The movies with the biggest box office gross in 2018 should be the best movies of the year. That's not the case.
Critics and audiences don't always agree on the best and worst movies of the year. The box office numbers don't always agree with what either of them has to say, too.
The 2018 movie box office has been full of surprises, domestically and internationally. The biggest box office draw of 2018 goes to Black Panther, at over $700 million. Avengers: Infinity War comes in second place at the box office with over $678 million.
In case you’ve forgotten, Black Panther’s release date was February 16, 2018 — a time of year that doesn’t equate to big box office openings. It may be the 16th biggest box office opening ever (Avengers: Infinity War is #1), but the staying power of Black Panther shocked everyone. We’re not here to discuss Black Panther at the box office, though. Instead, let’s dive in to three of the worst reviewed movies of 2018 and how they managed to make the list of the top ten highest grossing movies of 2018.
The Box Office Hits of 2018
Thanks to Box Office Mojo, it’s super easy to keep track of box office grosses. The highest grossing movies of 2018 (domestically) are:
- Black Panther
- Avengers: Infinity War
- Incredibles 2
- Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
- Deadpool 2
- Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch (2018)
- Mission: Impossible – Fallout
- Ant-Man and the Wasp
- Solo: A Star Wars Story
If it surprises you that Marvel movies lead the 2018 box office, where have you been hiding? Under a rock?
Of the 10 highest grossing movies of 2018, three stand out because critical reviews were bad. And in the case of viewers, only one received a favorable rating from moviegoers that make critics look like they’re mad. And I realize these aren’t the absolute worst movies of 2018, they’re just the worst in the top ten at the box office.
Here are three of the worst movies of 2018 that still made oodles of box office money.
- Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch (2018)
- Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
I want to note that I am drawing information from Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB, so of course, disagreements will exist. And if you love one or more of these films, good for you! Movies are subjective and you don’t have to agree or disagree with a critic or your peers — watch what you want as often as you want.
The Worst Movies of 2018 With the Biggest Box Office
Things are about to get very simple as I give my opinion on why Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch (2018), Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and Venom had such big box office spoils.
Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch (2018)
RT Audience Score: 57%
IMDB User Rating: 6.4
I only had to watch the trailer to know the latest Grinch movie did not warrant my time. Then again, I’m not the target demographic. Those that are clearly did not feel the same about the trailer because Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch at the box office has made over $226 million and it’s still in theaters as of this writing, meaning its number six spot on the list of biggest box office dollars for 2018 could rise.
There’s only one explanation: Kids. The 2018 holiday movie season is really lacking in movies for kids. There’s The Grinch and Ralph Breaks the Internet — that’s it until Bumblebee (for older children) and Mary Poppins Returns (for kids who like singing) release on December 21.
What’s a parent to do to get a couple hours of quiet? Take your kids to see Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch because it’s the only option. Ralph Breaks the Internet, the only other theatrical holiday movie release for kids, has been performing well, so it’s quite possible that it will surpass Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch in the two weeks left of the year. But maybe not — The Grinch has Christmas behind it and Ralph can be a bit too “adult” for younger children. The Grinch is super family friendly.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
RT Audience Score: 51%
IMDB User Rating: 6.2
It feels a bit stupid to explain why Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, despite poor reviews, has the fourth biggest box office of 2018. I’m going to do it anyway: DINOSAURS!
I’m not anywhere near joking. Everyone loves dinosaurs, and movies with dinosaurs are dollar bill bait. People throw their money at the Jurassic Park movies because they love dinosaurs (and carnage). I’m part of the group. I was actually on a road trip when Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom came out and I stopped the car in a city I’d never heard of and can’t remember the name of to see the movie before carrying on with my trip.
If that’s not dino-dedication, what is? FYI: The theater was packed at 11:00 am.
Sadly, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom did not live up to the fun of Jurassic World and its dinosaurs failed to impress. Except when the Brontosaurus cries as the volcano’s lava is about to engulf it and the ship sails away — that broke hearts. After that, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom went downhill fast, culminating in the “they made a human clone” twist that takes away the entire point of Jurassic Park movies: DINOSAURS!
Critics were vocal about their disappointment with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and audiences didn’t remain quiet either. It didn’t matter. People still continued to flock to the cinema to see what new dinosaur had been cooked up in the lab. And in case you’re still on the fence as to why I’ll repeat myself yet again: DINOSAURS!
There is hope that since the dinosaurs are roaming free and others about to become weapons of war that Jurassic World 3 is going to be epic. A raptor in your backyard? That’s beyond terrifying. T-Rex strolling into the Facebook headquarters for a snack — legendary!
RT Audience Score: 85%
IMDB User Rating: 6.9
I don’t understand the hate for Marvel’s first villain superhero movie. Sure, Venom is batsh*t crazy but it’s also damn fun to watch. Tom Hardy’s performance is fantastic and the effects outstanding. It’s not what you expect from a Marvel superhero or any superhero movie, but Venom isn’t like other superheroes. He’s not even a hero! He’s an antihero!
Venom changed up how superhero movies can be executed and I’m not in the least shocked that 85% of Rotten Tomatoes readers enjoyed the movie. FilmFracture’s own Anthony Taormina didn’t praise the film as much as I would have if I’d written a review, but he didn’t pan it completely.
Critics can say what they will about movies but at the end of the day, it’s the masses that decide what to watch in cinemas. And the masses decided that Venom was worth the price of admission. The verdict here is that breaking formula and giving moviegoers something new — something weird — can pay off immensely.
Sony has to be happy about that because Venom is its only movie to make the top ten biggest box office earners of 2018 list. Considering how well-received Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is by critics and audiences, they’ll surely have a positive end of December and a happy New Year, though.
The 2018 Box Office Can Change (Kind Of)
There’s still a couple weeks left to 2018 and the box office numbers can change before then. It’s highly unlikely that any of the films opening in late-December will make enough to best any of the top ten before year-end, but watch Ralph Breaks the Internet’s box office numbers just in case because it could move up the list. As for Aquaman, in theaters December 21, it’s going to probably make hundreds of millions, just not fast enough to be part of the biggest box office movies of 2018.
And just in case you’re dying for a prediction as to what 2019 movie will make the most money at the box office, my best guess is Avengers: Endgame. (Everyone loves a safe bet, right?) They should build additional theaters for Avengers: Endgame‘s opening weekend because we all know pre-sale tickets are going to break records.
*All of the above information is subject to change.