After a downcast 2017, with a dismal summer frame, this year in theaters held promise for studios. Then it exceeded expectations. There was success to be had in nearly every segment of the calendar, from February, through Spring, and a flush summer blockbuster season. The August-September lull had some strength, and Halloween delivered bank on the way to a very lucrative holiday season.
If anyone wonders why Hollywood regurgitates so much content this list will be a testament as to why. At least 15 titles count as sequels or reboots, with a handful of others part of an extended existing universe. When only 20% of the top films are original ideas you can see why Hollywood is risk-averse.
All told 3 films this year landed in the top-10 grossing films all time, with many records felled in the process. A sign of how good the year was: Disney had a number of expensive misfires — “A Wrinkle In Time” was a loser even after $100 million, “The Nutcracker And The Four Realms” was a costly holiday failure, and “Solo: A Star Wars Story” made this list but will likely lose hundreds of millions — and yet the studio had so many successes it may not even feel it. Those top three titles, and five of the top-10, were all Disney properties
So with a vibrant run in theaters here are the top-25 money earning films of 2018.
25. MAMA MIA: HERE WE GO AGAIN – $120,634,935
Though falling short of the original there was enough interest in Abba for this second run, apparently.
24. SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE – $124,906,346
Still in theaters this was a raved-about retelling many have called the best Spider-Man title.
23. MARY POPPINS RETURNS – $128,027,305
A sign of how strong the Christmas season has been there was room for this reboot to make the chart.
22. READY PLAYER ONE – $137,690,172
A bit of a disappointing return in the States, but it made more than three times more than this overseas.
21. OCEAN’S EIGHT – $140,218,711
Though technically this all-female entry in the franchise is second highest grosser, when adjusted for inflation it comes in as the bottom.
20. THE MEG – $145,443,742
This goofily fun monster shark film managed to grab over $500 million globally.
19. FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD – $157,618,573
The second Hogwarts prequel it was also a bit of a letdown in North America, but it tripled this total in foreign markets.
18. HALLOWEEN – $159,342,015
A re-approach to the series brought Jamie Lee Curtis back, and this was the second best title in the entire series of films.
17. HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: SUMMER VACATION – $167,510,016
This third entry in the franchise moved to a summer release window and became the second-highest earner.
16. CRAZY RICH ASIANS – $175,044,548
Entered in the soft post-summer calendar this one became a surprise hit that lingered for weeks.
15. RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET – $187,164,171
Disney has made Thanksgiving its traditional property, and this sequel drew the second-highest opening for that holiday weekend.
14. A QUIET PLACE – $188,024,361
John Krasinski (Jim from “The Office”) wrote, directed, and starred in an original horror tale that had many raving about it for months.
13. BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY – $193,673,825
The Freddie Mercury bio-pic has earned audiences and nominations, and it is still going as of now.
12. $ A STAR IS BORN – $202,110,867
Another star vehicle as Bradley Cooper co-wrote, directed, starred, and even sang in this retelling of the classic movie fable.
11. VENOM – $213,371,003
A deeply ridiculous adaptation that still became a hit. Despite the eye-rolling script in total it drew over $850 million worldwide.
10. SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY – $213,767,512
Even with this lofty placement this becomes Disney’s first true failure in the Star Wars realm. It grossed under $400 million globally, and needed almost double that figure for profitability.
9. ANT MAN AND THE WASP – $216,648,740
Paul Rudd’s breezy miniscule hero coasted off of “Avengers” love and managed to best the original film this summer.
8. MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT – $220,159,104
There is still life in this lengthy franchise, and Tom Cruise managed to add another $570 million overseas with the latest.
7. AQUAMAN – $259,720,880
The Christmas release is still the #1 film as of now and is likely to climb higher. A rare success for Warners with their DC franchise.
6. DR. SEUSS’ THE GRINCH – $269,62,735
The animated retelling of the famous tale was more than a hit for Sony. It was a steady presence in the top-5 and while released in early November it did not disappear until after Christmas.
5. DEADPOOL 2 – $318,491,426
The anticipated sequel had a brilliant marketing campaign, and this helped it achieve wild success while going head-to-head with “Avengers”, and then the release of “Solo”, which it bested by $100 million.
4. JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM – $416,769,345
While falling well short of the last entry this title was a monster in foreign markets, making $1.3 billion in total.
3. INCREDIBLES 2 – $608,581,744
It lived up to its title. This now stands as the most successful animated film of all time, and is the ninth highest gross ever.
2. AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR – $678,815,482
A little surprise here that it missed the top spot, as it was the most anticipated film of the year, but no one is crying. The movie is the fourth-highest grossing ever and drew in a staggering $2 billion world wide.
BLACK PANTHER – $700,056,566
While the success of this one was assured few in any predicted this kind of performance. The third highest box office on record and $1.3 billion globally is an amazing achievement.