By Saba Hamedy
Los Angeles Times
LOS ANGELES — Walt Disney Studios announced Thursday it has crossed the $1 billion mark at the domestic box office after 174 days, beating its previous record of 188 days in 2012.
This is the 10th consecutive year and the 19th year overall that the studio has surpassed the box office milestone.
“From reimagined classics to massive superhero adventures to original emotional stories, all of our brands have delivered top-notch storytelling this year,” Dave Hollis, Disney’s head of distribution, said in a statement. “We’re pleased that audiences across the country have embraced our films, and are seeing them the way they were meant to be seen, on the big screen.”
The news comes just a week after “Inside Out,” from Disney’s Pixar division, launched with a strong $90.4 million in the U.S. and Canada, the second-highest opening weekend in the animation studio’s history.
Disney also propelled past $1 billion with help from Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” which has made $450.2 million domestically to date, and “Cinderella,” which collected $199.8 million domestically.
Only “Tomorrowland,” which stars George Clooney, fell short of a robust opening over Memorial Day weekend. The film, which generated lukewarm reviews, has made $88 million domestically.
With six months to go in the year, Disney still has a slate of highly anticipated films on deck, including Marvel’s “Ant-Man,” which comes out in July, and “Star Wars Episode VII,” the first new “Star Wars” film in a decade, which is out in December.
The J.J. Abrams-directed “Star Wars” installment, which hits theaters Dec. 18, was ranked the most anticipated movie of 2015, according to a Fandango survey.
The studio is expected to set international records in the coming weeks.