With Star Wars: The Force Awakens finally hitting theaters, the record for the biggest global box office debut was broken for a second time in 2015. The worldwide opening of the latest installment in the iconic franchise grossed $529 million, topping Jurassic World‘s $524.9 million, according to Box Office Mojo data.
The fact that the two films each managed to break such a massive record is very telling of the year at the box office overall. Films that performed well performed really well, leading to numerous records being shadowed by individual projects and studios alike. As Deadline recently pointed out, four films released in 2015 have claimed spots on the list of the top 10 highest-grossing films worldwide so far.
With its banner year, Universal earned spots with Jurassic World, Furious 7, and Minions, while Disney’s Avengers: Age of Ultron also made it into the top 10. The Force Awakens is nowhere close to being on the list yet, but its record opening makes it seem inevitable that it will ultimately unseat one (if not all) of the others.
Of the six non-2015 films on the list, none is newer than 2013, making it all the more impressive that 2015 produced four films that could do what no single 2014 movie could. And 2013 was the only other year that was able to nab more than one spot on the list, with Frozen and Iron Man 3. That 2015 has been a standout year is also evident from the fact that two of its films earned more than $1 billion overseas (Furious 7 and Jurassic World), with 1997’s Titanic and 2009’s Avatar the only others to have ever accomplished that feat.
The success of 2015 can also be seen in Deadline‘s prediction that the domestic box office will reach $11 billion this year for the first time ever. This is particularly impressive considering that there were declines in the North American market between 2013 and 2014, as reported by Forbes. Overseas growth had a strong impact on 2015, with the global film market continuing to expand, led by China, which jumped by 34 percent.
As massive as 2015 has been, though, not every studio has had a year like Disney’s or Universal’s. The two giants rode the success of several notable films, and each topped $5 billion for the first time, reports Deadline. It’s clear that these outcomes weren’t the norm, though, given that the two studios accounted for seven of the top 10 films at the domestic box office so far this year.