December 13, 2018
2018 Box Office on Track to Set New Record
Despite the persistent fear that streaming will kill off movie theaters, the 2018 box office is on track to break records, domestically. The domestic box office revenue for the year just hit $11 billion, and will only continue to increase in the remaining days of 2018. This puts 2018 on the path to obliterate the previous record-holding year of 2016, where the annual box office topped-out at $11.4 billion. In short, it was a very good year for the movies. But some films weren’t so lucky…
Domestic Box Office
THR is reporting that 2018’s box office is running 10% ahead of 2017 – which closed out at $11.1 billion. Per THR, “Domestic revenue hit the $11 billion mark at a record pace this year. It took until Dec. 26 in 2016, Dec. 29 in 2015 and Dec. 30 last year.” While Star Wars films have usually been the hot ticket for the holidays for the last few years, this December is Star Wars-free. But there are still plenty of big movies remaining: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse swings into theaters this week, while Mary Poppins Returns, Aquaman and Bumblebee all arrive next week.
As you might expect, Disney had the best year – because they own everything. Black Panther was the top domestic earner in 2018, grossing $700 million. Avengers: Infinity War ($678.8 million) and Incredibles 2 ($608.6 million) sit at number 2 and 3. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom roars in at number 4 with $416.8 million, and Deadpool 2 sits at $318.5 million.
Other Box Office Hits
In addition to the films mentioned above, other big hits for 2018 include (via Variety):
- John Krasinski’s thriller A Quiet Place, which took in $340 million globally on a $17 million budget.
- Halloween, the sequel/reboot to the horror franchise, earning $252 million globally on a $10 million budget.
- The comedy Crazy Rich Asians, hauling in a global total $236 million on a $30 million budget.
- Conjuring Universe entry The Nun, which scared up $365 million globally, and only cost $22 million to make.
Box Office Flops
And then we have the disappointments. The films that couldn’t break-even, and possibly should have never been greenlit in the first place. The Robin Hood reboot cost $100 million to make, but could only rob $65 million from audiences globally. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms earned $138 million globally on a $100 million budget. The YA adaptation A Wrinkle In Time raked in $132 million globally, but also cost $100 million. Dirty puppet movie The Happytime Murders and Dragon Tattoo sequel/reboot The Girl In the Spider’s Web – two movies I bet you forgot even came out this year – also flopped. Happytime ended up with $27 million on a $40 million budget, and Spider’s Web caught $31 million while costing $43 million to make.
The most disappointing entry, though, is The Sisters Brothers. This strange, anti-Western was one of my favorite films of the year – a melancholy fable featuring John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal and Riz Ahmed. Despite that impressive cast, no one bothered to see the flick – it took in a depressing global total of $9 million on a $38 million budget. Part of the blame lies in marketing – the film was too weird to sell.