Hale), it was the birth of a beautiful new friendship. Bringing Bo Peep (Annie Potts) back into the fold really helped as well.
Higher. Farther. Faster.
After the success of the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY and THOR franchises, Marvel fans have been waiting for more cosmic adventures in the MCU. And Brie Larson delivered that in spades, dropping Carol Danvers into a full-blown war between alien races the Kree and the Skrulls. We also learned what a Flerken is. Bonus!
Spider-Man: Far From Home
The web-slinger goes international.
Tom Holland is cementing his status as everyone’s favorite Spider-Man. By returning from his dusting in AVENGERS: ENDGAME, Peter Parker earned a European vacation. But trouble followed him, as Spidey ended up needing to stop Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) from taking over cliffhangers.
A whole new live-action world.
There was no way possible that Will Smith would compete with Robin Williams’ performance as the genie in the bottle from Disney’s classic animated ALADDIN. So, he didn’t try. Smith made Genie his own character, and in the process, helped make a classic ALADDIN for a new generation. Casting Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott certainly helped.
Who needs Batman, anyway?
Heroes get origin stories all the time. Why not villains? Todd Phillips tells the story of the birth of the Joker (Joaquin Phoenix), and ends up exploring how society and culture can rear its ugly head and compromise a damaged individual. Phoenix is brilliant as Arthur, the man who’ll become Joker, and the movie lives up to his potential.
It Chapter Two
The clown comes back for a rematch.
Stephen King’s massive "It" was broken in half by director Andy Muschietti, so round two of Pennywise versus the Losers' Club was saved for 2019. And audiences flocked to theatres to see how the kids — now adults in the form of James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain and Bill Hader — would triumph over evil. Or ultimately fail. This is a King adaptation, after all. Scary stuff.
When the enemy… is us.
Following up GET OUT had to be a challenge. But Jordan Peele rose to the occasion and totally surpassed his Oscar®-winning thriller with a horror tale about mirror-image versions of ourselves that carry an unimaginary threat. Peele specializes in "The Twilight Zone" level twists, and US proved that we’ll be first in line for any movie he brings to theatres from here on out.
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw
A spinoff with plenty of muscle.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Jason Statham were significant additions to the FAST & FURIOUS franchise over the years, but would their chemistry be enough to power its own adventure? The answer, according to moviegoers, was a resounding "Yes!" By teaming Hobbs (Johnson) up with Shaw (Statham) against a bionically charged Idris Elba, Hollywood launched yet another blockbuster centered around cars, stunts and gravity-defying set pieces.