For the first time in 17 years, no animated feature earned enough global box office dollars to rank among the top ten-grossing worldwide theatrical releases.
The year’s highest-grossing animated feature, DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon 2, is barely hanging onto the tenth spot amongst 2014 releases with $618.9 million, but will be bypassed later this week by The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (the lists are determined by the release date of a film, regardless of whether its run extends into the following calendar year). There is still a longshot possibility that Disney’s Big Hero 6 will enter the top ten, but it would require a phenomenal performance in its remaining territories, including China.
The lack of a top ten film for the animation industry is especially surprising considering the strong performance of animation in recent years. Last year, three of the top ten global grossers were animated, including the top film of the year Frozen. In each of the previous five years, at least two animated features have landed on the list, and in 2010, a remarkable five out of ten top-grossing films worldwide were animated.