April joins February 2018 as another record month at the box office with calendar grosses topping $1 billion for the first time ever, improving on 2017’s record grosses by nearly $210 million. The result was due, in large part, to the massive opening success of Avengers: Infinity War which made up 27.7% of the month’s overall gross despite being in theaters for only four days in April. As a result, Disney dominated the month with $336.6 million from just five films as the studio continues its record pace, generating over $1.2 billion in box office revenue over the first four months of 2018.
Led by $282.4 million from Avengers: Infinity War after just four days in release, Disney delivered $336.6 million in April, pushing the studio’s yearly total to $1.2 billion in the first four months of the year. On April 27, Disney became the fastest studio to reach $1 billion domestically, doing so in just 117 days, besting their previous record set in 2016 by 11 days. From a global perspective, Disney’s international gross at the end of April was a massive $1.5 billion for a worldwide total of $2.68 billion. From there the studio surpassed $3 billion in global ticket sales for the calendar year on May 4, reaching that threshold two days faster than the previous record, also set by Disney on May 6, 2016.
Overall, Disney is currently pacing $544.5 million ahead of where they were last year and $315 million ahead of 2016, the year they became the first studio to ever top $3 billion in domestic ticket sales and 2018 has a lot more to offer. Looking ahead at just the summer months, Disney has Solo: A Star Wars Story arriving at the end of May followed by Pixar’s The Incredibles 2 in June, Ant-Man and the Wasp in July and Christopher Robin in August, all before a trio of releases over the holiday season hope to deliver another record year for the Mouse House. You can view Disney’s full upcoming release slate right here.
Finishing second for the month is Warner Bros. with $181.25 million from eight releases. Leading the charge was the late March release of Ready Player One, which brought in $88.4 million for the month, accounting for 66.5% of its $133 million domestic total by the end of April. Overall, April accounted for 47% of WB’s total gross for the year so far, which ended April ahead of 2017’s gross by a narrow, $4.1 million margin. 2017 went on to become the studio’s highest grossing year ever at the domestic box office, topping $2 billion for the first time.
Paramount finished April in third place with one of the year’s biggest successes thus far in the horror/thriller A Quiet Place. The $17 million production debuted with a massive $50.2 million on April 6 and has since delivered over $160 million becoming the studio’s highest grossing release since Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation ($195m) in July 2015. A Quiet Place has out-grossed recent Paramount blockbusters such as Star Trek Beyond ($158.8m) and Transformers: The Last Knight ($130.1m) domestically and helped push the studio’s yearly gross over $232 million, $34 million ahead of last year. Unfortunately, that gross total is far from the studio’s best, coming in as the 14th highest total over the last 19 years. Though, with only five films in release, the $46.4 million average per film is the fourth best over the same time span.
Looking ahead, Paramount is hoping to turn things around after a dismal 2017 with a slate of modestly budgeted films as well as blockbusters including Mission: Impossible – Fallout (7/27) and Bumblebee (12/21) later this year.
Universal landed in fourth position for the month with $104.8 million from four films including two new releases. Leading the way was the R-rated comedy Blockers, which brought in $53.5 million on a $21 million budget and the latest Blumhouse production, Truth or Dare, which brought in $35.6 million for the month on a $3.5 million budget. Universal is currently pacing a hefty $488 million behind their 2017 grosses, but with films such as Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (6/22), The First Purge (7/4) and Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! (7/20) set to hit theaters over the summer months things should begin turning around.
In fifth is Lionsgate, which had just two films in release, combining for $35.8 million for the month, pushing the studio’s 2018 calendar gross over $133 million, pacing almost $280 million behind last year when films like La La Land, John Wick: Chapter Two, Power Rangers and The Shack were delivering solid grosses for the studio. This year Tyler Perry’s Acrimony is leading the studio’s stable of releases with $42.3 million putting pressure on the studio’s upcoming slate to deliver some bigger numbers.
Elsewhere, while Sony finished in 11th for the month, not having released a movie since Paul, Apostle of Christ in late March, the studio’s $403.2 million in grosses this year is $173 million ahead of where they were at the end of April last year. Of course, nearly $350 million of that total is attributed to Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle ($235.26m) and Peter Rabbit ($114.57m) while the rest of the studio’s 2018 releases haven’t fared nearly as well. However, following their CinemaCon presentation high hopes reside on the shoulders of films including Hotel Transylvania 3 (7/13), The Equalizer 2 (7/20), Venom (10/5), Goosebumps 2 (10/12), The Girl in the Spider’s Web (11/9) and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (12/14).
As for the rest of May, while Avengers: Infinity War gave the Spring season a late jolt, helping it become the second largest Spring ever, Deadpool 2 and Solo: A Star Wars Story look to get the official summer box office off to a solid start, while films such as Book Club, Breaking In and Life of the Party may not deliver blockbuster-sized numbers, but should deliver good numbers as solid counter-programming options.
Looking at the year overall, the domestic box office stood at $3.875 billion at the end of April, improving on 2017’s $3.725 billion at the same point as well as positioned $310.7 million ahead of 2016’s record-setting year through the end of April.
Finally, a list of selected films that closed out their domestic runs in April is featured below, ordered by cumulative gross.
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Disney) – Closed with $620.18M after 126 days in release
- Coco (Disney) – Closed with $209.73M after 156 days in release
- Fifty Shades Freed (Uni) – Closed with $100.41M after 56 days in release
- Darkest Hour (Focus) – Closed with $56.44M after 131 days in release
- Lady Bird (A24) – Closed with $48.96M after 154 days in release
- The 15:17 to Paris (WB) – Closed with $36.25M after 63 days in release
- Annihilation (Paramount) – Closed with $32.73M after 56 days in release
- I, Tonya (Neon) – Closed with $30.01M after 133 days in release
- Phantom Thread (Focus) – Closed with $21.02M after 98 days in release
- Unsane (Bleecker) – Closed with $7.73M after 21 days in release
- Gringo (STX) – Closed with $4.97M after 28 days in release
- Samson (Pure Flix) – Closed with $4.72M after 56 days in release
- 7 Days in Entebbe (Focus) – Closed with $3.21M after 45 days in release
- Mary and the Witch’s Flower (GKIDS) – Closed with $2.42M after 78 days in release
- Detective Chinatown 2 (WB) – Closed with $1.98M after 49 days in release
- Operation Red Sea (Well Go) – Closed with $1.54M after 56 days in release