Summer Movie Season: 2018 Winners and Losers

L to R: Okoye (Danai Gurira), Black Panther/T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman), Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlet Johansson) and Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) in Avengers: Infinity War. Courtesy of Marvel Studios.

With Labor Day weekend marking the end of the summer and official Awards Season kickoff, I’m going to take a look at some of this year’s summer winners and losers.  The definition of what a summer movie has changed over the years.  Instead of the first Friday of May kicking summer off at the box office, the season started at the end of April.

Winner: Documentaries
With films such as RBG, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Half the Picture, and Three Identical Strangers, documentaries had a big win during the summer movie season.  Unfortunately, Half the Picture‘s box office was not reported for its entire run but only two weekends of release.  The other three documentaries crossed north of $10 million at the box office.  The Fred Rogers documentary climbed north of $20 million and is currently the top 12th grossing documentary.

Winner: Marvel Studios
Marvel Studios had two outings if you don’t count the Fox-distributed Deadpool 2.  This summer saw the release of Avengers: Infinity War and the subsequent pallet cleanser, Ant-Man and The Wasp.   Avengers: Infinity War was one of two films to gross north of $600 million at the box office.  A Pixar release, The Incredibles 2, is closing in on doing the same so it’s a win for the Disney superhero family.

Winner: Mission: Impossible
With the box office success of Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Ethan Hunt will have no shortage of missions to come.  The 56-year old Tom Cruise may have broken his ankle during production but that didn’t stop him from finishing his work.  The film should finish north of $200 million at the domestic box office.

Winner: Asian-Americans
One year after the month of August was an otherwise bare wasteland, this year saw an abundance of offerings.  A few letdowns not withstanding, Crazy Rich Asians, To All The Boys I Loved, and Searching are among the big winners for representation at the box office.  Both films feature Asian-Americans in the leading role.

Winner: Music-Driven Comedies
Hearts Beat Loud, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, and Juliet, Naked offered some feel-good tunes that audiences will want to listen to again and again.

Loser: Star Wars
Unfortunately for the Star Wars franchise, Solo: A Star Wars Story under-performed at the box office.  The film may have grossed north of $200 million but it was expected to take in a higher amount.

Loser: MoviePass
Despite the ability to get more buts in seats, MoviePass had a business model that can only be described as unsustainable.

Loser:  Puppets
The Happytime Murders is an insult to cinema.  Enough said.

The 2018 Summer Movie Season comes to an end with Labor Day Weekend.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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