Box office numbers were on the rise again last year after faltering a bit in 2017. According to the final tallies for moviegoing in North America in 2018, the studios and theaters raked in an impressive $11.85 billion in 2018. That’s an increase of 6.8% over the year prior.
In comparison, the year 2017 was not an amazing one at the box office. Well actually if you look at the overall numbers, things didn’t seem so bad in 2017. In North America alone, the box office cume tallied up to $11.1 billion. That made it the third highest year for money-making on record.
Regardless, it also marked a downturn in revenue after a few years where the numbers seemed to be on the rise, thanks in part to more theater options in terms of 3D and IMAX and more deluxe moviegoing experiences. The tally was actually down a total of 2.3% in 2017, and that’s even with hits like IT and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle picking up the slack.
In 2017, the year of Star Wars: The Last Jedi seemed like a big one for movies, but 2018 ended up with even more hits. Aquaman did better than its predecessor Justice League. Avengers: Infinity War and Black Panther were bigger movies than the likes of Thor: Ragnarok and Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol.2. There were also new Mission: Impossible and Jurassic World franchise movies.
Per the National Association of Theatre Owners (via Variety), ticket prices also increased this year, which had an effect on the overall total. Ticket prices went up from $8.97 on average to $9.11 on average. In addition, a larger number of people over age 50 saw movies in 2018, with the total box office jumping from 5.8% to 6.4% in the over 50 group.
The news is very similar to the numbers that ComScore projected back in December, which guesttimated the box office would hit $11.9 billion domestically.
The highest years for overall ticket sales actually started around the turn of the century, with 2002, 2003, and 2004 being the landmark years, at least in terms of overall ticket sales. In 2002, there were 1.57 billion admission sales. In 2018, there were 1.3 billion admission sales—a similar number to 1995.
It should be pointed out the highs around 2002 were well before streaming giants began working their way into the movies space. (Although recent reports have stated streaming and moviegoing at the theater may not be as intertwined as many of us believe.)
Still, domestically theaters seemed to be on solid footing this year and there are a slew of big titles ready to roll into theaters in 2019, from superheroes to big budget projects like Alita: Battle Angel, Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Frozen 2. If you'd like to take a look at the full list of all of the releases coming out, be sure to check out CinemaBlend's full movies schedule.
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