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« Review: Ben is Back | Main | Podcast: Critics Awards, Capernaum, Vox Lux »
Tuesday
Dec112018

2018 Review: Top Ten Hits in Nine Categories!

Soon we'll start daily 'year in review' parties, but here's an early one...

It's time for a special box office report AND the kick off to our year in review party. Yes, yes, everyone knows that Disney/Marvel owned the domestic and international box office with Black Panther and Infinity War, respectively. Yet there is far more to the story of ticket sales than just one studio and superhero films in general.

It's much more interesting to break it down into types of films and see which films most interested the ticket-buying public. We'll have separate reports on foreign films and documentaries but for now nine other categories!

๐Ÿ”บ = means that the film is still in release so its place in these rankings is not yet settled. All figures are as of March 24th, 2018

TOP ORIGINALS
NOT PRE-EXISTING  / NOT (YET) A FRANCHISE

 

01 ๐Ÿ”บBohemian Rhapsody (Fox) $215.9 (Nov 2nd)
02 A Quiet Place  (Paramount) $188 (April 6th)
03 The Mule (Warner Bros) $103.8 (Dec 14th)...
04 I Can Only Imagine (Roadside Attractions) $83.4 (March 16th)
05 Night School (Universal) $77.1 (Sept 28th)
06 Game Night (Warner Bros) $69 (Feb 23rd)
07 Book Club (Paramount) $68.5 (May 18th)...
08 Skyscraper (Universal) $67.7 (July 13th)
09 Instant Family (Paramount) $67.3 (Nov 16th)
10 Blockers (Universal) $60.1 (April 6th)

Runner Up: Hereditary (A24), Tyler Perry's Acrimony (Lionsgate)... no other originals made $40 million plus

 

TOP ADAPTATIONS
(excluding comic books or the list would be all superheroes 
and remakes, too. Also excluding regular sequels which are only "adapted" insofar as awards season rules being 'based on characters originally created by'...)


01 Crazy Rich Asians (Warner Bros) $174.5 (Aug 15th) - novel
02 The Meg (Warner Bros) $143 (Aug 10th) - novel
03 Ready Player One Warner Bros $137 (March 29th) - novel
04 A Wrinkle in Time (Disney) $100.4 (March 9th)  - novel
05 Rampage (Warner Bros) $99.3 (April 13th) - video game
06 Smallfoot (Warner Bros) $82.2 (Sept 28th) - novel
07 A Simple Favor (Lionsgate) $53.5 (Sept 14th)  - novel
08 BlacKkKlansman (Focus) $48.2 (August 10th) - autobiography
09 Red Sparrow (Fox) $46.8 (March 2nd) - novel
10 12 Strong (Warner Bros) $45.5 (January 19th) - non-fiction book

Runners Up: First Man (Universal),  Widows (Fox),  Love Simon (Fox), The 15:17 to Paris (Warner Bros), Annihilation (Paramount), and Slender Man (Screen Gems)  ...no other adaptations earned over $30 million

 

NOT QUITE ORIGINALS
(BUT NOT QUITE SEQUELS OR REGULAR ADAPTATIONS)

REMAKES / INTENDED FRANCHISE LAUNCHES / SPIN-OFFS 

01 Black Panther (Disney / Marvel) $700 (Feb 16th) - spin-off / franchise launch
02  ๐Ÿ”บ Aquaman (Warner Bros) $334.7 (Dec ) spin-off / franchise launch
03 Dr Seuss' The Grinch (Universal) $270.6 (Nov 9th) - reworking 
04 ๐Ÿ”บA Star is Born (Warner Bros) $215.2 (October 5th) - remake
05 Venom (Sony) $213.4 (October 5th) - spin-off / franchise launch
06 ๐Ÿ”บ Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse $189.8 (Dec 14th) spin-off
07 Crazy Rich Asians (Warner Bros) $174 (Aug 15th) - franchise launch
08 Bumblee (Paramount) $127.1 (Dec 21st) -spin-off / franchise launch
09 The Nun (Warner Bros) $117.4 (Sept 7th) - spin-off
10 Peter Rabbit (Columbia) $115.2 (February 9th)  - reworking

Runners Up: RampageChristopher Robin, Tomb Raider The Nutcracker and the Four Realms... no other films in this category made over $50 million

 

TOP GROSSING FILMS WITH A FEMALE LEAD
(Excluding films where a male lead is just as prominent as his female co-star.
Sorry A Star is Born and A Quiet Place)

01 Crazy Rich Asians (Warner Bros) $174.5 (Aug 15th) starring Constance Wu
02 ๐Ÿ”บ Mary Poppins Returns (Disney) $171.8 (December 19th) starring Emily Blunt
03 Halloween (Universal) $159.1 (Oct 19th) starring Jamie Lee Curtis
04 Oceans 8 (Warner Bros) $139.3 (June 8th) starring Sandra Bullock & Cate Blanchett
05 Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (Universal) $120.6 (July 20th) starring Amanda Seyfried & Lily James
06 A Wrinkle in Time (Disney) $100 (March 9th) starring Storm Reid
07 Book Club (Paramount) $68.5 (May 18th) starring Jane Fonda & Diane Keaton
08 Tomb Raider (Warner Bros) $57.4 (March 16th) starring Alicia Vikander
09 The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (Disney) $54.7 starring MacKenzie Foy
10 A Simple Favor (Lionsgate) $53.5 (Sept 14th) starring Anna Kendrick & Blake Lively

Runners Up List: Melissa McCarthy in Life of the Party, Amy Schumer in I Feel Pretty, Jennifer Lawrence in Red Sparrow, Gabrielle Union in Breaking In, Toni Collette in Hereditary,  Taraji P Henson in Tyler Perry's Acrimony  and Viola Davis in Widows. No other films with a female lead earned more than $40 million.

 

TOP GROSSING FILMS DIRECTED BY A WOMAN
(Apologies if we missed someone! Note: We did not include documentaries in this list. We'll cover docs separately but the documentary business has long been more accepting of female filmmakers)


01 A Wrinkle in Time (Disney) $100 (March 9th) directed by Ava DuVernay
02 Blockers (Universal) $60.1 (April 6th) directed by Kay Cannon
03 I Feel Pretty (STX) $48.7 (April 20th) co-directed by Abby Kohn
04 The Spy Who Dumped Me (Lionsgate) $33.5 (August 3rd) directed by Susanna Fogel 
05 On the Basis of Sex (Focus Features) $24.6 (December 25th) directed by Mimi Leder
06 Mary Queen of Scots (Focus) $16.4 (December 7th) directed by Josie Rourke
07 The Darkest Minds (Fox) $12.6 (August 3rd) directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson 
08  Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Fox Searchlight) $8 (Oct 19th) directed by Marielle Heller
09 Leave No Trace (Bleecker Street) $6 (June 29th) directed by Debra Granik 
10 You Were Never Really Here (Amazon) $2.5 (April 6th) directed by Lynne Ramsay 

Runners Up: The Rider (Chloe Zhao), Destroyer (Karyn Kusama),  The Miseducation of Cameron Post (Desiree Akhavan), Let the Sunshine In (Claire Denis), The Party (Sally Potter), and Boundaries (Shana Feste) ... no other female helmed films crossed $500k+ at the box office though.

 

TOP GROSSING FILMS DIRECTED BY A PERSON OF COLOR
(apologies if we missed someone!)


01 Black Panther (Disney / Marvel) $700 (Feb 16th) directed by Ryan Coogler
02 ๐Ÿ”บ Aquaman (Warner Bros) $334.7 (Dec 21st) directed by James Wan
03 ๐Ÿ”บ Spider-Man Into the Spider-verse (Sony) $189.8 (Dec 14th) codirector Peter Ramsey
04 Crazy Rich Asians (Warner Bros) $174.5 (Aug 15th) directed by Jon Chu
05 Creed II (MGM) $114.6 (Nov 21st) directed by Steven Caple Jr
06 Equalizer 2 (Sony) $102 (July 20th) directed by Antoine Fuqua
07 A Wrinkle in Time (Disney) $100 (March 9th) directed by Ava DuVernay 
08 The First Purge (Gerard McMurray) $69 (July 4th) directed by Gerard McMurray
09 BlacKkKlansman (Focus Features) $48.6 (Aug 10th) directed by Spike Lee
10 Tyler Perry's Acrimony (Liongsate) $43.5 (March 30th) directed by Tyler Perry

Runners up: Uncle Drew (Charles Stone III), Widows (Steve McQueen), Alpha (Albert Hughes), Super Trooper 2 (Jay Chandrasekhar), Slender Man (Sylvain White), The Hate U Give (George Tillman Jr), and Searching (Aneesh Chaganty) the latter of which was hugely profitable given a budget of just $1 million!. No other films directed by a person of color racked up $25+ million.

 

TOP GROSSING FILMS DIRECTED BY AN OUT MEMBER OF THE LGBT COMMUNITY
(apologies if we missed someone!)

01 ๐Ÿ”บBohemian Rhapsody $215.9 (Nov 2nd) directed by Bryan Singer
02 ๐Ÿ”บMary Poppins Returns $171.8 (Dec 19th) directed by Rob Marshall
03 Love Simon (Fox) $40.8 (March 16th) directed by Greg Berlanti
04 Colette (Bleecker Street) $5.1 (Sept 21st) directed by Wash Westmoreland
05 Suspiria (Amazon) $2.4 (October 26th) directed by Luca Guadagnino
06 The Seagull (SPC) $1.2 (May 11th) directed by Michael Mayer 
07 Lean on Pete (A24) $1.1 (April 6th) directed by Andrew Haigh 
08 The Miseducation of Cameron Post (FilmRise) $904k (Aug 3rd) directed by Desiree Akhavan 
09 The Cakemaker (Strand) $871k (June 29th) directed by Ofir Raul Graizer
10 The Happy Prince (SPC) $464k (October 10th) directed by Rupert Everett

Runners Up: Under $200,000 but tiny theatrical runs for Double Lover (François Ozon),  How to Talk to Girls at Parties (John Cameron Mitchell) and The Misandrists (Bruce la Bruce). Those thirteen films are the only (narrative) films we know of directed by out members of the community but there could be more, especially in the arthouse market and in foreign language titles.

 

TOP TEN ANIMATED FILMS


01 Incredibles 2 (Disney / Pixar) $608.5 (June 15th)
02 Dr Seuss' The Grinch (Universal) $270.3 (Nov 9th)
03 ๐Ÿ”บ Ralph Breaks the Internet (Disney) $200.9 (Nov 21st)
04 ๐Ÿ”บSpider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Sony) $189.8 (Dec 14th)
05  Hotel Transylvania 3 (Sony) $167.5 (July 13th)
06 Smallfoot (Warner Bros) $82.4 (Sept 28th)
07 Sherlock Gnomes (Paramount) $43.2 (March 23rd)
08 Isle of Dogs (Fox Searchlight) $32 (March 23rd)
09 Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (Warner Bros) $29.5 (July 27th)
10 Early Man (Lionsgate) $8.2 (Feb 16th)

Runners Up: My Hero Academia: Two Heroes,  Sgt Stubby an American Hero and Mary and the Witches Flower ... nothing else cracked the million dollar mark.

 

TOP TEN BOX OFFICE HITS, PERIOD.


01 Black Panther (Disney / Marvel) $700 (Feb 16th)
02 Avengers: Infinity War (Disney / Marvel) $678.8 (April 27th)
03 Incredibles 2 (Disney / Pixar) $608.5 (June 15th)
04 Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Universal) $416.7 (June 22nd)
05 ๐Ÿ”บ Aquaman (Warner Bros) $334.7 (December 21st)
06 Deadpool 2 (Fox) $318.4 (May 18th)
07 Dr Seuss' The Grinch (Universal) $270.6 (November 9th)
08 Mission: Impossible - Fallout (Paramount) $220.1 (July 27th)
09 Ant-Man and the Wasp (Disney/Marvel) $216.6 (July 6th)
10 ๐Ÿ”บ Bohemian Rhapsody (Fox) $215.9 (November 2nd)

Runners Up: ๐Ÿ”บA Star is Born (Warner Bros), Solo: A Star Wars Story (Disney) Venom (Sony), Ralph Breaks the Internet (Disney), Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Sony),    A Quiet Place (Paramount),  Crazy Rich Asians (Warner Bros), Mary Poppins Returns (Disney), Hotel Transylvania 3 (Sony), Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald (Warner Bros) and Halloween (Universal). No other films made over $150+ million at the domestic box office 

 

WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF THESE LISTS?
CAUSE FOR HOPE / ALARM / OR OTHER? 

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Reader Comments (24)

I wish there were grosses reported for IDEAL HOME (directed by Andrew Fleming) and BITTER MELON (directed by H.P. Mendoza) as those would fall under the TOP GROSSING FILMS DIRECTED BY AN OUT MEMBER OF THE LGBT COMMUNITY runner-ups list. Such an interesting look at the box office this year through these categories!

December 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge P.

This is such an interesting group of lists! Thanks for compiling them. I was especially interested to read the list of LGBT directed films as there were a few folks on their I wasn't aware were members of that/our community. Good to know!

December 11, 2018 | Unregistered Commentersfenton24

I wouldn't have minded a Best Picture - Comedy nomination for Ocean's 8. Film Bitch FYC for Anne!

December 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterHayden

Finally a list that includes my two favorite films of the year - The Rider and Leave No Trace.

December 11, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterken s.

2018 has been so long, I look at some of these movie titles and think "wasn't that released in like 2015?"

December 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJames from Ames

I forgot how much money BOOK CLUB actually made. :)

December 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPatagonia

You forgot Creed 2 in films directed by a POC

December 11, 2018 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

I guess it is open for debate, but for me, A Quiet Place has a prominent male co-star. It should be excluded if A Star is Born is excluded.

December 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Oh

Quiet Place was such a good movie!

December 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJo

The POC director list is missing a lot. The Equalizer 2, Creed 2, and The First Purge should all be on there.

December 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMJS

MJS -- thanks. fixing.

December 11, 2018 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Thank God Black Panther was able to hold onto the lead all year.

That Book Club grossed more than Skyscraper is frankly amazing. I mean, both kind of suck, but let's hear for ladies of a certain age who are headlining mainstream movies!

A Quiet Place doesn't belong on the list of top-grossing films with a female lead (unless you meant female co-star, as Emily Blunt definitely is sharing the screen with her director/writer/producer/star husband). This and A Star Is Born are no different in that respect.

A Simple Favor was a book? ZOMG, must get on/read that!

December 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

Most of these lists make me ashamed to be an American film goer!!!

December 11, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterrdf

You state you'll consider foreign films and documentaries separately but you do mention several foreign language films on these lists. A number of women directors had huge hits with docs this year - Betsy West and Julie Cohen with RBG and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, who co-directed Free Solo. RBG feels like a very significant accomplishment, especially when you see the low totals on that list.

And I agree with Jeremy Oh and Mareko regarding A Quiet Place.

December 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Spider-Verse has a black director, Peter Ramsey, and will almost certainly upset the POC list.

Also the My Hero Academia movie should be at 10 on the Animated list with $5.7 million: https://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=myheroacademia.htm

December 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRubi

I have heard an addressed the concerns above. I did this because i find it so fascinating and much more fascinating than "here are the most popular superhero movies and animated films this year" which is what the regular box office lists are for.

Suzanne --i excluded docs for the specialty lists because it's just way too hard to track. It's difficult to get personal info on the directors (for example there's no way the LGBTQ list woudl be correct if i tried to include docs and it would probably take weeks and weeks of research), many of the films are co-directed, and even when they have a hit people don't view docs as director-based films the way they do narrative features (rightly or wrongly)

December 11, 2018 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

JLC all season snub is the true travesty. Regardless of opinion on the film, she soared.

December 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterClear eyes.

@Clear eyes, Jamie Lee Curtis surely will get her MTV Movie Award nomination. ;-) ๐Ÿฟ

December 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

Thanks for doing this! Love seeing the different lists!

Wouldn't Christopher Robin be at least in the Adaptation list or Not Quite Original?

December 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

Ryan T -- yes good point. with the multiple inputs here the lists are being perfected :)

December 11, 2018 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

One more suggestion: Tomb Raider is also a reworking.

December 11, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterkin

What color is Jon Chu? I would like his actual color as an answer, please.

December 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBD (the real one)

He used (a Chinese cover of) the song Yellow in the movie. Chinese people also call themselves Yellow-typed people in Chinese. I think Yellow is an acceptable answer to your question.

December 12, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterkin

BD -- were you just being sarcastic? Person of color is common accepted vernacular that lots of non-caucasian people now use regularly when describing themselves and when discussing racial identity and diversity issues. At least in the US. Maybe you're from Europe (where ppl have gotten confused about the American terms in the past and think we're saying something offensive)

December 12, 2018 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

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