Box Office

2018 Summer Box Office Predictions

The box office is one of my favorite aspects of the film industry and the summer movie season is the best time for the box office, full of blockbusters, bombs and fun little surprises. As I’ve done in previous years, I will try and predict the domestic opening weekend and total worldwide grosses of the 10 most intriguing films set to come out in the next four months (in order of release). Traditionally the first week of May (and until the release of “Spider-Man” in 2002, not until Memorial Day), the summer movie season kicks off a week early this year with “Avengers” Infinity War” being moved up to April 27, and that is where our list begins.

Note: I did a long range forecast for all of 2018 back in January (you can check that out here), so some films will double dip and estimates may differ here based on how this year has played out so far.

10. Avengers: Infinity War (April 27)

This could possibly be the biggest opening weekend of all-time. That record is currently owned by “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” ($247 million in 2015) but given the fact that “Infinity War” is currently out-selling the previous seven MCU films *combined* and partnered with “Black Panther’s” $202 million opening just two months ago, this thing should blow the roof off any and all projections. The only question will be how front-loaded it will be.

Opening Weekend: $255 million

Worldwide total: $1.6 billion


9. Deadpool 2 (May 18)

The first film shocked everyone in 2016 when it debuted to $132 million, far over its $60-80 million projections. It ended up legging out to $363 million in America and $783 million worldwide, becoming the second-highest-grossing R-rated film ever. The sequel likely won’t mirror the lightning in a bottle success but it still has an established brand, Ryan Reynolds’ star has only gotten brighter and apparent test screening have been through the roof. Although the opening weekend will drop, I bet the overall total haul is on-par with the first film.

Opening Weekend: $125 million

Worldwide Total: $770 million


8. Solo: A Star Wars Story (May 25)

A mere week later we have the latest installment of “dilute your childhood love of Star Wars until it isn’t special anymore” in the form of “Solo.” Much like the first anthology film, “Rogue One,” this film has struggled with behind-the-scenes production problems and saw a replacing of directors. The film reportedly had to have 70–90% of it reshot after Ron Howard replaced Christopher Miller and Phil Lord, so at the end of the day I find it hard to see how this turns a profit for Disney but that’s an article for a different day. I think this will play similar to “Rogue One,” and the Memorial Day weekend won’t hurt.

Opening Weekend: $155 million (3-day) / $178 million (4-day)

Worldwide Total: $1.01 billion


6. The Incredibles 2 (June 15)

Highly anticipated and with an established fanbase that ranges from 3 to 30, this will likely be bigger than “Finding Dory” which is the highest-grossing animated film of all-time in the States ($486 million in 2016). It will benefit from being the only kid-friendly film released in previous two weeks, and only animated in the entire month of June. Only two Pixar films (“Dory” and “Toy Story 3”) have ever opened above $100 million or grossed over $400 million domestically and this will be the third, the question will be can it leg out and top those two films? If curious, the original “Incredibles” opened to $70 million and ended with $633 million worldwide.

Opening Weekend: $130 million

Worldwide total: $1.03 billion


5. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (June 22)

The first “Jurassic World” set the record for biggest opening weekend with $208 million (until it was blown out of the water by “The Force Awakens’” aforementioned $247 million six months later) and legged out to $1.67 billion worldwide. This likely won’t match either of those numbers, as sequelitis will take its toll, plus fans didn’t have to wait 14 years to return to the Park this time around. It’ll do solid blockbuster numbers (the first made $652 million in the US and $228 million in China) but I’d be shocked if crosses the $1.3 billion mark.

Opening Weekend: $170 million

Worldwide total: $1.25 billion


5. Sicario: Day of the Soldado (June 29)

This is a smaller film, but one I’m looking forward to so I’m putting it on here. The first “Sicario” came out in the fall and was more of an adult thriller than an action piece, premiering at Cannes and earning three Oscar nominations. This sequel, again starring Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin but missing Emily Blunt, seems to be more of a summer action piece than serious drama but it was written by Taylor Sheridan who not only penned the first film (earning him a Writers Guild nom) but wrote “Hell or Higher Water” (getting him an Oscar nomination) and “Wind River” (which became one of 2017’s highest-grossing indie films). Point is, I trust this isn’t a sequel simply for the sake of a sequel and think it will find an audience at the box office, much like the first film which legged out to nearly $85 million worldwide.

Opening Weekend: $19 million

Worldwide total: $84 million


4. Ant-Man and the Wasp (July 6)

The first film opened to $57.2 million in 2015, and I’m sure the “Ant-Man” brand has only grown since then (no pun intended). One of Marvel’s smaller heroes (only slight pun intended), this obviously won’t put up “Avengers” or “Black Panther” numbers but it should outperform its predecessor (which made $180 million in the US and “only” $519 million worldwide).

Opening Weekend: $75 million

Worldwide total: $620 million


3. Skyscraper (July 13)

Dwayne Johnson proved with “Rampage” that he doesn’t need to be part of a brand in order to find success, and that people like his smile and his films no matter how bad they are (“Rampage” is not a good movie but audiences gave it an A- on CinemaScore and 88% positive score on PostTrak). Johnson’s films typically open in the $30 million range but leg out and as much as “Skyscraper” looks very been there-done that and is in the middle of the summer season, I can’t see our future President being slowed down by anything at this point. Some people get stuck between a rock and a hard place; Hollywood is caught between The Rock and endless of his movies.

Opening Weekend: $32 million

Worldwide total: $350 million


2. Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! (July 20)

Sure, no one asked for this and no one seems to have any idea just how attached Meryl Streep is but if “La La Land” and “The Greatest Showman” (not to mention the first “Mama Mia”) showed us anything it’s that there is an audience for musicals. The first film opened to $27 million in 2008 and had a fantastic 5x multiplier to $144 million; it totaled $615 million worldwide, a lot of it from European countries. I’d be shocked if this duplicates any of those figures, but stranger things have happened.

Opening Weekend: $29 million

Worldwide total: $490 million


1. Mission: Impossible – Fallout (July 27)

The last “Mission: Impossible” film, “Rogue Nation,” opened to $55 million in 2015 and finished with $195 million stateside. While those aren’t incredible numbers for a film that cost $150 million to produce, it more than made up for it overseas, raking in $487 million. Since then, China has only grown as a market (the fourth film made $135 million there) and Tom Cruise’s international star continues to shine bright.

Opening Weekend: $58 million

Worldwide total: $685 million


Thanks for checking out my 2018 summer box office projections! In September I will write a follow-up to see just how close (or horribly wrong) my predictions were so be sure to come back for that, and hope you have a great summer at the movies!

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