The Top 10 Grossing Movies Of 2018 Worldwide

2018 was a big year for movies in general, despite rumblings about cinema dying and succumbing to the widespread proliferation of streaming services. Against all odds, movies did farely well, with the global box-office taking in an estimated $11 billion this year. Some may argue that this is essentially the same amount as the last few years but with higher average ticket prices and more movies but that’s still a lot of money to rake in.

Some movies though, bring in a lot more money than others. In particular, the Top 10-20 movies can account for over 80% of box-office returns all over the world. We present here, the Top 10 performing movies of 2018, the movies that made most money through the year.

#10: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Franchise: Fantastic Beasts (Harry Potter prequel series)
Studio: Warner Bros.
Worldwide Gross: $627.5 million
Fantastic Beasts The Crimes Of Grindelwald Still 11

The sequel to 2016’s warmly received Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, this new installment was rather poorly received by critics and audiences alike, with the entire movie regarded as a giant setup for future sequels. Despite opening to tepid reviews and introducing significant twists and developments in the well-established Harry Potter canon, The Crimes of Grindelwald managed to make it to the Top 10, grossing $156.6 million in the United States and $470.9 million internationally, resulting in a global box-office haul of $627.5 million, a far lesser number than the $800 million grossed by the 2016 movie.

#9: Bohemian Rhapsody

Franchise: N/A
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Worldwide Gross: $702 million

There are odd entries every now and then in a Top 10 list, and Bohemian Rhapsody is certainly one of those. Based on the life of iconic singer Freddy Mercury, this drama film struck a chord with audiences all over the globe, amassing $189 million domestically and ending up with $702 million worldwide. Like most high-grossers, Bohemian Rhapsody was a lot more appreciated by audiences than critics, with people turning out in huge numbers to catch the film, helping the $50 million budgeted flick turn out a sizeable profit.

#8: Deadpool 2

Franchise: N/A
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Worldwide Gross: $741 million
Deadpool 2 X-Force Sign

Fox hit it out of the park by letting the creatives do what they did best. As such, despite losing an important voice in original director Tim Miller, star Ryan Reynolds returned alongside writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick to give the sequel to the 2014’s sleeper hit a kick in the pants. The result lead Deadpool 2 to gross an estimated $741 million, a huge amount of money given its R-rating. It only helps that it managed to beat a PG-13 Star Wars release at around the same time.

#7: Aquaman

Franchise: DC Expanded Universe (DCEU)
Studio: Warner Bros. / DC Comics
Worldwide Gross: $791 million
Aquaman King of Atlantis

Despite its fair share of setbacks in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, it appears some lesser-known heroes are coming to DC’s rescue. The latest installment in DC’s own cinematic universe has opened to a rather positive reception among critics and audiences thanks to director James Wan’s handling of the lead character, story, world-building and acquatic visuals, sailing it to $791 million worldwide, a number that’s only growing with each passing day. It’s telling something that a superhero movie about its lead character holding a trident and talking to fish is on track to surpass one featuring two of the most iconic characters of DC comics, and could even be the first DCEU movie to hit $1 billion if it maintains this momentum.

#6: Mission: Impossible – Fallout

Franchise: Mission: Impossible
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Worldwide Gross: $791 million
Mission Impossible Fallout Henry Cavill Tom Cruise Rebecca Fergusson
Left to right: Henry Cavill as August Walker, Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt and Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa Faust in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT, from Paramount Pictures and Skydance.

Few movie franchises endure through the years and get better with each subsequent installment. Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible series has become revered for its use of real-life stunts in an era dominated by CGI blockbuster fests. That, coupled with a gripping narrative centered around a terrorist plot, the return of director Christopher McQuarrie and Tom Cruise’s signature daredevilry on display led the movie to a whopping $791 million worldwide gross, the best in the franchise by a healthy margin.

#5: Venom

Franchise: Sony’s Spider-Verse
Studio: Sony Pictures
Worldwide Gross: $855 million

Almost universally derided for its corny trailers and mispronunciation of the term “symbiote”, Venom stormed onto theaters and managed to make a hugely unexpected $855 million. The presence of Tom Hardy, as well as a full-fledged origin story on the anti-hero after his botched appearance in Spider-Man 3 helped the movie sell to comic book friendly audiences despite the less than stellar critic reviews. The post-credits scene only compounded interest in the movie, setting it in the same universe as Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse.

#4: Incredibles 2 – $1.2 billion

Franchise: Disney-Pixar Animated Films
Studio: Disney / Pixar
Worldwide Gross: $1.2 billion

Returning to the big screen after more than a decade since Incredibles released in 2004, Incredibles 2 was highly anticipated by kids, families and adults alike and it showed in its box-office receipts. Disney has been largely unstoppable in the past year or two and the $1.2 billion haul of Incredibles 2 only proves that they don’t need to rely on Marvel and Star Wars for boosting their profitability.

#3: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – $1.3 billion

Franchise: Jurassic Park
Studio: Universal Pictures
Worldwide Gross: $1.3 billion

The second installment in the rebooted Jurassic World series, or the fifth in the Jurassic Park franchise (whichever way you look at it), Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom stomped onto theaters this summer, making $1.3 billion across the globe in the process. The reviews certainly didn’t help though, calling the movie a run-of-the-mill adaptation after false promises by writer Colin Trevorrow that the movie would return the series to its roots. Director J. A. Bayona’s handling of sequences together with Oscar Faura’s breathtaking cinematography were praised and the post-credits scene set up a promising premise for a future sequel, assuming Trevorrow lives up to it.

#2: Black Panther

Franchise: Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)
Studio: Disney / Marvel Studios
Worldwide Gross: $1.3 billion
Nakia, T'Challa and Shuri in Black Panther

Undoubtedly the franchise that has cemented its place in the hearts of moviegoers and critics, the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to march ahead towards a homerun. And Black Panther, widely regarded as the studio’s best and most significant achievement to date, made a solid $1.3 billion, becoming not only the first $200 million big-budget film with an all-black cast, but also the first to gross such a huge amount and put it on the map. In North America alone, it made $700 million and stands as the highest grossing movie in the US in 2018.

Regarded as a strong contender for all awards this year, including a shot at the Academy Awards’ coveted Best Picture, it’s being given a strong push by the studios to ensure its recognition. With its rich world-building, introduction of Wakanda with all the costumes, sets and traditions, a strong antagonist in Eric Killmonger and superlative performances from the cast, including but not limited to Chadwick Boseman, Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o and Leticia Wright, Black Panther was perhaps the year’s most widely appreciated superhero film by critics.

#1: Avengers: Infinity War

Franchise: Avengers / Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)
Studio: Disney / Marvel Studios
Worldwide Gross: $2 billion

The winner of the year by a wide margin, Avengers: Infinity War arrived in theaters to immense hype. With an ensemble cast featuring actors from all 18 movies that preceded it, a conflict whose stakes had been building up for the better part of the decade and the antagonist Thanos who’s schemes were teased since the past few movies, Infinity War had an unprecedented build-up to its release and delivered on the hype, making $678 million in North America and $1.3 billion internationally, for a total of $2 billion worldwide. In the process, it became the fourth-highest grossing movie of all time, behind only Avatar, Titanic and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The movie was widely appreciated by audiences, less so by critics and became a pop-culture phenomenon. Its cliffhander ending left comic book fans gasping for breath as a follow-up was scheduled for release next year, which itself has become the subject of some intense hype. Moreover, Infinity War is that rare gem whose audience reactions made some moments iconic, and have been gathered and shared across numerous social media platforms online.

So that’s it for our profiling of the best movies of 2018. Look out for our post on the upcoming movies to watch out for in 2019.