We have seen the release of dozens, if not hundreds, of major film releases throughout the first nine months of 2018, but naturally, there are always some that rise to the top. Whether they are superhero films, sequels in action franchises, animated hits, or surprisingly impressive romantic comedies, 2018 has seen some of the biggest and most talked about films in recent history. Take a seat, grab your popcorn, and let’s take a look at some of our favorite films of the year.
Marvel Studios (and Disney as a whole) has had one of the most successful years in its 10-year history, with a large portion of that coming from the cultural and box office phenomenon that was Black Panther. Initially as seen nothing more than a primer for the Marvel Studios crossover blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War (which can be found further down our list), Black Panther would go on to out-perform Infinity War domestically, bringing in $700 million in ticket sales. The film follows the life of the Wakandan leader and current Black Panther T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) as he comes to terms with the role of his isolated nation after the arrival of his long-unknown cousin and challenger to the throne Erik “Killmonger” Stevens (Michael B. Jordan). Without giving too much away about the plot for those who have yet to watch the movie (of which there are very few), Killmonger’s arrival in the once closed-off African nation has a dramatic impact on both T’Challa and the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole.
Avengers: Infinity War
Anyone and everyone could have told you that Avengers: Infinity War would make a boatload of cash during its theatrical run, but $2 billion worldwide? That’s a lot of money. How much? Well, it’s currently the fourth highest grossing film of all time, with only Avatar, Titanic, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens bringing in more at the global box office. Ten years in the making, Infinity War tells the story of the Marvel big baddy Thanos on his quest to bring balance to the universe by acquiring the six infinity stones, as well as the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy as they attempt to thwart the mad titan’s diabolical plan. I’ll save the ending for the sake of those who haven’t experienced Infinity War for themselves, but it definitely changed things in a “snap.”
Crazy Rich Asians
If you were going to make a list about the biggest surprises in recent cinematic history, it wouldn’t be hard to argue for Crazy Rich Asians to be at the top of the list. Released in August, the film has grossed over $190 million globally and is still being shown in over 3,300 theaters throughout the United States (as of September 21st). To leave this movie off the list of the biggest movies of 2018 would be doing the cast and crew a major disservice. The movie follows Chinese-American Rachel Chu who accompanies her longtime boyfriend, Nick, to a wedding in Singapore. Once the happy couple arrives at the wedding, Rachel learns that Nick’s family is extremely rich (hence the name). What follows is Rachel trying to navigate the fabulous lifestyle of Nick’s family and place in society, even as his mother actively thwarts their relationship.
The collaboration between Pixar and Disney has been one of the most successful partnerships in the history of cinema, with practically everything released by the studio over the past three decades becoming box office and pop culture mainstays. That couldn’t be any more true for the Incredibles franchise, especially after the summer 2018 release of the sequel (which brought in $1 billion worldwide) to the 2004 blockbuster. Picking up shortly after the conclusion of the first film in the franchise, the 2018 sequel follows the Parr family as they get back into their super suits and team up with former allies to battle evil once more, this time from an unlikely source.
A Quiet Place
If someone were to tell you that guy who played Jim in The Office would go on and become an accomplished filmmaker, you’d probably think they were pulling your leg. That is unless you watched the spring surprise that was A Quiet Place, which made an astonishing $332 million globally, while also giving audiences a lesson in theater etiquette with its deafening silence throughout its 90-minute runtime. The film follows the Abbott family as they deal with the loss of a child after an alien race that is sensitive to sound has invaded Earth. A Quiet Place is an intense tale of the bond of family, survival, and hope in the face of great odds. There are even rumors of a sequel in the works. Who knows, this could become the next in a recent line of successful horror franchises.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
There are countless reasons why we consider summer to be the blockbuster season, and Jurassic Work: Fallen Kingdom is just the latest to be added to that list. Over the course of its theatrical run, the fifth movie in the Jurassic Park franchise brought in an impressive $1.3 billion at the global box office despite receiving less than stellar reviews. There’s nothing that can be said about this movie that hasn’t already been said, but if you like drama, action, hints of horror, and dinosaurs, then this movie is for you.
Solo: A Star Wars Story
A lot of critics and fans of the Star Wars universe will tell you that Solo: A Star Wars Story was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. This was the first Star Wars movie released by Disney that failed to reach the $1 billion mark at the box office, only bringing in $393 million after a disappointing opening on the extended Memorial Day weekend, which usually brings in big box office numbers for these types of films. The film was surrounded by controversy, drama, rewrites, and a directorial change during production, but those of us who actually went to see the movie enjoyed its cast, story, and ties to the rest of the extended Star Wars universe.
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
It seems like the summer of 2018 was the summer of the successful sequels and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again was no exception. Released 10 years after the release of the first film in the franchise, Here We Go Again brought in $383 million throughout its impressive theatrical run. Set five years after the events of the first Mamma Mia, the 2018 sequel follows the ensemble case as its members deal with a tragic loss and new beginnings for the core group of friends spannings multiple generations and even timelines in this high spirited and emotional musical film.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout
It looks like Tom Cruise and the Mission: Impossible franchise might never stop turning out massive hits at the box office, which is evident by the successful Fallout, the sixth film in the franchise. Over the course of its theatrical run, Fallout brought it $765 million, the highest in the franchise’s 23-year history. The film follows Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team of IMF agents as they attempt to thwart nuclear attacks at three of the world’s holiest sites. Production was initially halted following an onsite injury by Cruise as he was performing one of the film’s many stunts, but things picked up quickly and the film would go on to become a major success.
When the first Deadpool movie came out in early 2016, audiences were pleasantly surprised that such a graphic and vulgar R-rated comic book movie could be such a success and bring in $783 million globally. The crew behind the first film – including star and producer Ryan Reynolds – came back with an even bigger and badder sequel in May 2018 with Deadpool 2. While it wasn’t as successful as its predecessor, Deadpool 2 expanded upon the greater Deadpool universe with the introduction of several fan-favorite characters from the comics. Critics and audiences alike sang the film’s praises, and it looks like all things are leading towards a third film in the franchise in the coming years.