How did 2018’s summer blockbusters do at the box office?

AMC theater

Updated on December 10, 2021

Since the summer season’s about over, it’s time again for my annual look back over this summer’s blockbuster movies. What films did well, so-so, or flopped at the box office?

Succeeded, underperformed, or flopped?

To repeat my criteria from last year:

  • I’m determining the films below based on global box office figures, to simplify things .
  • “Succeeded” is defined as making back twice its budget globally (going by Hollywood “logic” in what’s deemed profitable); “underperformed” is defined as making less than twice its budget; and “flopped” as less than its budget.
  • I’m only looking at wide release films in at least 1,000 theaters (so I don’t have to account for a bunch of smaller/art house films).
  • All box office figures are as of August 28, 2018, and taken from Box Office Mojo. Note some August-released films (as of this writing) might fall under “underperformed” for now, but will eventually improve to “succeeded.”


  • Overboard
  • Breaking In
  • Life of the Party
  • Book Club
  • Deadpool 2
  • Show Dogs
  • Upgrade
  • Hereditary
  • Ocean’s 8
  • Incredibles 2
  • Tag
  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
  • Sicario: Day of the Soldado
  • Uncle Drew
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp
  • The First Purge
  • Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation
  • Skyscraper
  • The Equalizer 2
  • Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
  • Unfriended: Dark Web
  • Mission: Impossible – Fallout
  • Teen Titans Go! to the Movies
  • Blackkklansman
  • The Meg
  • Slender Man
  • Crazy Rich Asians


  • Solo: A Star Wars Story
  • Adrift
  • Superfly
  • The Darkest Minds
  • Christopher Robin
  • The Spy Who Dumped Me


  • Bad Samaritan
  • Action Point
  • Hotel Artemis
  • Death of a Nation
  • Dog Days
  • Alpha
  • Mile 22
  • A.X.L.
  • The Happytime Murders


  • Tully

The top 10 domestic films

Here’s the top-grossing domestic films this summer (as of this writing), plus their Metacritic scores (green = “favorable reviews,” yellow = “mixed reviews”):

  1. The Incredibles 2, $597.2 million (80)
  2. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, $413.1 million (51)
  3. Deadpool 2, $318.4 million (66)
  4. Solo: A Star Wars Story, $213.6 million (62)
  5. Ant-Man and the Wasp, $211.6 million (70)
  6. Mission: Impossible – Fallout, $194.7 million (86)
  7. Hotel Transylvania 3, $158.9 million (54)
  8. Ocean’s 8, $139 million (61)
  9. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, $115.6 million (60)
  10. The Meg, $106.3 million (46)

Out of the top-grossing films this summer, it looks like the best-reviewed one was the latest “Mission Impossible” film, followed by “The Incredibles 2” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp.” I gather people aren’t tired of Tom Cruise (or this film series-based-on-a-TV-show).


Jurassic WorldWhile not an outright flop, the biggest box office disappointment of the summer’s “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” The film only earned $392.6 million globally on a $275 million budget.

Meanwhile, this summer’s biggest hit domestically is “The Incredibles 2” at $597.2 million; globally, it’s “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” at $1.296 billion. If curious, while “Avengers: Infinity War” has earned more domestically and globally than both of these films, it was released in late April, and thus is considered a late spring film.

Answering last year’s questions about this year’s crop of films:

  • “Will the oddly featherless dinosaurs stomp the superheroes?” The answer for “Fallen World” globally is “yes,” again excluding “Infinity War.” Domestically, that’s a “no,” since “The Incredibles” is a superhero film (although an animated one). People like superheroes, but dinosaurs are also big (pun intended).
  • “…will the power of musicals triumph over the power of the force (or a good blaster)?” The answer to that one’s “no”—“Mamma Mia” earned $345.9 million globally to “Solo”‘s $392.6 million.


The top animated film was “The Incredibles 2,” as noted above.

Apparently audiences really liked “Hotel Transylvania 3,” or at least non-North American filmgoers liked it. Out of its $462 million global gross, about 66% of it came from outside North America.

Meanwhile, “Teen Titans Go! To the Movies” was profitable, but has only earned $37.5 million.


That sums up this summer’s box office. The Hollywood Reporter states that this summer’s an improvement over last summer’s box office. However, while revenue’s setting records, actual theater attendance this summer is at its second-lowest since 1992.

As for next year, expect… even more reboots and sequels. Will “Toy Story 4” show up the “Men in Black” reboot? Or will audiences flock to the latest “Spider-Man” film and ignore the “Top Gun” remake? And will MoviePass still exist by the time I write next year’s post?

Photo by m01229 (Flickr / CC BY)

Anthony Dean

Anthony Dean is the owner of Diverse Tech Geek and Diverse Media Notes.

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