Films released in 2018 have broken monumental box office records, made pop culture history, continued beloved franchises, and reinvented well-known classics. Superheroes, family-friendly adventures, decades-old sagas, beloved book adaptations, and reimagined reboots have all taken turns in the top seat at the box office, delighting audiences and critics alike.
Now that 2018 is winding down, Stacker reviewed the box office successes viewers have enjoyed thus far. To be considered the top box office earner, the film must have grossed the highest amount between Friday through Thursday of the week listed, as reported by The Numbers. The results are 12 months of impressive cinematic accomplishments and modern movie-telling achievements. There's still time to catch up before awards season.
Week's box office gross: $47,763,243
Total box office gross at the time: $256,135,909
Total theaters: 3,801
Dates: Jan. 5–11
The sequel to 1995's “Jumanji" spent two weeks in the #2 spot at the box office when it opened on Dec. 20, 2017 (after “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”). Once 2018 arrived, audiences flocked to see the action movie about four teenagers who stumble upon—and into—a jungle-inspired video game.
Week's box office gross: $40,809,239
Total box office gross at the time: $296,945,148
Total theaters: 3,849
Dates: Jan. 12–18
Reviews were generally favorable for “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle," with Bill Zwecker of the Chicago Sun-Times dubbing it, “one of the most fun movie-going experiences I've had [in 2017]." Audiences were enthusiastic too; the film earned two Kids' Choice Awards: Best Picture, and Favorite Movie Actor, for Dwayne “The Rock" Johnson. Johnson also won a Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Actor.
Week's box office gross: $24,712,055
Total box office gross at the time: $321,657,203
Total theaters: 3,704
Dates: Jan. 19–25
Lead actors Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart, and Jack Black were largely praised in their roles as video game avatars of teenage characters. Matt Zoller Seitz even wrote on RogerEbert.com that the cast seemed to take their roles “so seriously that the film surfs along on a wave of poker-faced earnestness, mixing moments of pathos in with its super-broad slapstick."
Week's box office gross: $29,560,199
Total box office gross at the time: $29,560,199
Total theaters: 3,787
Dates: Jan. 26–Feb. 1
Despite a strong opening weekend, the third and final installment of the “Maze Runner" series earned lackluster reviews. Matthew Lickona of the San Diego Reader called it, “...not great. But it's better than it has any right to be, given the genre's exhaustion." It's one of two teen dystopian adventure films to earn the top spot in 2018.
Week's box office gross: $14,189,119
Total box office gross at the time: $355,831,871
Total theaters: 3,352
Dates: Feb. 2–8
Returning for a final round as box office winner, the film's final week in the top spot earned less than 20% of its highest-grossing weekend (Dec. 22–25), when it brought in more than $55 million, yet still only made it to #2 at the box office. All together, with a box office total of more than $400 million, “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" was the fourth highest-earning film released in 2017.
Week's box office gross: $59,191,455
Total box office gross at the time: $59,191,455
Total theaters: 3,768
Dates: Feb. 9–15
The finale of the adults-only “Fifty Shades" trilogy was described by Variety as a “Swarovski-dipped series closer that takes no chances, and spares no luxury expense." All three installments in the series enjoyed a Valentine's weekend release date, though only two of the three (“Fifty Shades of Grey" along with “Fifty Shades Freed”) made it to the top spot in the box office.
Week's box office gross: $291,954,422
Total box office gross at the time: $291,954,422
Total theaters: 4,020
Dates: Feb. 16–22
“Black Panther," the second-highest grossing film of 2018, made history. The first weekend the film was released, it had the top February opening weekend in box office history, before becoming the ninth highest-grossing film of all time. The film stars Chadwick Boseman as an African prince who defends his country as superhero Black Panther.
Week's box office gross: $143,445,615
Total box office gross at the time: $435,400,037
Total theaters: 4,020
Dates: Feb. 23–March 1
“Black Panther" made headlines for its powerful superhero and strong supporting cast. Rolling Stone ran a story titled, “Black Superheroes Matter: Why a ‘Black Panther' Movie Is Revolutionary." Author Tre Johnson praised director Ryan Coogler for portraying a film hero who is “fully in control and completely occupying the center-stage spotlight" as “respectable, imaginative and powerful.”
Week's box office gross: $85,479,564
Total box office gross at the time: $520,879,601
Total theaters: 4,084
Dates: March 2–8
In addition to its box office success, “Black Panther" was also rated highly among critics. Its near-universal praise earned a MetaCritic score of 88 and “Must See" distinction, as well as a sky-high Rotten Tomatoes rating of 97%. Jamelle Bouie of Slate noted that the “best superhero films don't transcend the genre as much as they embrace it in all its respects," and commended, in particular, the film's “genuinely challenging themes.”
Week's box office gross: $57,496,927
Total box office gross at the time: $578,376,528
Total theaters: 3,942
Dates: March 9–15
This film's accolades aren't strictly related to its box office prowess. It's already won three Teen Choice awards, four MTV movie awards, two BET awards, and five Saturn awards. The cast and crew may want to clear some room on their shelves in preparation for Oscar season.
Week's box office gross: $35,881,708
Total box office gross at the time: $614,258,236
Total theaters: 3,834
Dates: March 16–22
After such groundbreaking success, enthusiastic “Black Panther" fans will be happy to know that a sequel is planned. Not much has been revealed about the project, but reports say Ryan Coogler is set to write and direct.
Week's box office gross: $36,465,820
Total box office gross at the time: $36,465,820
Total theaters: 3,708
Dates: March 23–29
A follow-up to 2013's “Pacific Rim," this sci-fi sequel didn't fare quite as strongly at the box office as its predecessor, which earned more than $400 million worldwide. The film stars John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, and Cailee Spaeny.
Week's box office gross: $59,914,250
Total box office gross at the time: $71,860,525
Total theaters: 4,234
Dates: March 30–April 5
Steven Spielberg's action-adventure sci-fi film is based on the 2011 best-selling novel of the same name. Set in an immersive virtual reality world called OASIS, and chock full of easter eggs and nostalgia, “Ready Player One" stars Tye Sheridan as teenager Wade, an unlikely contender to inherit the entire system.
Week's box office gross: $67,035,885
Total box office gross at the time: $67,035,885
Total theaters: 3,508
Dates: April 6–12
John Krasinski, best known for his character Jim on “The Office," directs and stars alongside wife Emily Blunt in this 90-minute horror flick. The film, with a tagline of, “if they hear you, they hunt you," centers on a family living in a post-apocalyptic world invaded by aliens with powerful hearing capabilities.
Week's box office gross: $45,600,066
Total box office gross at the time: $45,600,066
Total theaters: 4,101
Dates: April 13–19
The second #1 film to star Dwayne Johnson in 2018, “Rampage" is the story of a primatologist tasked with saving Chicago. Despite its early box office success, the film received a mixed response, with Brian Tallerico writing on RogerEbert.com that it's “sometimes gloriously ludicrous.”
Week's box office gross: $27,164,590
Total box office gross at the time: $137,523,301
Total theaters: 3,808
Dates: April 20–26
With a Rotten Tomatoes score of 95%, “A Quiet Place" returned to the spotlight and eventually became the highest-rated horror film of 2018. The film was widely praised by critics, audiences, and even Krasinski's celebrity friends. Stephen King jumped on the bandwagon, calling it “an extraordinary piece of work.”
Week's box office gross: $338,332,540
Total box office gross at the time: $338,332,540
Total theaters: 4,474
Dates: April 27–May 3
Superhero films are no strangers to box office breakthroughs, though “Avengers: Infinity War" has the distinct honor of having the biggest worldwide opening of all time. It then went on to become the fourth highest-grossing film of all time, behind “Avatar," “Titanic," and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
Week's box office gross: $147,679,563
Total box office gross at the time: $486,012,103
Total theaters: 4,474
Dates: May 4–10
Reuniting a powerhouse ensemble cast including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, and Jeremy Renner, “Avengers: Infinity Wars" was the 19th Marvel Cinematic Universe film to hit theaters. The storyline centers on the team of Marvel superheroes as they go head-to-head with super villain Thanos. In case there was any question about the magnitude of Thanos' evil, note that The Atlantic described him as “the Biggest of the Big Bads we have yet encountered.”
Week's box office gross: $80,348,856
Total box office gross at the time: $566,360,959
Total theaters: 4,474
Dates: May 11–17
Despite record-smashing box office performance, critics issued mostly—but not universally—positive reviews. Vulture noted that the film “isn't—objectively speaking—even a very good piece of storytelling," but still suggested the film will “dazzle, stagger, and rile people up." Based on its box office performance, it did just that—and with plenty of MCU films in production, there's still more to come.
Week's box office gross: $164,707,352
Total box office gross at the time: $164,707,352
Total theaters: 4,349
Dates: May 18–24
Only another comic film could usurp “Avengers: Infinity War," and fellow Marvel Cinematic Universe character Deadpool did just that. The follow-up to 2016's “Deadpool" brought Ryan Reynolds back to the title role for another round of heroic debauchery that—unlike many other comic book films—is decidedly not family-friendly.
Week's box office gross: $119,592,692
Total box office gross at the time: $119,592,692
Total theaters: 4,381
Dates: May 25–31
Starring Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, “Solo: A Star Wars Story" brings the origin story of the iconic Millennial Falcon captain to the big screen. The Guardian called the film a “boisterous bromance," highlighting the appeal of the original meeting of two beloved Star Wars characters: Solo and Chewbacca. Audiences seemed to agree, ranking the film among the top-grossing films of 2018.
Week's box office gross: $41,358,782
Total box office gross at the time: $160,951,474
Total theaters: 4,381
Dates: June 1–7
Ron Howard is credited as director of “Solo: A Star Wars Story," but wasn't the only person to have that role during the film's rocky production. Directing pair Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired from the film, and released a statement that said, “unfortunately, our vision and process weren't aligned with our partners on this project." At least one fan was satisfied with the final product, though; original Han Solo Harrison Ford is quoted as saying it was “phenomenal.”
Week's box office gross: $59,620,170
Total box office gross at the time: $59,620,170
Total theaters: 4,145
Dates: June 8–14
Seventeen years after 2001's “Ocean's Eleven," and 58 years after “Ocean's 11" (starring the Rat Pack), “Ocean's Eight" sailed into theaters, starring Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett, and backed by an impressive roster of accomplished actresses. The heist film set the record for strongest opening in the “Ocean's" franchise.
Week's box office gross: $269,446,690
Total box office gross at the time: $269,446,690
Total theaters: 4,410
Dates: June 15–21
A follow-up to 2004's “The Incredibles," “Incredibles 2" had an incredible box office performance. The sequel not only had the biggest opening for an animated film ever, it also had the biggest opening ever for a PG-rated film, usurping 2017's live-action “Beauty and the Beast."
Week's box office gross: $204,787,335
Total box office gross at the time: $204,787,335
Total theaters: 4,475
Dates: June 22–28
The fifth film in the “Jurassic" franchise, “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" reunites Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard with dinosaurs in danger from both man and nature itself. While its predecessor, “Jurassic World,” is currently holding strong as the fifth highest-grossing film of all-time, “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" didn't quite follow in such dino-sized footsteps. It still made a mark, however, as the fourth highest-grossing film of 2018.
Week's box office gross: $99,970,330
Total box office gross at the time: $304,757,665
Total theaters: 4,485
Dates: June 29–July 5
Despite box office success, reviews of “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" film were mixed. The A.V. Club acknowledged that despite flaws, it was a “a modern blockbuster through and through" and also “goofy and fitfully entertaining." A follow-up is already in the works, with Colin Trevorrow set to direct, and Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt due to return.
Week's box office gross: $103,985,225
Total box office gross at the time: $103,985,225
Total theaters: 4,206
Dates: July 6–12
Though it enjoyed a strong opening weekend, the 20th Marvel Cinematic Universe film eventually landed in the 15th spot for total earnings in the MCU. The film stars Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man, and Evangeline Lilly as Hope Van Dyne/Wasp, one of the MCU's many female heroes.
Week's box office gross: $66,662,884
Total box office gross at the time: $67,939,268
Total theaters: 4,267
Dates: July 13–19
The third film in the “Hotel Transylvania" franchise features the voices of Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, and Selena Gomez. Its opening weekend earnings fell just behind those of “Hotel Transylvania 2," and slightly ahead of the original “Hotel Transylvania.”
Week's box office gross: $55,424,525
Total box office gross at the time: $55,424,525
Total theaters: 3,317
Dates: July 20–26
The predecessor of this musical romp was 2008's “Mamma Mia!," a big-screen adaptation of the hit stage musical based on the music of Swedish pop group ABBA. While the sequel enjoyed a bigger opening weekend, the original's overall earnings were stronger. Still, “Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!" serves as an example of the potential of women and representation at the box office.
Week's box office gross: $89,487,371
Total box office gross at the time: $89,487,371
Total theaters: 4,386
Dates: July 27–Aug. 2
Tom Cruise reprises his role as Ethan Hunt, joined by Henry Cavill and Ving Rhames in the sixth action-packed “Mission: Impossible" film. This installment set a number of franchise records, including biggest budget, longest runtime, strongest opening weekend, and highest earnings both internationally and domestically.
Week's box office gross: $52,479,913
Total box office gross at the time: $141,967,284
Total theaters: 4,395
Dates: Aug. 3–9
A staple of the “Mission: Impossible" films are the spectacular stunts, and “Mission: Impossible—Fallout" proves no exception. Tom Cruise performs a myriad of dangerous feats, which The New York Times praised by saying, “[h]is physicality is crucial to the success of the ‘Mission: Impossible' series.”
Week's box office gross: $62,609,062
Total box office gross at the time: $62,609,062
Total theaters: 4,118
Dates: Aug. 10–16
Jon Turteltaub's action-packed adventure about a 70-foot shark surpassed box office expectations. Joining an established group of shark films like “Jaws," “Open Water," and even the “Sharknado" franchise, “The Meg" stars Jason Statham, Bingbing Li, and Rainn Wilson.
Week's box office gross: $43,042,178
Total box office gross at the time: $51,808,947
Total theaters: 3,384
Dates: Aug. 17–23
Based on the first novel in a trilogy by Kevin Kwan, “Crazy Rich Asians" is one of the few romantic comedies to make a splash in 2018, becoming the highest-earning romantic comedy since 2009's “The Proposal." The film stars Constance Wu as a New Yorker surprised to find out that her boyfriend is a well-known Singaporean bachelor with an ultra-wealthy family.
Week's box office gross: $36,918,441
Total box office gross at the time: $88,727,388
Total theaters: 3,526
Dates: Aug. 24–30
Critics were overwhelmingly pleased with “Crazy Rich Asians." Stephanie Zacharek of Time said, “[i]t's simply great fun, a winsome romantic comedy and an occasionally over-the-top luxury fantasy that never flags." Also of note is that the film is the first film with an all-Asian cast to come out of Hollywood since “The Joy Luck Club," also based on a successful novel.
Week's box office gross: $33,894,777
Total box office gross at the time: $122,622,165
Total theaters: 3,865
Dates: Aug. 31–Sept. 6
Labor Day weekend was another major success for “Crazy Rich Asians." The film had the third-highest earnings ever recorded for the holiday weekend. The film's cultural impact has also garnered a number of headlines, with commentators cheering the progress it makes for representation and diversity.
Week's box office gross: $66,876,325
Total box office gross at the time: $66,876,325
Total theaters: 3,876
Dates: Sept. 7–13
The fifth film in “The Conjuring" film universe, “The Nun" had a strong opening by both franchise and industry standards; in addition to being the highest in the franchise, it was also the second-highest September opening ever. The film stars Demián Bichir and Taissa Farmiga as a priest and young nun who face a demonic nun.
Week's box office gross: $31,735,122
Total box office gross at the time: $31,735,122
Total theaters: 4,037
Dates: Sept. 14–20
A reboot of 1987's “Predator" starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, reviews of this action-sci-fi-horror mash-up were mixed. On RogerEbert.com, Brian Tallerico deemed it a “fun, brutal fighting machine" with “a fantastic cast and razor-sharp pacing," while David Sims wrote in The Atlantic that it was a “confused, sloppy mess of a film, overstuffed with zingy one-liners and lacking in coherence."
Week's box office gross: $32,253,225
Total box office gross at the time: $32,253,225
Total theaters: 3,592
Dates: Sept. 21–27
Director Eli Roth brings a background in horror films (“Hostel," “Cabin Fever”) to this family-friendly fantasy starring Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, and Owen Vaccaro. The result still has its share of PG-rated scares, and became the largest opening of Roth's career.
Week's box office gross: $34,476,355
Total box office gross at the time: $34,476,355
Total theaters: 3,010
Dates: Sept. 28–Oct. 4
“Night School," starring Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish, follows a group of misfit adult students as they attend night school to earn their GEDs. The film received lackluster reviews, but still managed to be the first comedy not mixed with another genre to top the box office in two years.
Week's box office gross: $107,102,151
Total box office gross at the time: $107,102,151
Total theaters: 4,250
Dates: Oct. 5–11
Another superhero film to top the box office, “Spiderman" spinoff “Venom" set a few records of its own. The movie, which stars Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, and Riz Ahmed, officially topped the previous October opening weekend record set by Alfonso Cuarón's “Gravity" in 2017 by more than $20 million.
Week's box office gross: $45,917,944
Total box office gross at the time: $153,020,095
Total theaters: 4,250
Dates: Oct. 12–18
Despite monumental box office success, audience and critic responses to “Venom" varied significantly, with Rotten Tomatoes reporting an aggregate 29% from critics (calling it “chaotic, noisy,”) compared to a whopping 86% “like" rating from audiences. The sequel that's rumored to be forthcoming may help solidify popular opinion.
Week's box office gross: $94,656,400
Total box office gross at the time: $94,656,400
Total theaters: 3,928
Dates: Oct. 19–25
Following on the heels of “Venom," “Halloween" secured the second-largest October opening in box office history, and the largest of the franchise. The film brings Jamie Lee Curtis' character, Laurie Strode, face-to-face with killer Michael Myers once again.
Week's box office gross: $44,737,305
Total box office gross at the time: $139,393,705
Total theaters: 3,990
Dates: Oct. 26–Nov. 1
Of the 11 Halloween franchise films, “Halloween" performed significantly across nearly all box office charts, with no other iteration coming even close to touching its international earnings of $250 million.
Week's box office gross: $69,160,548
Total box office gross at the time: $69,160,548
Total theaters: 4,000
Dates: Nov. 2–8
A musical biography of legendary Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, “Bohemian Rhapsody" made history as the second highest-earning music biopic ever. In other years, that may have had a larger impact on charts, but at press time in a year of countless record-breaking films, “Bohemian Rhapsody" is the 19th highest-earning film of the year, domestically.
Week's box office gross: $11,488,647
Total box office gross at the time: $181,499,035
Total theaters: 2,848
Dates: Nov. 9–15
Starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, “A Star is Born" is the celebrated remake of 1976 film of the same name starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. Cooper also makes his directorial debut, for which he's been widely praised. Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post noted that Cooper, “navigated the most perilous shoals of making a classic narrative his own, managing to create one of its best iterations to date.”