With Labor Day quickly approaching, the end of summer is here. The 2018 box office has overall been packed to the brim with genre fare, and the summer box-office especially has been on fire, dramatically increasing from the same season last year. And that's in big part because of the success of some of our favorite films.
Summer 2018 started off with a bang, posting the highest second quarter box-office sales in history. Avengers: Infinity War, which broke records, becoming the second-fastest film to reach $500 million domestically, was the perfect way to launch into what would have a 13.6 percent boost overall, according to Variety, compared to summer 2017, which was the worst summer at the box office in a decade. We have plenty of sequels and franchises to thank for the summer box-office numbers, even if Star Wars isn't one of them. (Sorry, Solo.)
Several sequels hit big milestones, including Incredibles 2, which had the highest opening of an animated film ever. Was it that 14-year anticipation? Or maybe the broad appeal? Either way, a family that kills the box office together stays together.
Deadpool 2 de-throned that other superhero film, Infinity War, with big box-office numbers. It's tough for sequels to live up to audience expectations, but it didn't seem to be much of an issue this summer.
Just two months after Infinity War shattered records, Marvel's much tinier sequel Ant-Man and the Wasp swooped in and significantly beat the first Ant-Man's box-office opening weekend numbers ($83.7 million vs $57 million), proving that that depressing Infinity War ending didn't keep fans away.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (which is technically kinda Jurassic Park 5?) pulled in huge box-office numbers internationally prior to big success for weeks in the U.S. The summer wound down with Mission Impossible — Fallout bringing in $59+ million domestically opening weekend. This is the sixth film in the Mission Impossible franchise, which is clearly still going strong.
And then, of course, there was The Meg, one of the only non-franchise/sequel films to make big waves at the box office this summer, exceeding expectations with a $44.5 million opening weekend. Still best not to watch before hitting the beach that last time, probably. Also, let's not forget that many of these films were in theaters at the same time, competing for your eyeballs, yet still pulling hugely impressive box-office numbers.
But wait, the success of quality sequels and franchises might not be the only reason for increases at the box office. Despite some drama and mishaps, box-office analyst Jeff Bock told Variety that MoviePass should get some of the credit for the uptick at the box office.
“Hollywood doesn’t want to say it’s a big factor, but it absolutely is. The only reason to deny it is because MoviePass is a rogue entity,” said Bock. “People were excited because it was affordable again.”
With ticket prices higher than ever, he has a point. As the future of MoviePass and subscription-based theater services remains in flux, will next season's box-office numbers be impacted? And is franchise fatigue a real concern? Will summers full of blockbusters and tentpole films continue into 2019?