Disney dominates Singapore box office

The top-grossing movies last year were superhero flicks, sequels and live-action remakes of animated classics

(From left) Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and Avengers: Endgame actors Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo and Jeremy Renner at Hollywood’s TCL Chinese Theatre in this photo taken on April 23 last year. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

The local box office was dominated by Disney releases last year, with the final movie in the decade-long saga of a superhero team, Avengers: Endgame, coming up tops with $19.56 million.

It is Singapore's highest-grossing movie of all time.

No surprises there, as the movie - which earned close to US$2.8 billion (S$3.8 billion) globally - has beaten James Cameron's science-fiction drama Avatar (2009) to become the world's biggest movie of all time.

Two more Disney Marvel movies, the Brie Larson-led Captain Marvel and Tom Holland's second solo film as Peter Parker - joint Sony-Marvel effort Spider-Man: Far From Home - took the second and third spots.

Apart from superheroes, familiarity also bred success for Disney's other titles.

It occupied the fourth, eighth and 10th positions with animated Frozen 2, live-action Aladdin and photorealistic The Lion King respectively.

However, the critically acclaimed and much-loved Toy Story 4 failed to make the top 10.

Instead, the list was rounded out by fantasy Jumanji: The Next Level and action flick Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw.

The Oscar-nominated Joker was the only NC16 release on the list.

Notably, the only Asian movie to make the overall top 10 list was Ip Man 4: The Finale, Hong Kong action star Donnie Yen's final gongfu film.

Titles in the Ip Man series have consistently performed well at the box office in Asia.

With a $6.24 million showing at local cinemas, the film - which opened on Dec 20 and is still in theatres - massively outperformed the next highest-grossing Asian movie in just two weeks.

Animated film Weathering With You, which earned $1.23 million and is the biggest anime film of all time in Singapore, came in at No. 2.

The romantic fantasy is Japanese animator Makoto Shinkai's first feature film following his 2016 smash hit Your Name.

Big-name Chinese stars also proved to be a draw.

The other Asian titles which broke the $1 million mark are historical fantasy The Knight Of Shadows: Between Yin And Yang, starring Jackie Chan; action movie The White Storm 2: Drug Lords, starring Andy Lau; romantic comedy Fall In Love At First Kiss; and Stephen Chow's The New King Of Comedy.

The only local film that cracked the list of top-grossing Asian movies was director Jack Neo's action comedy Killer Not Stupid, which took in $822,000.

Despite much critical acclaim, smaller-budget Singaporean arthouse films did not score big at the box office.

Acclaimed Singaporean film-maker Anthony Chen's Wet Season and Yeo Siew Hua's A Land Imagined, which both won Golden Horse Awards, did not make the list.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 16, 2020, with the headline Disney dominates Singapore box office. Subscribe