At this point, it’s all but inevitable that the 2018 box office will set a domestic record.
Stateside revenue crossed $11 billion in ticket sales on Tuesday, marking the earliest it has ever hit that milestone. Last year, domestic returns didn’t reach that mark until Dec. 30. In 2016, it took until Dec. 26.
This year’s receipts are currently pacing 9.8% ahead of 2017’s haul, according to Comscore. The North American box office dropped to a three-year low last year, bringing in a total of $11.11 billion. The year prior, however, was an all-time record with a robust $11.38 billion.
At one point, there was concern over the lack of a “Star Wars” release to buoy numbers at the end of the year. That fear was gradually alleviated thanks to a string of lucrative blockbusters, including “Black Panther,” “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” and “Venom” — along with a number of surprise successes, such as “A Quiet Place,” “The Meg,” and “Halloween.” As the year winds to a close, buzzy holiday releases “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” “Mary Poppins Returns,” and “Aquaman” look to alleviate any lingering concerns.
Since it opened in February, “Black Panther” has maintained its hold as the biggest movie in the States. It’s one of three movies ever to generate $700 million at the domestic box office. Three of the top five highest-grossing pics (as of Dec. 12) hail from Disney — the other two being “Avengers: Infinity War” ($678.8 million) and “Incredibles 2” ($608 million). A pair of summer tentpoles, “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” ($416.7 million) and “Deadpool 2” ($318.5 million), round out the top five. Only time will tell if “Mary Poppins Returns” or “Aquaman” have what it takes to crack that list.
Domestic revenues are about $111 million away from surpassing 2017’s $11.11 billion bounty. Christmas is consistently one of the busiest times of year for moviegoing, and it looks like that will leave studios and theater owners with some much-needed holiday cheer.