Domestic Movie Theatrical Market Summary 1995 to 2015

Welcome to our reference library analyzing trends in the domestic movie industry since . In this area of the site, you'll find over 2,000 pages of information detailing the changes that have shaped the industry.

Our market analysis is built on The Numbers' unique categorization system, which uses six different criteria to identify a movie. Every movie released since 1995 is categorized according to the following attributes: Creative Type (factual, contemporary fiction, fantasy etc.), Source (book, play, original screenplay...), Genre (drama, horror, documentary etc.), MPAA Rating, Production Method (live action, digital animation etc.) and Distributor. Our market charts provide year-by-year analysis across these categories, allowing analysis of market trends. See, for example, how horror movie revenues have varied, the emergence of digital animation and live action/CGI animated movies, and the decline (and possible rebound) of R-rated movies. To explore, click on an individual year, distributor, genre, creative type, production method or MPAA rating to see annual trends in a particular category.

Note: in order to provide a fair comparison between movies released in different years, all rankings are based on ticket sales, which are calculated using average ticket prices announced by the MPAA in their annual state of the industry report.

Annual Ticket Sales

  1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Tickets (billion) 1.22 1.27 1.42 1.45 1.44 1.39 1.44 1.58 1.55 1.47 1.39 1.41 1.40 1.39 1.42 1.33 1.28 1.39 1.34 1.27 1.14
Revenue ($bn) 5.29 5.59 6.51 6.78 7.30 7.48 8.13 9.19 9.35 9.11 8.93 9.25 9.63 9.95 10.65 10.48 10.14 11.07 10.90 10.37 9.31

Note: Figures for 2015 are at an annualized rate.

Top Movie of Each Year

This table lists the top-grossing movie for each year, based on tickets sold for each movie during the course of the year. Click on the year to see a detailed breakdown for the market as a whole in that year.

YearMovie
Categorization

Creative Type
Production Method
Source
Genre
MPAA
Rating
DistributorTotal for YearTotal in 2012 dollarsTickets Sold
1995 Batman Forever Super Hero
Live Action
Original Screenplay
Action
PG-13 Warner Bros. $183,997,904 $336,695,017 42,298,369
1996 Independence Day Science Fiction
Live Action
Original Screenplay
Adventure
PG-13 20th Century Fox $306,124,059 $551,300,343 69,258,837
1997 Men in Black Science Fiction
Live Action
Based on Comic/Graphic Novel
Adventure
PG-13 Sony Pictures $250,107,128 $433,736,977 54,489,570
1998 Titanic Historical Fiction
Live Action
Original Screenplay
Thriller/Suspense
PG-13 Paramount Pictures $443,319,081 $752,413,619 94,524,324
1999 Star Wars Ep. I: The Phantom Menace Science Fiction
Animation/Live Action
Original Screenplay
Adventure
PG 20th Century Fox $430,443,350 $674,474,226 84,732,943
2000 How the Grinch Stole Christmas Kids Fiction
Live Action
Based on Fiction Book/Short Story
Comedy
PG Universal $253,367,455 $374,175,314 47,006,949
2001 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Fantasy
Animation/Live Action
Based on Fiction Book/Short Story
Adventure
PG Warner Bros. $291,594,218 $410,086,567 51,518,413
2002 Spider-Man Super Hero
Live Action
Based on Comic/Graphic Novel
Adventure
PG-13 Sony Pictures $403,706,375 $553,098,578 69,484,746
2003 Finding Nemo Kids Fiction
Digital Animation
Original Screenplay
Adventure
G Walt Disney $339,714,367 $448,445,497 56,337,374
2004 Shrek 2 Kids Fiction
Digital Animation
Based on Fiction Book/Short Story
Adventure
PG Dreamworks SKG $436,471,036 $559,470,120 70,285,191
2005 Star Wars Ep. III: Revenge of the Sith Science Fiction
Animation/Live Action
Original Screenplay
Adventure
PG-13 20th Century Fox $380,262,555 $472,213,723 59,323,332
2006 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest Fantasy
Live Action
Based on Theme Park Ride
Adventure
PG-13 Walt Disney $423,315,812 $514,441,809 64,628,368
2007 Spider-Man 3 Super Hero
Live Action
Based on Comic/Graphic Novel
Adventure
PG-13 Sony Pictures $336,530,303 $389,357,732 48,914,288
2008 The Dark Knight Super Hero
Live Action
Based on Comic/Graphic Novel
Action
PG-13 Warner Bros. $531,001,578 $588,686,990 73,955,652
2009 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Science Fiction
Animation/Live Action
Based on TV
Action
PG-13 Paramount Pictures $402,111,870 $426,774,731 53,614,916
2010 Toy Story 3 Kids Fiction
Digital Animation
Original Screenplay
Adventure
G Walt Disney $415,004,880 $418,686,798 52,598,844
2011 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II Fantasy
Animation/Live Action
Based on Fiction Book/Short Story
Adventure
PG-13 Warner Bros. $381,011,219 $382,452,616 48,046,811
2012 The Avengers Super Hero
Animation/Live Action
Based on Comic/Graphic Novel
Adventure
PG-13 Walt Disney $623,279,547 $623,279,542 78,301,450
2013 Iron Man 3 Super Hero
Animation/Live Action
Based on Comic/Graphic Novel
Action
PG-13 Walt Disney $408,992,272 $400,440,154 50,306,552
2014 Guardians of the Galaxy Super Hero
Live Action
Based on Comic/Graphic Novel
Adventure
PG-13 Walt Disney $333,055,258 $324,494,471 40,765,637
2015 American Sniper Dramatization
Live Action
Based on Real Life Events
Drama
R $321,179,160 $321,179,160 39,312,014

Top-Grossing Distributors 1995 to 2015

  MoviesTotal GrossAverage GrossMarket Share
1 Warner Bros. 604 $26,815,949,336 $44,397,267 15.10%
2 Walt Disney 504 $25,040,256,929 $49,683,049 14.10%
3 Sony Pictures 596 $23,102,018,235 $38,761,776 13.01%
4 Paramount Pictures 405 $20,888,199,589 $51,575,801 11.76%
5 20th Century Fox 428 $20,347,688,097 $47,541,327 11.46%
6 Universal 391 $18,883,649,274 $48,295,778 10.63%
7 New Line 206 $6,187,505,981 $30,036,437 3.48%
8 Lionsgate 290 $6,116,150,470 $21,090,174 3.44%
9 Dreamworks SKG 75 $4,083,551,613 $54,447,355 2.30%
10 Miramax 376 $3,829,456,960 $10,184,726 2.16%
See complete chart

Top-Grossing Genres 1995 to 2015

  MoviesTotal GrossAverage GrossMarket Share
1 Comedy 2,079 $39,329,293,207 $18,917,409 22.15%
2 Adventure 628 $38,953,266,162 $62,027,494 21.94%
3 Action 699 $30,481,405,544 $43,607,161 17.17%
4 Drama 3,834 $30,049,667,514 $7,837,681 16.92%
5 Thriller/Suspense 748 $15,283,901,050 $20,433,023 8.61%
6 Romantic Comedy 483 $9,167,672,391 $18,980,688 5.16%
7 Horror 419 $7,989,748,400 $19,068,612 4.50%
8 Musical 128 $1,899,294,957 $14,838,242 1.07%
9 Documentary 1,521 $1,876,808,249 $1,233,930 1.06%
10 Black Comedy 129 $1,149,851,128 $8,913,575 0.65%
See complete chart

Top-Grossing MPAA Ratings 1995 to 2015

  MoviesTotal GrossAverage GrossMarket Share
1 PG-13 2,460 $83,372,034,994 $33,891,071 46.95%
2 R 4,238 $48,917,136,738 $11,542,505 27.55%
3 PG 1,160 $34,938,629,939 $30,119,509 19.68%
4 G 310 $8,786,723,455 $28,344,269 4.95%
5 Not Rated 3,255 $1,384,841,596 $425,451 0.78%
6 NC-17 22 $44,535,037 $2,024,320 0.03%
7 Open 5 $5,447,424 $1,089,485 0.00%
See complete chart

Top-Grossing Sources 1995 to 2015

  MoviesTotal GrossAverage GrossMarket Share
1 Original Screenplay 5,495 $81,712,360,135 $14,870,311 46.02%
2 Based on Fiction Book/Short Story 1,572 $38,982,312,126 $24,797,908 21.95%
3 Based on Comic/Graphic Novel 148 $12,432,337,742 $84,002,282 7.00%
4 Remake 274 $10,201,345,122 $37,231,187 5.75%
5 Based on TV 193 $9,632,245,035 $49,908,005 5.42%
6 Based on Real Life Events 2,038 $8,825,160,984 $4,330,305 4.97%
7 Based on Factual Book/Article 114 $4,133,124,837 $36,255,481 2.33%
8 Based on Folk Tale/Legend/Fairytale 52 $2,211,766,773 $42,533,976 1.25%
9 Based on Play 211 $1,892,251,323 $8,968,016 1.07%
10 Spin-Off 25 $1,611,359,106 $64,454,364 0.91%
See complete chart

Top-Grossing Production Methods 1995 to 2015

  MoviesTotal GrossAverage GrossMarket Share
1 Live Action 10,087 $142,811,986,476 $14,158,024 80.43%
2 Animation/Live Action 133 $15,886,662,450 $119,448,590 8.95%
3 Digital Animation 198 $15,125,350,158 $76,390,657 8.52%
4 Hand Animation 127 $2,895,775,517 $22,801,382 1.63%
5 Stop-Motion Animation 28 $545,361,550 $19,477,198 0.31%
6 Multiple Production Methods 17 $21,486,035 $1,263,884 0.01%
7 Rotoscoping 3 $8,393,627 $2,797,876 0.00%
See complete chart

Top-Grossing Creative Types 1995 to 2015

  MoviesTotal GrossAverage GrossMarket Share
1 Contemporary Fiction 5,032 $77,253,874,340 $15,352,519 43.51%
2 Fantasy 651 $21,641,070,381 $33,242,812 12.19%
3 Kids Fiction 396 $21,470,267,466 $54,217,847 12.09%
4 Science Fiction 462 $20,305,284,522 $43,950,832 11.44%
5 Historical Fiction 991 $14,147,298,878 $14,275,781 7.97%
6 Dramatization 676 $10,205,151,255 $15,096,378 5.75%
7 Super Hero 71 $9,534,676,263 $134,291,215 5.37%
8 Factual 1,573 $2,538,968,962 $1,614,093 1.43%
9 Multiple Creative Types 24 $113,307,946 $4,721,164 0.06%
See complete chart