Ranking 2018’s big box office winners

Cairns on Cinema

John Cairns

Welcome to our annual review of the box office winners of the past year.

The good news is that unlike previous years when we had to wait for more numbers to come in, we have a good idea right now of which movies are the big winners for domestic and international releases at the box office in 2018.

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Before we run down the overall numbers, I want to say a few words about the Christmas season release Aquaman. Some of you may have heard about how well it is doing. Indeed, it made $189.4 million domestic over its first 10 days, winning two weekends in a row at the domestic box office.

But it was raking in the worldwide dough even before it opened in North America. Its overall haul stood at $751.8 million as 2018 came to an end, and the expectation is it will make it to approximately $900 million worldwide. That would put it in fifth place in the overall worldwide box office.

Now we take a look at the overall numbers for 2018. As many people have mentioned, the studios had a massive year with an overall domestic box office of $11.9 billion, its biggest year ever. Reports were that the worldwide total was $41 billion, including $8.9 billion in China.

As for the year in review, here is the top 10 box office in the North American domestic market (United States, Puerto Rico, Guam and Canada, this means you):

1 Black Panther (Disney) $700,059,566, released Feb. 16.

2 Avengers: Infinity War (Disney) $678,815,482, released April 27.

3 Incredibles 2 (Disney) $608,581,744, released June 15.

4 Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Universal) $416,769,345.

5 Deadpool 2 (Fox) $318,491,426.

6 Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch (2018) (Universal) $265,499,485.

7 Mission: Impossible - Fallout (Paramount) $220,159,104.

8 Ant-Man and the Wasp (Disney) $216,648,740.

9 Solo: A Star Wars Story (Disney) $213,767,512.

10 Venom (2018) (Sony) $213,205,181.

So, congratulations to Black Panther, a surprise winner for 2018 but it really did come out of the gate very strongly in February and racked up an insurmountable box office in North America.

I should point out that these are the totals as they stand as 2018 moves into 2019, and so the box office numbers are not yet final for some releases still in theatres. Look for Aquaman to move into the top 10 for 2018 domestic releases in the coming weeks as it continues to capitalize on the post-holiday box office. It should finish no worse than seventh on this list by the time its run is complete.

That is where the domestic box office stood in 2018. Add in the rest of the worlds numbers and a different winner emerges:

1 Avengers: Infinity War (Disney) $2,048.7 mil.

2 Black Panther (Disney) $1,346.9 mil.

3 Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Universal) $1,304.9 mil.

4 Incredibles 2 (Disney) $1,242.6 million.

5. Aquaman (Warner Bros.), expected to hit $900 million.

So indeed, we have two big winners in 2018. Congratulations to Avengers: Infinity War for becoming this year’s box office World Champions, which has to be a first for an April release.

It was such a good year for Hollywood that a lot of notable movies that did fairly well at the box office didn’t make the Top 10 in the end. Movies like A Star is Born, Bohemian Rhapsody, A Quiet Place, Ralph Breaks the Internet, Crazy Rich Asians and a host of others did very good business and created a lot of buzz. But it really was the type of year when the hits outnumbered not only the flops, but the other hits, too.

As for this year’s flops, it is clear now that the gigantic flop of the year award goes to Welcome to Marwen, a drama directed by Robert Zemeckis starring Steve Carell.

According to Box Office Mojo, it opened recently to a miserable $2.3 million weekend haul and its overall haul so far is $7,782,090.

This sounds like a lot of money until you realize the production cost was $39 million. And that doesn’t even include the marketing and other costs. According to Variety, Welcome to Marwen is estimated to lose between $45-$50 million for its studio Universal.

Ouch! Well, you can’t win them all.

There is a lot to look forward to in 2019. Scheduled releases include Avengers: Endgame, The Lion King, Star Wars Episode IX, and the one I am personally excited about – Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Indeed, it should be another great year at the movies and at the box office.

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