The 5 Box Office Lessons of 2018: Marvel, ‘Star Wars,’ and Other Cautionary Tales and Stories of Success

/Film | 12/31/2018 | David Chen
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2018 will be remembered as the year the movies didn’t die. After years of stagnation, the U.S. domestic box office actually showed a solid performance, raking in an estimated $11.8 billion, a significant increase over the $10.6 billion it made in 2017. Movies decisively demonstrated that they are still relevant by continuing to become memes, topics of water cooler conversation, and cultural touchstones. People are occasionally putting away their smartphones and leaving their home theater setups to actually go to the movies again.

The year was full of notable moments and trends. Continuing Hollywood’s gravitation towards reliable IP, pretty much all of the top 10 films of 2018 are sequels or titles that are based on existing properties. The strong performance of Aquaman showed that the DCEU film franchise is far from over (despite what the mediocre performance of Justice League might have you believe), while The Grinch‘s huge box office take reveals that there are some stories that people will always turn out for in theaters.

US - Year - Rise - Movie - Subscription

In the U.S., 2018 was also the year of the rise of movie subscription services. MoviePass, Sinemia, and AMC Stubs A-List all vied for supremacy. MoviePass was strong right out of the gate, at one point crossing a staggering 3 million subscribers and proving out that there was actually a market for people who wanted to pay a low monthly fee to watch a bunch of movies. “It’s a MoviePass movie” became a term of art for films that might be worth seeing, but probably weren’t worth paying full price for.

Unfortunately, MoviePass’s lackadaisical attitude towards customer service and consistency led to a seemingly non-stop string of changes, some of which were so egregious they bordered on performance art. Meanwhile, AMC Stubs A-List, with a more sustainable value proposition of three movies per week at $20/month,...
(Excerpt) Read more at: /Film
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