In a year that’s consistently lived up to — and often beyond — expectations, 2018’s domestic box office cleared the $11 billion threshold faster than ever before yesterday, December 12.
2016 previously reached that figure on December 26, while 2017 crossed the mark on December 30. This is the fourth consecutive year domestic earnings have topped $11 billion.
Year-to-date, 2018 is nearly 10 percent ahead of the pace of last year. With the final two-plus weeks of this month in mind, Boxoffice and industry analysts are confident enough to project that this year’s final domestic gross will break 2016’s $11.38 billion record by a significant amount.
Our projections earlier in the quarter estimated a record finish around the $11.6 billion – $11.7 billion range, which may look conservative in hindsight thanks to films like Venom, A Star Is Born, Bohemian Rhapsody, and Creed II performing above expectations. The Grinch and Ralph Breaks the Internet have similarly met their blockbuster potential with strong performances during the heart of holiday season.
Based on updated models that factor in higher optimism around the combined Christmas trio of Aquaman, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and Mary Poppins Returns, this year is now pacing to finish near $11.8 billion — even without a major Star Wars release on the slate this December.
Should all three of those aforementioned releases hit on their high-end of potential, projections could soar a little higher before the calendar runs out. Even at $11.8 billion flat, that would represent a 6.6 percent increase from 2017’s $11.07 billion finish, while topping 2016 by 3.7 percent.
For more detail about how the year has continued to deliver great news for the industry, check out our previous analysis.