Blockbuster Summer Movie Review 2018

As we universally welcome This Is Us back to television this Fall, I think it’s appropriate that we spend a little time reflecting on our Summer movie season.

The rules for this year’s Summer Movie Review is that we’re only looking at movies given a wide release in the months May, June, July or August. That means Avengers: Infinity War is off the table—sorry guys. But maybe it’s best so we don’t have that “given” at the top of every list. (As a side note, did you realize that Avengers: Infinity War isn’t even the top grossing movie of the year? Black Panther is. Crazy, right?) It also means we’re not looking at movies like Leave No Trace, which RottenTomatoes lists as the best-reviewed movie of the summer.

Section Break

Top 10 by Domestic Gross

10. Ocean’s 8 (Gross: $139,377,762)

9. The Meg (Gross: $140,754,053)

8. Crazy Rich Asians (Gross: $160,600,631)

7. Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (Gross: $166,121,916)

6. Solo: A Star Wars Story (Gross: $213,767,512)

5. Ant-Man and the Wasp (Gross: $215,856,906)

4. Mission: Impossible – Fallout (Gross: $218,388,397)

3. Deadpool 2 (Gross: $318,485,133)



2. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Gross: $416,599,540)

1. Incredibles 2 (Gross: $606,435,841)

(Honorable mention goes to Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.)

In our top ten, you’ll notice that the first seven are sequels (three involving superheroes) and the last movie is a soft-reboot. You may also notice a pretty sharp decline between each of the top four—general audiences don’t see many movies, so it takes a lot for people to rally around a particular film.


Top 10 by Worldwide Gross

10. Skyscraper (Gross: $301.7 million)

9. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (Gross: $388.2 million)

8. Solo: A Star Wars Story (Gross: $392.8 million)

7. Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (Gross: $508.5 million)

6. The Meg (Gross: $518.1 million)

5. Ant-Man and the Wasp (Gross: $620.2 million)

4. Deadpool 2 (Gross: $734.2 million)



3. Mission: Impossible – Fallout (Gross: $784.2 million)

2. Incredibles 2 (Gross: $1,195.5 million)

1. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Gross: $1,303.7 million)

Things don’t look too different overseas. Something worth noticing is that movies that relied on special effects tend to do better, while movies that rely on the popularity of existing properties and the richness of their franchise don’t do as well.


Top 5 Summer Flops

5. The Spy Who Dumped Me (Gross: $65,124,436 | Production Budget: $40 million)

4. Adrift (Gross: $57,045,012 | Production Budget: $35 million)

3. The Darkest Minds (Gross: $40,953,184 | Production Budget: $34 million)

2. Action Point (Gross: $5,059,608 | Production Budget: $19 million)

1. Kin (Gross: $9,256,451 | Production Budget: $30 million [rumored])

This list is somewhat adjusted for movies that you may have heard of, but in either case, keep in mind that the production budget listed is usually not the entire budget of the movie as studios often double the budget in advertising. It’s also worth noting that Solo: A Star Wars Story was very close to making it onto this list.


Top 10 by RottenTomatoes Score

10. Tully (86%)

9. Ant-Man and The Wasp (88%)

8. Hereditary (89%)

7. Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (90%)

6. Searching (93%)

5. Crazy Rich Asians (93%)

4. Sorry to Bother You (93%)

3. Incredibles 2 (94%)

2. BlacKkKlansman (95%)

1. Mission: Impossible – Fallout (97%)

A few of these movies were on our top grossing lists, but many weren’t. If we had expanded our scope to movies that received a limited release, we would have seen movies like Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Blindspotting, and First Reformed.


Top 10 Overall Success

10. BlacKkKlansman

9. Hereditary

8. Ocean’s 8

7. Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation

6. Ant-Man and the Wasp

5. Mission: Impossible – Fallout

4. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

3. Deadpool 2



2. Crazy Rich Asians

1. Incredibles 2

Don’t put too much stock in this list; I used my own algorithm to come up with it. But what we’re basically looking at is a list of how well movies did financially as well as critically. If there’s anything we should notice about this list is that there are a handful of movies that managed to make a lot of money despite being critically panned.

Section Break

I always enjoy the summer movie season—possibly just because I love popcorn and Dr. Pepper. When we look at how well movies did this year, we can make some educated guesses about what movies will be made in the coming years. And if you’ve ever wished that there was a more democratic way of determining what movies get made, then realize that process is through you and your family and friends’ ticket purchasing. If you’re tired of seeing superhero movies get made (I’m not quite yet), then stop buying tickets and encourage people who will listen to you to do the same. If you want more RomComs to get produced, then go see Crazy Rich Asians five times and get everyone you know to do the same. That’s, at least, what some people did this year.


Add yours →

  1. I assume “A Simple Favor” & “White Boy Rick” are Fall movies


  2. Do you log the box office returns in your algorithm?


    • Log? I assume that means something different for you than it does for me.

      The algorithm was: (DomesticGross/MaxGross) x (DomesticGross/Budget) x (RottenTomatoesScore/100)

      I also only calculated it for the top 10 or so domestic grossing, worldwide grossing, and RottenTomatoes scoring.


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