2022 was called to be the great return of movie theaters… until one of the engines, China, ended up breaking down. Still we managed to have bonsai successes (The menu, Dog: A Wild Ride), franchises that complied (the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe and jurassicworld), blockbuster surprises (there is a multiverse that is not Dr. Strange’s) and great blockbusters.
Like every year, for this annual review of blockbusters we take into account films that have a common denominator: profits. On the one hand, there are those productions (small and colossal) that raised three, five, ten and even 31! times your budget; and on the other hand, blockbusters that tripled their production costs and that are, in the end, those that we will remember when we think about the cinema of 2022.
Before moving forward, we leave the list of the 10 films that generated the most box office in 2022.
Global box office top 10 in 2022
As we can see, there are four superhero movies and all but the tenth place are sequels, prequels or reboots of already existing franchises. Most of them fulfilled what was expected of them at the box office, but only 3 appear on our hit list due to their cost/earnings ratio and their impact on the collective memory.
- Mrs Harris goes to Paris: The gentle comedy cost just $9 million and ended up grossing +$30.0 million. Its top territories were the US ($10.4), UK ($6.2) and Australia ($5.9), and it will be around awards season.
- The menu: The black horror comedy (yes, you can do all that) was a choice for adult audiences in late fall. It cost $30 million and was over $60 million, and its top territories were the US ($32.0), the UK ($3.9) and Germany ($2.5).
- the girl by the lake (Where the Crawdads Sing): Of its $140 million global, two-thirds was grossed in the US ($90.4 million) by the end of summer. It cost just $24.0 million. It also generated numbers in the UK ($9.3) and Australia ($7.8).
- the bad boys: In theory, it would be a minor installment of Dreamworks. In the end, it was the second highest grossing animation of the year, with $250.1 million dollars… and a place in the production house’s new intro. It is estimated that it cost between $69 and $80 million dollars.
- Uncharted: Off the Map. It cost $120 million, but ended up grossing $401.7, making it the fifth most successful video game adaptation ever, not far from first place, which is warcraft ($439.7 million dollars).
Now yes, the 10 hits of 2022
animated, in live action and with different actors, we have seen Batman in ten films in just three decades. Perhaps for this reason a new version of the Batman was somewhat unnecessary, and less with an actor who, although he has demonstrated his scope, was related to a toxic Vampire Man: Edward Cullen from Twilight. But Matt Reeves worked magic and brought us an exciting and different story, which grossed $770 million globally (it cost $200, or 3.8 times less). Its main markets were the US ($369.3), the UK ($50.9) and Mexico ($31.2), where it is the second highest-grossing film ever for Warner, behind joker.
Baz Luhrmann surprises and disappoints in equal measure. Australia it was a disaster in 2008, with $211 million global (it cost $130), but The Great Gatsby it was a smash hit, earning $353.6 million globally and two Oscars. Elvis was a mystery that was quickly cleared up: the musical became an extraordinary counter programming summer (that is, plan b for those who evaded the typical blockbusters) with great performances and the director’s characteristic style. It cost $85 million and grossed $286.0 million globally (3.3 times its budget), enough for a place in the annual top 15. Its top territories: US ($151.0 million), UK ($30.6) and Australia ($22.6).
8.Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Many consider that Sonic opens and closes the Covid-era, since the first installment was the last great pre-confinement premiere and this sequel it came just two years later. It was logical, since the 2020 film generated $302 million globally. The sequel arrived again in the spring and surprised again: it cost $90 million, grossed $402 million (4.4 times its budget) and is the fourth highest-grossing film based on video games, behind warcraft ($439.0), detective pikachu ($433.2) and Rampage ($428.0). Its top territories were the US ($190.8 million, No. 1 for video games), the UK ($32.1) and Mexico ($22.1), where it was in the top 10 for the year (its predecessor was No. 1 in 2020).
7. Everything everywhere at the same time
It debuted on March 25 in the US, its first territory, in just ten theaters, but word soon spread that here we would find the true film multiverse of the year. The performances of its leads were also praised, with an emphasis on Michelle Yeoh, at whose feet Hollywood finally surrendered. Praise turned into ticket sales and the $25M production ended up grossing $70M US and $102M globally (4.0x its budget), making it the biggest hit in A24’s history, surpassing hereditary either Lady Bird. Of course, in the awards season it has been present, taking the highest award from various groups and associations of critics.
6. Dog: A Wild Ride
Channing Tatum had a good return in 2022: he starred with Sandra Bullock in the comedy The lost City ($183.3 million dollars) and pushed Dog: A Wild Ride, a project that he was passionate about as much as he could, to the point of being the protagonist, producer and director (four hands with Reid Carolin). The inspirational drama was released at the end of the Omicron wave, and it was a real success: it cost $15 million and grossed $85.0 (5.7 times its box office), of which $61.7 was generated in the US, where it beat other family proposals such as A boss in diapers 2 either The Addams Family 2. Other top territories were the UK ($4.2) and Russia ($2.9), before it stopped releasing Hollywood movies.
5. The Black Telephone
In a year with few blockbuster horror franchises (That, The spell, a place in silence), the original proposals triumphed. It is the case of the black phone, a film that cost between $16 and $18 million, but ended up grossing 9.5 times its budget, reaching the neighborhood of $161 million. How was this possible? First of all, this is an outstanding adaptation of Joe Hill’s short story. Second, it was fortunate to be released in a summer with little competition for the genre. In fact, many say that here is the next big Blumhouse franchise. Its main markets: the US ($90.0 million) and Mexico ($16.9), where it managed to finish in the annual top 10.
4. Smile (Smile)
Of the few successful horror movies of 2022, the one that went the furthest was Smile (yes, above nope), production without blockbuster stars that debuted in a weak fall. Smile achieved something uncommon for the genre (seen before only with Flees!): minimal decreases every week in its collection and – this is impressive – an international box office as big as that of the US (51 vs 49%).
In the end, the $17 million production ended up grossing $216.0 million, that is, 12.7 times its costs. Its top countries were the US ($105.8 million), the UK ($14.1), Germany ($11.8), France ($9.5) and Mexico ($8.6).
3. Minions: A Villain Is Born
If we think of the highest grossing animated franchises in history, they come to mind in toy story, cars, Shrek Y The ice Agebut it happens that Minions/Despicable me is by far the most successful, with $4.646 million globally, nearly $1 billion more than second place (Shrek) and $1,200 more than the Scrat and Woody/Buzz sagas.
Minions: A Villain is Born added $939.4 million, making it the fourth in the saga to exceed $900 million. In addition, it is -by far- the highest grossing pandemic animation, with more than Demon Slayer: Mugen Train Y song 2 together. Its main markets were the US ($369.5), the UK ($55.8) and Mexico ($40.0), where it finished in 12th place all-time at the box office.
2. Lighting Up the Stars
In 2021, China surprised with The Battle at Changing Lake, a patriotic proposal that became the most successful film in the history of that country, with +$900 million dollars collected. This 2022 it seemed that the reflectors would be for its sequel, Water Gate Bridgewhich debuted in February, less than five months after the first installment, and grossed $626.5 million (it cost $200), enough for a place in the global top 5.
But… there is another Chinese film that turned out to be much more profitable: the feel good movies Lighting Up the Stars, which generated $253 million… when it barely cost $8 million. This means that it multiplied $31.6 times its budget… although it only reached Australia and New Zealand.
1.Top Gun: Maverick
Five decades. Tom Cruise has five decades as a movie star and, to make his status clear, he revived a franchise whose first (and regular) installment dates back 36 years. Thus, in the summer of 2022 he arrived with Top Gun: Maverick, a highly acclaimed sequel that came to completely dominate in the summer and win several important marks along the way. First, $1.489 million global, enough for 11th place all-time. Then $718.5 million in the US, enough for the all-time fifth place. And third, it boasts the third highest grossing in history in Australia and the eighth in the United Kingdom. Yes: Tom Cruise did it again.
Edgar Apanco Fan-from-hell of movie numbers. He was an editor of business magazines (no, that’s not where his love of numbers comes from). Today he is an expert in box office reports and content marketing (happy marketing … #OkNo).