- Disney and Marvel Studios topped the box office this year, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson proved that he’s the biggest movie star in the world.
- Meanwhile, Claire Foy starred in three box-office bombs, and Kevin Hart butchered his chance at being Oscars host.
As with any year, 2018 saw ups and downs in the entertainment world. From Disney’s box-office domination, to Kevin Hart’s swift rise and fall as Oscars host, the year saw records broken and controversies arise.
Former CBS CEO Les Moonves was ousted after a dozen women accused him of sexual assault or harassment. Meanwhile, Queen saw a resurgence as its biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” exceeded expectations at the box office.
We’ve rounded up nine winners and five losers in Hollywood from 2018 below:
Winners: Disney and Marvel Studios
Marvel Studios has mastered its cinematic universe, and everything it has worked toward the last decade culminated in “Avengers: Infinity War” this year. That movie grossed over $US2 billion worldwide, and is only the fourth movie to ever do so. The studio’s “Black Panther” is the highest-grossing movie of the year domestically with over $US700 million, and is eyeing an Oscar nomination for best picture. If it gets it, it will be the first superhero movie to ever be nominated in the category.
Marvel’s parent company, Disney, released the top three highest-grossing movies in the US in 2018: “Black Panther,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” and “Incredibles 2.” This year was the company’s second-biggest year at the box office ever with over $US7 billion worldwide, and “Mary Poppins Returns” still needs to debut.
Disney acquired Fox’s film studio and a majority of its other assets this year for $US71.3 billion, and the deal is expected to close in early 2019. The merger gives Disney access to Fox-owned Marvel characters like the X-Men and Fantastic Four, along with other popular franchises like “Avatar” and “Alien.”
2019 will be a test for Disney, as it looks to successfully integrate Fox on top of launching its own streaming service, Disney+, to compete with Netflix.
Winners: Emily Blunt and John Krasinski
The Hollywood power couple starred together in one of the year’s biggest movies, “A Quiet Place,” which Krasinski also directed and wrote. The movie, released in April, grossed over $US340 million worldwide off a $US17 million production budget. Since then, Krasinski has starred in the Amazon action series, “Jack Ryan,” which has already been renewed for a second season, and Blunt is already receiving acclaim for her role as the title character in Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns,” which comes to theatres later this month.
Loser: Taron Egerton
Egerton starred in two of the worst-performing movies of the year at the box office. “Billionaire Boy’s Club,” also starring Kevin Spacey, made just $US126 on its opening day and an estimated $US600 in its opening weekend. It went on to gross $US2 million worldwide, but only $US1,300 in the US. “Robin Hood,” in which Egerton plays the title character, is the biggest box-office bomb of 2018, premiering last month with $US14 million – the worst showing for a movie of the year with a budget over $US90 million.
Horror is the most consistently reliable genre at the box office aside from superhero blockbusters. “A Quiet Place” surpassed all expectations to be a box-office hit this year, and “Halloween” made over $US253 million worldwide with just a $US10 million production budget. “The Nun,” the fifth movie in the “Conjuring” universe, fought off horrible reviews to be a smash hit. And while it didn’t make as big of a splash, “Hereditary” is the studio A24’s highest-grossing movie yet. The genre has enjoyed a comeback in recent years, and 2018 continued that trend.
Winner: Nicolas Cage
This year’s trippy revenge-horror movie from director Panos Cosmatos, “Mandy,” allowed Nicolas Cage to go full Nicolas Cage, with zero compromise. But not only will “Mandy” live on as a cult classic, but Business Insider reported in October that the movie’s surprise success forced the distributor,RLJ Entertainment, to overhaul its release strategy and book more theatres through November. Cage is also voicing one of the Spider-Men, Spider-Man Noir, in this month’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.”
Loser: “Star Wars”
“Solo: A Star Wars Story” was the first movie during the Disney “Star Wars” era to not make $US1 billion worldwide – and it didn’t even crack $US400 million. “Solo” is still in the top 10 highest-grossing movies of the year (barely), but it’s a disappointment by “Star Wars” standards after a rocky production. The movie has forced Disney to reevaluate its “Star Wars” film strategy, and CEO Bob Iger has said to expect a slowdown.
2019 is looking up for the franchise, though. “Star Wars: Episode IX” comes to theatres next December, and Disney+ will launch with the first ever live-action “Star Wars” TV series, “The Mandalorian.”
Winner: Jon M. Chu and the cast of “Crazy Rich Asians”
After a series of underwhelming studio movies like “Step Up 3D,” “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” and “Jem and the Holograms,” director Jon M. Chu rebounded with this year’s hit romantic comedy, “Crazy Rich Asians.” Chu told Business Insider in August, “I have proven myself in movies and franchises, but am I an artist? Can I contribute something to a medium that I love so much?” With “Crazy Rich Asians,” he did. It’s the first Hollywood movie since “The Joy Luck Club” 25 years ago to feature an all-Asian cast, and it grossed $US238 million worldwide off of a $US10 million production budget.
The movie’s two lead actors are having an equally amazing year. Constance Wu was recently nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in the movie. Newcomer Henry Golding also starred in “A Simple Favour” this year and became the first Asian GQ “Men of the Year” cover star. Another star in the movie, Awkwafina, also starred in “Ocean’s 8” this year and hosted SNL.
Winner: Ryan Coogler
It’s rare for a director to make three successful, critically acclaimed movies in a row, least of all their first three feature films. But after “Fruitvale Station” and “Creed,” Coogler went three-for-three this year with “Black Panther,” a Marvel movie that was also a cultural moment. The movie is predicted to be the first superhero movie ever to be nominated for best picture at the Oscars. If it fails to land that, it’s still the highest-grossing movie of the year in the US and introduced millions of moviegoers to something they’d never seen before: a superhero movie, set in Africa, with an almost entirely black cast.
Loser: Claire Foy
It wasn’t all bad for Foy this year: she won an Emmy for her role in Netflix’s “The Crown” and is expected to be nominated for an Oscar for her supporting performance in “First Man.” But at the box office, Foy had an abysmal 2018. “Unsane,” “First Man,” and “The Girl in the Spider’s Web” were all box-office disappointments. The latter, a sequel/reboot to David Fincher’s “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” grossed only $US33 million worldwide, and was made for $US43 million.
Winner: Shari Redstone
As the controlling shareholder of CBS and Viacom, Redstone faced major challenges in 2018. Before CEO of CBS Les Moonves was ousted from his role, he was engaged in a bitter battle with Redstone, who was reportedly ready to fire Moonves and the entire CBS board if he disrupted a potential merger of CBS and Viacom. Months later, Moonves was accused by a dozen women of sexual misconduct and removed as CEO. The potential merger is on ice for now, but Redstone has emerged as one of the most powerful figures in media.
Winner: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Thanks to Johnson’s appeal in China, his movies “Rampage” and “Skyscraper” became success stories after lacklustre debuts in the US, making $US426 million and $US304 million worldwide, respectively. Johnson is one of the few movie stars who can still attract audiences from across the globe, which is more important than ever, as Hollywood increasingly focuses on international box office. Johnson was also Forbes’ second highest-paid actor of 2018 with $US124 million.
Loser: Les Moonves
After being accused of sexual harassment or assault by a dozen women in New Yorker reports, Les Moonves was ousted from his position as CEO of CBS. Since then, more details have been reported about the lengths Moonves went to silence women, including a recent New York Times piece that said Moonves had a CBS employee “on call” to perform oral sex. Moonves has denied that any of his encounters with women were non-consensual. He could lose a $US120 million exit package if it’s found that he lied to lawyers investigating his misconduct.
The Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” is a box-office hit with $US596 million worldwide. The band recently announced a 2019 North American tour with Adam Lambert. And its song, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” is now the most-streamed song of the 20th century, surpassing Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”
Loser: Kevin Hart
Hart was announced to be the host of the upcoming Oscars and stepped away from the job in the span of two days. After homophobic tweets from years ago resurfaced, Hart refused to apologise, and tweeted that he was removing himself from the gig because he did “not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists.” Hart’s anti-gay jokes were harshly condemned online, and the comedian’s 2018 is ending on a sour note.
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