A glut of superheroes, a Star Wars prequel and a musical sleeper hit have helped catapult U.S. box office takings beyond $6 billion inside the first half of the year for the first time. In what has already proven a stellar year for blockbuster fare, record-breaking releases like Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War have sent national aggregate records tumbling.
However, it's worth noting that, while certain studios like Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros. Pictures, and Universal Pictures are experiencing record-high revenue from their movies - each studio crossed $5 billion at the worldwide box office last year - the number of ticket sales in the United States has dropped significantly. In fact, 2017 was one of the worst years for movie ticket sales in decades. And it looks like the disparity is continuing to grow as 2018 has already broken a box office record of its own.
The Wrap reports the 2018 domestic box office has crossed $6 billion in just six months, which beats the previous best six-month total of $5.64 billion, which was set in 2017. And although a slower second half to the year is predicted, the 12-month total appears well on track to beat 2016's record of $11.3 billion. Right now, Black Panther is leading the way with almost $700 million from the U.S. alone - a remarkable showing which has made the February release the highest-grossing superhero movie of all time. It may struggle to hold onto its record-breaking status, however, as Avengers: Infinity War has already raked in $669 million domestically and continues to close the gap.
But the superhero spell over the movie-going public extends beyond these two. Less than a month after the latest Avengers installment hit cinemas, Deadpool 2 arrived - and it has gone on to top $300 million, putting it among a select group of R-rated movies to reach that benchmark. A rather more family-friendly brand of heroism is racing up the 2018 chart too. Pixar's The Incredibles 2 was not released until midway through June, but has already raked in an incredible $360 million - including an opening weekend haul of $182 million which made it the most successful animated movie opening of all time.
But while these caped and costumed crime-fighters are responsible for the lion's share of the 2018 receipts, they are certainly not alone in performing well, and their supporting cast transcends a wide variety of genres. Dwayne Johnson's body-swap adventure caper Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Hugh Jackman's P.T. Barnum-inspired musical The Greatest Showman grossed $360 million in January, despite lukewarm openings at the tail end of 2017. Two of cinema's favorite franchises returned this year too, and while each series has arguably seen better days - commercially and critically - Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom ($181 million) and Solo: A Star Wars Story ($203 million) have each contributed significant sums to the 2018 total.
Perhaps the most surprising film on the list of this year's high-performers though is A Quiet Place. John Krasinski's inventive, near-silent horror enjoyed a modest opening in April, but has since gone on to earn $187 million, fuelled by positive reviews and strong word of mouth. In the battle of the studios, Disney is the clear winner in the year-to-date figures. Disney's ownership of Marvel, Star Wars, and Pixar gives it four of the year's top five 2018 films so far, and an overwhelming market share of 36.4 percent, relegating 20th Century Fox's 12.8 percent to a distant second place.
Source: The Wrap