It’s already been a massive year for Hollywood movies, with several astounding record-breakers at the 2018 box office. But which films reign supreme? And which have sneakily made bank? Here are the biggest movies of the year.
2018 got off to a great start via the mega success of Marvel Studios’ Black Panther, which has earned over $1.3 billion worldwide. Black Panther is now the highest-grossing MCU film to date domestically, and the third-highest worldwide, behind only the first two Avengers films. Will further blockbusters like Avengers: Infinity War, Deadpool 2, Solo: A Star Wars Story, and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom reach that same level of audience love? One thing’s for certain: there’s a lot of competition to hurdle first.
Before the list proper, an important note. The following list of films and their box office totals are current as of the original posting of this piece. As further 2018 films climb the box office rankings, the list will be updated with new numbers and rankings accordingly. Check back regularly to see where things currently stand.
Related: The Biggest Box Office Hits of 2017
15. The Monkey King 3 ($115.1 Million)
While Hollywood often seems like – and in many ways is – the center of the movie universe, not all big money makers hail from the U.S. A case in point is The Monkey King 3, a Chinese-made fantasy sequel that received a tiny theatrical release stateside – earning a mere $187,000 – but picked up over $114 million in its native country. The Monkey King 3 holds a paltry 33% score on Rotten Tomatoes, but to be fair, that’s only based on 6 reviews.
14. A Wrinkle in Time ($116.8 Million)
Squeaking onto the list is Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time, which despite its placement here, has to be considered a box office bomb. Sporting a production budget of $110 million, director Ava DuVernay’s adaptation of the classic 1962 novel earned only $90.4 million domestically, along with an additional $26.4 million internationally. Despite an all-star cast including Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, and Chris Pine, the film holds a mere 40% RT score.
Read More: A Wrinkle In Time: The Most Brutal Reviews
13. Red Sparrow ($137.9 Million)
Director Francis Lawrence’s poorly reviewed (47% score on RT) Russian spy thriller starring Jennifer Lawrence infiltrates the list with a decent but not great haul, relative to its $69 million budget. Red Sparrow earned $46.3 million domestically, along with $91.6 million internationally, still likely coming up short of recouping both its production and marketing costs.
12. Insidious: The Last Key ($166.5 Million)
Blumhouse’s latest entry into its long-running Insidious horror franchise continued the company’s knack for big returns on small budgets. Made for only $10 million, Insidious: The Last Key, earned $67.3 million domestically, and about another $99 million from international markets. The franchise has now hauled in nearly $540 million worldwide. The Last Key also continued the franchise’s tendency for poor reviews, earning a 32% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Read More: Insidious: The Last Key’s Ending Explained
11. Paddington 2 ($237 Million)
Like its predecessor, Paddington 2 has earned rave reviews (100% on RT) from critics, but not performed that impressively in the U.S. market. Thankfully, high international grosses are once again making up for that. Paddington 2 has earned $40.4 million domestic, and $196.6 million internationally, coming in about $30 million shy of the first film.
10. Tomb Raider ($263.3 Million)
Warner Bros.’ new adaptation of the adventure video game series starring Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft has performed quite respectably. Made on a budget of $94 million, Tomb Raider picked up $55.2 million domestically and a whopping $208.1 million internationally. It hasn’t quite topped Angelina Jolie’s first outing, but it’s close. Reviews weren’t kind though, topping out at 49% on RT.
9. Pacific Rim Uprising ($267.3 Million)
Like the first Pacific Rim, this sequel battle between Jaegers and Kaiju came up short of expectations in the U.S., but made up for that by doing well elsewhere. Pacific Rim Uprising brought in only $55.2 million domestically, but earned another $212.1 million internationally. On the other hand, that’s coming up far short of the original’s $411 million worldwide. Director Stephen S. DeKnight’s follow-up did much worse critically too, earning a 44% score on Rotten Tomatoes.
8. Peter Rabbit ($274.6 Million)
While hardly the most high-profile release of 2018 so far, Sony’s Peter Rabbit has become a bit of a sleeper hit. The partially-animated feature earned $113.3 million domestically, along with another $161.3 million from other markets. Not a bad haul at all for a film with a $50 million budget, and reviews were decent too, with a 62% on RT.
7. Maze Runner: The Death Cure ($284.5 Million)
The third entry in FOX’s Maze Runner movie franchise, The Death Cure received mostly negative reviews (42% on RT, lower than both its predecessors), but that didn’t stop fans from turning out to the theater. The Death Cure earned $58 million domestically, but added to that an impressive $226.5 million internationally. The franchise has now earned over $900 million worldwide.
6. Monster Hunt 2 ($357.6 Million)
Another Chinese-made sequel to earn a ton of money with little help from U.S. audiences is Monster Hunt 2. The film picked up a mere $706,000 stateside, but grossed nearly $357 million elsewhere, most of that in its home country alone. The first film performed similarly, bringing in $385.2 million total. With 6 reviews counted, Monster Hunt 2 sports a 67% score on RT.
5. Fifty Shades Freed ($368.3 Million)
The third installment in the critically loathed (13% on RT) but audience-loved franchise of Fifty Shades book adaptations seduced $100.4 million out of U.S. moviegoers, along with $267.9 million from international fans. The series as a whole has now earned $1.3 billion worldwide, much to the consternation of its detractors.
Read More: Fifty Shades Freed: The Most Brutal Reviews
4. Ready Player One ($395.2 Million)
Despite lots of hand-wringing over its nostalgia-focused marketing strategy, Steven Spielberg’s latest blockbuster adaptation of a novel ended up debuting to mostly positive reviews from both critics (74% on RT) and fans. Ready Player One has racked up $98.1 million domestically so far, along with a whopping $297.1 million internationally.
3. Detective Chinatown 2 ($531.9 Million)
Those who thought they wouldn’t see any Chinese-made films up this high on the list were mistaken, as Detective Chinatown 2 is another sequel to earn massive bank in its homeland. About $2 million of its worldwide total was also provided by U.S. moviegoers. With 12 reviews counted, Detective Chinatown 2’s RT score is 50%.
2. Operation Red Sea ($568 Million)
Another massive hit from China, Operation Red Sea counts $1.5 million of its nearly $570 million haul as coming from stateside audiences. As China’s film market only continues to grow, look for more and more of their homegrown releases to take high spots on lists such as this. With 6 reviews counted, Operation Red Sea boasts an impressive 83% score on RT.
1. Black Panther ($1.3 Billion)
At this point, industry prognosticators have learned not to bet against the success of an MCU film. Everyone knew Black Panther would be a seismic hit, but even so, few initially predicted just how insanely successful the Wakanda-set superhero adventure would become. Black Panther is now the highest-grossing comic book film of all-time in the U.S., and is gaining on that title worldwide. Critics also fell in love with T’Challa’s solo debut, affording it a lofty 97% score on Rotten Tomatoes. When the inevitable sequel finally arrives, look for similar results.
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