It’s simply been a phenomenal year of film – and the Box Office receipts haven’t been too bad either.
2018 ended as the biggest year in Box Office history, both in the U.S. ($11.9bn) and worldwide ($41.7bn). The States in particular seriously impressed, jumping up by half a billion dollars from 2016’s previous record, helped in large part by Disney’s 26% stronghold on the domestic market.
However, this isn’t a Disney love-in. Instead, we marvel at the best of the best, the worst of the worst, and the weird and wonderful occurrences that ultimately decided a profit or loss on a studio’s balance sheet in the last 12 months.
You see, for every ‘Infinity War’, there’s been a ‘Nutcracker and the Four Realms’. For every ‘Rampage’, there’s been a ‘Skyscraper’ to knock The Rock back down a peg. 2018 has seen some stories, and we’re here to celebrate them.
Click the tabs below to reveal our winners!
‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ (Worldwide Total: $743.7m and counting – Budget: $52m).
‘Incredibles 2’ ($1.24bn – $200m).
‘Infinity War’ ($2.05bn – $300m).
‘Crazy Rich Asians’ ($238m – $30m).
‘A Quiet Place’ ($340.7m – $17m).
Winner: ‘Black Panther’ (Domestic Total: $700.1m – Worldwide Total: $1.35bn – Budget: $200m).
We start with the big one, and there was only ever one winner.
It’s difficult to truly articulate just how massive ‘Black Panther’ became. In the first four days of its U.S. release alone, Ryan Coogler’s effort earned more than the entirety of ‘Doctor Strange’s $232.6m – a film ‘Black Panther’ was merely expected to emulate. It not only finished as the third biggest ever film in U.S. history, (behind ‘Avatar’ and ‘The Force Awakens’ and ahead of ‘Infinity War’) and the 9th biggest film of all time globally, but’s also yet another reason why diversity in film shouldn’t be viewed as a passing fad, but as a cinematic necessity.
‘Robin Hood’ (Worldwide total: $73.5m and counting – Budget: $100m).
‘Happytime Murders’ ($27.5m – $40m).
‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ ($392.9m – $300m).
‘Welcome to Marwen’ ($11.2m and counting – $39m+).
‘A Wrinkle in Time’ ($132.7m – $100m)
Winner: ‘Mortal Engines’ ($69.3m and counting – $100m-$150m).
Produced by ‘Lord of the Rings’ helmer Peter Jackson and based off the first in a series of YA dystopian novels (when will they learn?), ‘Mortal Engines’ is to go down as one of the biggest flops in cinematic history, with the potential to lose $150m+. Perhaps it was the forgettable promo, suffocated release date, or dying genre (maybe even all three) that stopped ‘Mortal Engines’ from ever really getting going; the film opened to just $7.6m from a $150m budget. After all’s said and done, even ‘Solo’ can sleep a little easier after this one.
‘Book Club‘ (Worldwide total: $89.7m – Budget: $10m).
‘A Quiet Place‘ ($340.7m – $17m).
‘I Can Only Imagine‘ ($83.5m – $7m).
‘Venom‘ ($855.5m – $100m).
‘BlacKkKlansman‘ ($88.9m – $15m).
Winner: ‘Crazy Rich Asians‘ ($238m – $30m).
Hands up, who knew this would end up as the 6th biggest romantic comedy in U.S. history? Especially after opening to just $26.5m?
Clearly the producers over at Warner Bros did, after winning an apparently ‘heated‘ bidding war with Netflix for the script. What resulted was ‘Crazy Rich Asians‘, the first major Hollywood film since 1993s ‘Joy Luck Club‘ to have an all-Asian cast, becoming the biggest comedy of 2018, as well as shining another light on Hollywood’s racial blindspot in casting. I’m not saying it’s a trend, but…
‘Widows’ (Worldwide total: $74.2m – Budget: $42m)
‘American Animals’ ($3.9m – $3m)
‘Overlord’ ($41.2m – $38m)
‘Bad Times at the El Royale’ ($31.6m – $32m
‘First Reformed’ ($3.8m – $3.5m)
Winner: ‘First Man’ ($100.4m – $59m)
A JUMPCUT favourite, and a critical darling, Damien Chazelle’s ‘First Man’ couldn’t convert its strong reception into a high cinemagoer turnout, leaving the first large Box Office stain on the director’s impressive Hollywood career.
After successes with ‘La La Land’ and ‘Whiplash’, Chazelle was destined for success with ‘First Man’. However, it couldn’t pull a ‘Gravity’ (i.e. earn $723m) and resigned lead Ryan Gosling to yet another flop in his growing list of Box Office disappointments. Studios may now be seriously considering whether or not the actor, whose biggest opening remains as ‘Blade Runner 2049’s $32.8m, is a reliable lead for the bigger-budget releases.
Chris Pratt (‘Infinity War’, ‘Jurassic World 2’)
Angela Bassett (‘Black Panther’, ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’, ‘Bumblebee’)
Chadwick Boseman (‘Infinity War’, ‘Black Panther’)
Emily Blunt (‘A Quiet Place’, ‘Mary Poppins Returns’)
Awkwafina (‘Ocean’s 8’, ‘Crazy Rich Asians’)
Winner: Josh Brolin (‘Infinity War’, ‘Deadpool 2’, ‘Sicario: Day of the Soldado’)
While Boseman and Pratt may feel a little peeved at not getting the award, it’s difficult to look past the man who played the main villain in two of the biggest superhero franchises currently out there. ‘Infinity War’ gave cinemagoers a cliffhanger to rival the most famous in history, and it also gave the Box Office the 4th biggest film ever (both domestically and worldwide). Meanwhile ‘Deadpool 2’ became the 2nd biggest R-rated film of all time globally with $742.7m (edging ‘The Matrix Reloaded’ by just $600k), making Brolin a well-deserved winner of the prize.
Taron Egerton (‘Billionaire Boy’s Club’, ‘Robin Hood’)
Melissa McCarthy (‘Life of the Party’, ‘The Happytime Murders’, ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’)
Helen Mirren (‘Winchester’, ‘The Nutcracker and the Four Realms’)
Gerard Butler (‘Den of Thieves’, ‘Hunter Killer’)
Charlize Theron (‘Tully’, ‘Gringo’)
Winner: Steve Carrell (‘Beautiful Boy’, ‘Welcome to Marwen’, ‘Vice’)
Never in his illustrious career has Steve Carell had a Box Office year as bad as this one. Currently, his three films of 2018 haven’t even hit the $50m global mark (let alone domestically) when totalled, which beggars belief when taking into account the awards aspirations they hold (or in ‘Marwen’s case, briefly held).
While ‘Marwen’ and ‘Beautiful Boy’ are disappointments in their own right, the biggest annoyance will be in the form of 6-time Golden Globe nominee ‘Vice’, whose inevitable Box Office loss will mainly stem from an over-inflated $60m production cost, and not necessarily its theatrical performance. A year to forget then, for the actor who just a year prior starred in the $1bn-earner ‘Despicable Me 3’.
Winner: Warner Bros
While nobody could beat Disney’s record-breaking year, no other studio could quite outdo them on the magnitude of constant flops either, with ‘A Wrinkle in Time’, ‘Solo’, and ‘The Nutcracker’ all losing big in the Box Office.
It’s Warner Bros then, the second-biggest studio of the year, who clinch the award, as the Burbank studio truly stepped it up a gear in 2018. Their diverse palette of films included the successful tackling of big-budget adaptations (‘The Meg’, ‘Ready Player One’), the continuation of fruitful franchises (‘The Nun’, ‘Aquaman’, ‘Ocean’s 8’), as well exceeding expectations with critically-acclaimed hits such as ‘A Star is Born’ and ‘Crazy Rich Asians’.
WB even found time to breath new life into the comedy genre with two original films. Both ‘Game Night’ and ‘Tag’ earned a combined $196m worldwide, including a collective domestic total far north of $100m, to top off a brilliant year.
Gone are the days where Lionsgate released ‘The Hunger Games’ franchise, the $3bn money-making machine that made stars out of Jennifer Lawrence and co. Now, the struggling studio have had to make do with ‘A Simple Favor’s $53.5m topping their domestic chart for 2018. Flops such as ‘Winchester’, ‘Early Man’, ‘Kin’ and of course, the ill-fated, $100m-budgeted ‘Robin Hood’, have left the studio in desperate need of a new franchise to reboot their dreams of keeping a place amongst Hollywood’s biggest distributors.