Hyperbolic headline notwithstanding, there is a better than reasonable chance that the top two movies in 2018 will be Walt Disney and Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War and Universal/Comcast Corp.’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. One kicks off the summer in late April/early May (depending on where you live) and the other opens overseas on June 8th before eventually expanding to North America on June 22. So yeah, I guess Universal isn’t aiming for any global opening weekend records this time out, but I digress.
Unless Solo: A Star Wars Story or The Incredibles 2 incredibly overperforms and/or the Jurassic Park sequel and the MCU penultimate episode underperform, the year will be dominated by two polar opposite motion pictures from the two biggest movie studios in town. One is the culmination of the most successful cinematic universe in modern Hollywood history. The other is a straight sequel to one of the most successful revamped 1980’s/1990’s franchise revivals ever. And both offer valuable lessons in “doing it right” in terms of crafting successful tentpole entertainment.
- This box office battle royale, with the always present knowledge that the second-place contender will be taken out and shot, is a would-be competition between the two prevailing schools of thought in the modern Hollywood blockbuster. Both are following up hugely successful 2015 summer releases that earned $1.4 to $1.6 billion worldwide. And both sequels can make a lot less than their respective predecessors and still be ridiculously profitable.