The 2019 U.S. box office is headed toward the second-best annual haul in cinematic history.
As of Sunday, the movies released this year garnered $11.26 billion domestically. Current estimates have the year's final tally as high as $11.4 billion, but likely to fall between $11.36 billion and $11.39 billion, according to data from Comscore.
In 2018, the U.S. box office brought in nearly $11.9 billion.
The current second-highest box office haul occurred in 2016 when ticket sales rose to $11.38 billion. If ticket sales are weak in the next few days, 2019 could end up as the third-biggest year.
Notably, 2018's tally was buoyed by titles released in late 2017, which played through January and February and accounted for $958.1 million of 2018's total ticket sales, according to data from Comscore.
For comparison, 2019 only garnered $671.6 million from titles that were released in 2018 but sold into the next year.
2020 could have a similarly strong start to 2018. Films like "Frozen II," "Jumanji: The Next Level," "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker," alongside upcoming titles like "Little Women" and "Spies in Disguise," are expected to give 2020 a solid kick-off.
"Launching 2020 with strong box office momentum the like we didn't see in 2019 and that's great for theaters," Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore. "Momentum is everything and we have that going into 2020."
Next year will also have a number of big box office releases including, "Birds of Prey," "Wonder Woman 1984," "Mulan," "No Time to Die," "Black Widow," "Fast and Furious 9," two Pixar films, "Ghostbusters: Afterlife," "Jungle Cruise" and "The Eternals," among others.
If those films are well-received by audiences, 2020 could have a chance of catching 2018′s $11.88 billion ticket sales record.