As 2018 draws to a close, comScore is estimating that worldwide box office will hit a record $41.7B. That would rep a 2.7% upwards shift from last year’s $40.6B and mark only the second time ever that it’s cracked $40B. This year’s growth is largely driven by domestic which is eyeing a benchmark $11.9B, a 7% increase on 2017, while international box office is also up, though by just 1%, to $29.8B.
The domestic jump in box office this year is the biggest since 2015’s 7.5% and the 2nd best since 2009. This year, North America was boosted by Disney/Marvel’s Black Panther ($700M), along with Dis/Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War ($678.8M), Dis/Pixar’s Incredibles 2 ($608.6M), Universal’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom ($416.7M) and Fox’s Deadpool 2 ($324.4M).
Worldwide, the top grossers are Infinity War, Black Panther, Fallen Kingdom, Incredibles 2 and Sony’s Venom.
Overall internationally, Infinity War leads ($1.37B), followed by Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom ($888.2M), Black Panther ($647M), Venom ($642M) and Incredibles 2 ($634M). Some areas of consternation overseas in 2018 include Italy and Germany.
In 2017, overseas turnstiles spun 7.7% higher than they had in 2016 and that was partly fueled by China’s massive Wolf Warrior 2, which also included a ticketing fee that helps goose the numbers. That same fee is still in effect this year, and China is pushing for sustained double-digit growth in 2018 — despite no one film that reached WW2‘s 2017 heights. The goal is believed to be RMB 60B ($8.7B) versus last year’s RMB 55.9B (13.5% growth on 2016).
While we are waiting on official full-year numbers out of the Middle Kingdom, as of the end of November, Chinese box office had already surpassed 2017. Current estimates, per Deadline sources, have China at RMB 59.5B ($8.67B) with 61% of the gross in favor of local titles. Those include Operation Red Sea ($577.7M in China only) and Detective Chinatown 2 ($542.1M).