On National Science Fiction Day this year, I made an excuse for not following precedent.
Happy National Science Fiction Day! For reasons I will explain later, I am not in a position to review the box office performance of 2019's speculative fiction movies. I'll probably do that next week.It took even longer than that, but I'm finally getting around to doing so after returning home from traveling.
I open with an overview of the year in film at the domestic box office from Beyond The Trailer, Top Ten 2018 Movies - Box Office Breakdown.
Top Ten 2018 Movies today! Beyond The Trailer's box office breakdown for 2018! Disney dominates! Hit movies vs flops & bombs!All but one of the top ten by domestic box office as of the end of last year are speculative fiction films of one sort or other except "Mission Impossible: Fallout." Even that one is a genre film (action), so it would be one I would vote on at this year's Saturn Awards. The global box office showed only slightly less taste for escapism, as "Bohemian Rhapsody" is the only non-genre film in the worldwide top ten by box office. By the way, all the Disney films are speculative fiction.
Top Ten Movies 2018 today, at the box office! Beyond The Trailer host Grace Randolph's breakdown and review of 2018 movies at the box office, including Disney, Warner Bros, Universal, Fox, Sony and Paramount! Where Infinity War, Black Panther, Incredibles 2, Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom, Aquaman, Venom and more stood on the domestic and worldwide top ten lists!
Follow over the jump for the top speculative films released in 2018 by genre from Box Office Mojo retrieved this afternoon, so that the current weekends receipts are included in the totals.
I have added my opinions of the likely nominees in each category at this year's Saturn Awards to the box office rankings and totals.
1 Black Panther $700,059,566
2 Avengers: Infinity War $678,815,482
5 Deadpool 2 $318,491,426
6 Aquaman $304,336,848
9 Ant-Man and the Wasp $216,648,740
11 Venom (2018) $213,490,775
21 Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse* $158,256,385
91 Teen Titans Go! To The Movies* $29,790,236
148 Once Upon a Deadpool $6,095,422
As I wrote last year, "Unlike the other genres, these movies are all in the same ballpark in terms of box office." The exceptions are the two animated features, which I marked with an asterisk, and the PG-13 re-release of "Deadpool 2," "Once Upon a Deadpool." Those three are responsible for increasing the field from six to nine over last year.
The animated films probably won't be nominated for Best Comic-to-Motion Picture Release at the Saturn Awards, although "Teen Titans Go! To The Movies" might just sneak in if it does not earn a nomination for Best Animated Film Release, and the last I really consider just a different version of the R-rated "Deadpool 2." It might still earn a nomination if the selection committee insists on six nominees yet doesn't include "Alita: Battle Angel," which will be released on February 13, just before the deadline, as a comic book movie.
Projected nominees for Best Comic-to-Motion Picture Release at the Saturn Awards: "Avengers: Infinity War," "Deadpool 2," "Aquaman," "Ant-Man and the Wasp," and "Venom." "Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse" probably deserves the spot, but probably won't get it if it is also nominated for Best Animated Film Release, so I am leaving the sixth spot open. What about "Black Panther?" It already won this category last year.
3 Incredibles 2 $608,581,744
7 Dr. Seuss' The Grinch (2018) $270,085,325
14 Ralph Breaks the Internet $191,436,032
17 Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation $167,510,016
21 Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse* $158,256,385
37 Smallfoot $83,240,103
67 Sherlock Gnomes $43,242,871
84 Isle Of Dogs $32,015,231
91 Teen Titans Go! To The Movies* $29,790,236
133 Early Man $8,267,544
152 My Hero Academia: Two Heroes $5,754,556
168 Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero $3,782,328
191 Mary and the Witch's Flower $2,418,404
This wasn't as good a year for animation as last year, when 18 films made the top 20 in box office and I mentioned a nineteenth. This year, only 13 animated films entered the top 20 in domestic receipts. Still, I think the top five movies are as good as any of last year's.
Last year, the Saturn Awards only nominated five films for Best Animated Film Release. If so, the top five films would be a good field. For a sixth film, I would hope they skip over to "Isle of Dogs," but they might include "Smallfoot," "Teen Titans Go! To The Movies," or "The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part," which will be released next month before the eligibility deadline. "Early Man," which earned a nomination at the Annie Awards, almost certainly won't be nominated, as it was released the same day as "Black Panther," which just made the eligibility deadline last year, although that is based on when the film is screened for the Saturn Awards electors in Los Angeles, not the film's general release date.
Projected nominees at the Saturn Awards for Best Animated Film Release at the Saturn Awards: "Incredibles 2, "Dr. Seuss' The Grinch (2018)," "Ralph Breaks the Internet," "Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation," "Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse," and "Isle Of Dogs."
4 Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom $417,719,760
10 Solo: A Star Wars Story $213,767,512
24 Ready Player One $137,690,172
29 Bumblebee $112,393,676
31 Rampage (2018) $101,028,233
47 Pacific Rim Uprising $59,874,525
49 Maze Runner: The Death Cure $58,032,443
54 The Predator (2018) $51,024,708
79 Alpha $35,857,181
83 Annihilation $32,732,301
110 Mortal Engines $15,951,040
119 The Darkest Minds $12,695,691
121 Upgrade $11,977,130
143 A.X.L. $6,501,381
154 Kin $5,718,096
I listed three more science fiction movies this year than last, so in that regard, 2018 was a better year for the genre than 2017. Still, this may be just as mediocre a year in terms of quality, although I don't think it was any worse. In addition, I'm not too sure about where the Saturn Awards selection committee will place some of these films. Some, such as "Rampage," "Pacific Rim: Uprising," and "Mortal Engines," might be classed as fantasy, "Alpha" as action, and "Upgrade" as horror. That written, here is my projected field for Best Science Fiction Release at the Saturn Awards: "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," "Solo: A Star Wars Story," "Ready Player One," "Bumblebee," "The Predator (2018)," and "Annihilation."
15 A Quiet Place $188,024,361
18 Halloween (2018) $159,342,015
22 The Meg $145,443,742
26 The Nun $117,450,119
39 The First Purge $69,488,745
44 Insidious: The Last Key $67,745,330
61 Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween $46,700,633
65 Hereditary $44,069,456
70 Truth or Dare $41,411,015
89 Slender Man $30,569,484
94 Winchester $25,091,816
95 Strangers: Prey at Night $24,586,708
99 Overlord $21,704,844
115 The Possession of Hannah Grace $14,708,520
124 Hell Fest $11,107,431
137 Unsane $7,732,899
177 Bad Samaritan $3,435,047
189 Suspiria $2,483,472
I compiled this year's releases to include the horror movies from Rotten Tomatoes list of top-rated horror movies but no other thrillers in the top 200, so comparison with last year's releases for numbers does not work. Just the same, 2018 was as good a year for horror movies as 2017, even if "Halloween" is not "It" at the box office. "A Quiet Place," on the other hand, out-earned "Get Out."
To determine my list of nominees for Best Horror Film Release at the Saturn Awards, I'm going to run down the list and eliminate any films that debuted on or before February 16, 2018. That leaves "A Quiet Place," "Halloween (2018)," "The Meg," "The Nun," and "The First Purge" before I have to use much judgment. "The Meg" might be moved to Thriller, but I doubt it, although the selection committee likes its horror supernatual, not realistic, so "The First Purge" might not survive the cut either, or futuristic, which keeps "The Predator" in science fiction. The Saturn Awards also tends to move horror comedies to fantasy (if it's more funny than scary, it's not horror), so "Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween" is out, leaving "Hereditary." If "The Meg" gets moved, then I expect the nominations might jump all the way down to "Suspiria." It's also possible that the selection committee might include the just-released "Escape Room," or the yet to be released "The Prodigy" or "Happy Death Day 2U," both of which will meet the eligibility deadline.
19 Mary Poppins Returns $158,731,814
20 Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald $158,620,988
28 Peter Rabbit $115,253,424
32 A Wrinkle in Time $100,478,608
34 Disney's Christopher Robin $99,215,042
42 The House With A Clock In Its Walls $68,549,695
50 The Nutcracker and the Four Realms $54,858,851
72 Paddington 2 $40,891,591
87 Robin Hood (2018) $30,824,628
101 The Happytime Murders $20,706,452
125 Welcome to Marwen $10,763,520
This is the category where I have the least confidence that the Saturn Awards selection committee will agree with my selection, as they are likely to move films from science fiction and horror here. That written, my list is larger than last year and likely to grow as movies like "Rampage" and "Mortal Engines" from 2018 are considered here and the about to be released "The Kid Who Would be King" is added.
As for which movies will make the list of nominees for Best Fantasy Film Release at the Saturn Awards, I offer the following: "Mary Poppins Returns," "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald," "A Wrinkle in Time," "Disney's Christopher Robin," "The House With A Clock In Its Walls," and "The Nutcracker and the Four Realms." Of all of them, "The House With A Clock In Its Walls" is the weakest nominee and the most likely to be replaced by another movie, probably one of "Rampage," "Mortal Engines," or "The Kid Who Would be King."
That's it for the box office report for speculative films released in 2018. Stay tuned for this year's edition of celebrating diversity in awards shows nominees and winners for MLK Day possibly followed by an entry about the Razzies.