As of this writing, the final, global box office total for 2022 has not been calculated, but it’s going to follow the domestic trend and end up well ahead of where things were in 2021, when ticket sales totaled $21.4 billion globally. Case in point: The top ten movies of 2021 grossed $7.6 billion worldwide (and that’s counting the massive amounts of money “Spider-Man: No Way Home” made in 2022), while the top ten in 2022 made $8.8 billion. Plus, we had three different movies cross the $1 billion mark this year, with “Top Gun: Maverick,” ($1.48 billion), “Avatar: The Way of Water,” ($1.03 billion and climbing), and “Jurassic World Dominion” ($1 billion) all pulling past the milestone. Last year, “No Way Home” ($1.9 billion) was the only one to pull this off.
It’s also important to note that it wasn’t just your typical blockbusters putting meat in seats this year. In 2022, were it nor for superhero movies and horror franchises, things would have looked dire. However, this year saw original horror movies like “Smile” ($216 million) make an unexpected killing. We also had hit theatrical rom-coms with “The Lost City” ($190 million) and “Ticket to Paradise” ($167 million), proving that Netflix doesn’t own the market on that genre. Then there were the surprise low-to-mid-budget winners “Barbarian” ($50 million), “Everything Everywhere All at Once” ($103 million), “Where the Crawdads Sing” ($140 million), and “RRR” ($102 million).
Couple all of that with the fact that big franchise movies such as “The Batman” ($770 million), “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” ($955 million), “Thor: Love and Thunder” ($760 million), “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” ($402 million), and even “Jackass Forever” ($80 million), delivered the goods, and the overall picture looks damn fine. The problem? Adult-skewing original movies and awards season fare is still struggling mightily.