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.
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Before the list proper, an important note. The following list of films and their box office totals are current as of the date listed above. 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.
Last updated: August 28, 2018
15. FIFTY SHADES FREED ($371.1 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 $270.7 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
14. SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY ($392.6 MILLION)
While it’s managed to smuggle its way onto this list, when all is said and done, Solo: A Star Wars Story will likely end up way below where anyone expected when it comes to 2018’s top earners. Despite positive reviews (71% on RT), Solo has come up short of box office expectations at every turn, opening lower than expected and then dropping further than expected for weekend two. Considering the prequel’s massive budget – mostly thanks to the decision to have replacement director Ron Howard reshoot most of the movie – Solo has to be considered a financial failure.
13. THE MEG ($411.6 MILLION)
Directed by Jon Turtletaub (National Treasure franchise), no one really expected The Megto live up to Steven Spielberg’s monster shark classic Jaws. With action star Jason Statham onboard, most just wanted a fun bit of popcorn fun, mixed with the occasional bit of horror at the hands of the titular prehistoric predator. Audiences seem to have mostly gotten what they hoped for out of The Meg, as the film has now grossed over $400 million worldwide, despite not-so-great reviews (46% on Rotten Tomatoes). At this point, a sequel would not at all be surprising.
READ MORE: HOW THE MEG COMPARES TO THE REAL MEGALODON
12. RAMPAGE ($426.2 MILLION)
Despite not-so-good reviews – 50% on RT – Rampage proved that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson truly has the star power to successfully open just about any film. Made for $120 million, Rampage has smashed its way to over $400 million worldwide. While it might not be considered a truly massive hit, it should turn a tidy profit for studio Warner Bros., and continue to shore up Johnson’s status as an A-list superstar.
11. HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: SUMMER VACATION ($461.9 MILLION)
While the Hotel Transylvania series will never be an awards contender, each entry so far has succeeded majorly at the box office, with the series as a whole earning over $1 billion worldwide. Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation even managed to improve the franchise’s critical fortunes a bit, earning a 61% rating on RT. An all-star voice cast brings the film to life, including Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, and Keegan-Michael Key.
10. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT ($538.8 MILLION)
Hollywood A-lister Tom Cruise may not be quite as young as he once was, but that doesn’t mean he’s showing any signs of slowing down, especially when it comes to the insane stunts he performs for each entry in the Mission: Impossible franchise. His efforts aren’t going unrewarded by moviegoers, which have propelled director Christopher McQuarrie’s latest sequel Mission: Impossible – Fallout to box office heights faster than those achieved by Ethan Hunt’s prior adventures. Critics loved the film too, awarding it a 97% positive score on Rotten Tomatoes.
READ MORE: WHAT COULD MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 7 BE ABOUT?
9. DETECTIVE CHINATOWN 2 ($544.1 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%.
8. ANT-MAN & THE WASP ($544.5 MILLION)
Coming as it does after the colossal success of Avengers: Infinity War, it’s easy to point to Ant-Man & The Wasp as a financial letdown. After all, its $75.8 million domestic opening stands as one of the lowest in MCU history. However, as with most Marvel Studios movies, the reviews for Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly’s joint superhero adventure were kind, and the film has managed to more than triple its reported $162 million production budget worldwide. Helping the sequel’s path to profitability is a huge $68 million opening in China, the country’s fourth-highest MCU debut of all time.
7. OPERATION RED SEA ($579.2 MILLION)
Another massive hit from China, Operation Red Sea counts $1.5 million of its nearly $580 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.
6. READY PLAYER ONE ($582 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 $137 million domestically, along with a huge $445 million internationally.
5. DEADPOOL 2 ($734 MILLION)
Considering how just tremendously successful the original Deadpool film proved to be in 2016, it was never really in doubt that FOX’s sequel Deadpool 2 would do well at the box office. While Deadpool 2 didn’t quite succeed in breaking its predecessor’s record for highest R-rated domestic opening weekend, the gore and profanity filled romp did succeed in outpacing the first movie worldwide, opening to over $300 million. While Wade Wilson is unlikely to make it any higher on this particular list, the Merc with a Mouth has absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.
4. INCREDIBLES 2 ($1.14 BILLION)
After a nearly 15-year wait, Pixar’s beloved superhero comedy The Incredibles has received a sequel. A hit with critics (94% on RT), Incredibles 2 is wasting no time climbing this list, as if it were leaping a tall building in a single bound. The Brad Bird-directed film has earned over $1 billion at the box office, easily outperforming many people’s expectations. Incredibles 2 quickly vaulted past the first movie, both domestically and worldwide, vastly outdoing its predecessor’s total gross of $633 million.
READ MORE: INCREDIBLES 2: 11 EASTER EGGS YOU MISSED
3. JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM ($1.30 BILLION)
2015’s original Jurassic World film has become a bit of an odd case, drawing decent critical acclaim and making ridiculous amounts of cash at the box office, but being bashed nearly any time it’s discussed online today. While sequel Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom came up far short of fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with a 51% score, its financial prospects look almost as good as its predecessor’s. With a $150 million domestic opening weekend in the books, Fallen Kingdom has banked a massive $1 billion-plus worldwide.
2. BLACK PANTHER ($1.35 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.
READ MORE: EVERY RECORD BLACK PANTHER HAS BROKEN
1. AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR ($2.05 BILLION)
As the beginning of the culmination of 10 years of MCU storylines, it was never in doubt that Joe and Anthony Russo’s mega blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War was going to make serious cash. Yet, the critically acclaimed (84% on RT) film actually managed to outperform most expectations, setting new all-time records for both best domestic and worldwide opening weekends. Infinity War knocked off The Force Awakens domestically with a massive $257.7 million haul, and has so far earned a Hulk-sized $2 billion worldwide. Avengers smash!