When movie fans go to the theater, they often want to see film favorites and the biggest titles on the best formats possible to maximize the theatrical experience. That is, if your finances permit such actions. For many audiences, that means seeing movies in IMAX. It was a big year for IMAX in 2018, as audiences flocked to theaters to see movies in the large format. Now that the year is at a close, IMAX has announced the 10 highest-grossing IMAX movies of 2018. Check them out below:
As you might expect, there is a lot of overlap with the highest-grossing IMAX movies of 2018 and the biggest worldwide releases overall with seven films overlapping. Six of the top 10 highest-grossing IMAX films of 2018 also featured IMAX DNA, meaning they were shot with IMAX cameras or took advantage of the IMAX aspect ratio on IMAX screens.
Naturally the $2+ billion grossing Avengers: Infinity War tops the list as audiences the world over wanted to see that decade in the making event film on the biggest and best screen possible.
A lot of the other titles make sense too. Black Panther was a phenomenon and Venom outperformed everyone’s expectations. And if you’re going to see a movie like Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom or The Meg, which are about massive prehistoric creatures, you want to see them on an IMAX screen to get the full effect of that scale. The same goes for an action extravaganza like Mission: Impossible Fallout.
There are some entries on this list that are somewhat surprising and serve as a reminder of how well some of these movies did overseas, even if their domestic performance was unremarkable. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is in 18th place on the domestic charts with only $155.3 million according to Box Office Mojo, but thanks to its international take, it has made $613.7 million worldwide and it apparently did quite well for itself on IMAX screens.
Also notable is Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One. Despite not being in the top 10 at the box office domestically or worldwide, that film finds itself at number five on IMAX’s highest-grossing 2018 films. To me that says that the people who wanted to see it really wanted the most immersive experience possible and thus opted for the premium format. And regardless of your feelings about the film, it is the kind of movie that demands a great theatrical presentation.
2018 was a huge year at the box office, on track to be the biggest ever, due in large part to many of these films. But it was also a huge year for IMAX because for the first time ever IMAX surpassed $1 billion in worldwide box office revenue. With lots of huge titles headed to the large format next year, including those with IMAX DNA like The Lion King and Avengers: Endgame, IMAX, and the box office are poised for another huge year in 2019.