Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, movie theaters have been shut down for the majority of the year. With many having closed in March, that leaves a good five to six months where nothing new has really come out. Couple that along with many of the year’s expected blockbusters being moved to 2021 or further, many of 2020’s highest grossing films will have been released in the early months of January and February, months known for not producing the most memorable and financially successful films.
The 2020 U.S. box office could potentially change as the year finishes out but, until more theaters open, this may not be possible. For now, let’s take a look at what films are currently considering the highest grossing of the year.
#10. Fantasy Island – Released February 14th
Domestic Box Office: $26,441,782 (55.6%)
International Box Office: $21,146,815 (44.4%)
Total Box Office: $47,588,597
This horror film based on the 1970s to 1980s series starring Ricardo Montalban managed to take the number 10 spot on the the domestic box office despite not being very well received by viewers and critics. Though hosting an all-star cast with actors Michael Pena, Maggie Q and Lucy Hale, critics called the film “contrived” and lacking any actual horror.
#9. Tenet – Released September 3rd
Domestic Box Office: $36,100,000 (14.4%)
International Box Office: $215,000,000 (85.6%)
Total Box Office: $251,000,000
Though “Tenet” managed to be the fourth highest grossing film in the world, it has only managed to take the number nine spot domestically. The film was infamously delayed numerous times and was one of the biggest films to come out when theaters reopened. However, with theaters in North America operating at lower capacities, “Tenet” has yet to reach an audience as big as they wish they had in these territories.
#8. The Gentlemen – Released January 24th
Domestic Box Office: $36,471,795 (31.7%)
International Box Office: $78,700,000 (68.3%)
Total Box Office: $115,171,795
This British crime drama that served as a return to form for director Guy Ritchie managed to take the number eight spot despite very mixed reviews. Many saw the film as a return to form for Ritchie only really servicing old fans and having odd instances of problematic content.
#7. Onward – Released March 6th
Domestic Box Office: $61,555,145 (44.6%)
International Box Office: $76,587,173 (55.4%)
Total Box Office: $138,142,318
Budget: $175 – 200 million
One of Disney’s only entries on the U.S. box office, “Onward” manages to take the number seven spot despite a shorter time in theaters and an eventual move to Disney+ in April. Despite this, the film still managed to make it to the top 10 with generally positive reviews for the film.
#6. The Call of the Wild – Released February 21st
Domestic Box Office: $62,342,368 (57.9%)
International Box Office: $$45,262,258 (42.1%)
Total Box Office: $107,604,626
Despite being called a box office bomb, the adaptation of the classic Jack London story became the sixth highest grossing film in the U.S. Marred by the CGI used for the dog character, “The Call of the Wild” was said to have lost $50 – 100 million dollars for 20th Century Studios.
#5. The Invisible Man – Released February 28th
Domestic Box Office: $64,914,050 (49.6%)
International Box Office: $66,007,762 (50.4%)
Total Box Office: $130,921,812
Adapting the classic tale to the modern age, “The Invisible Man” takes the spot as the fifth highest grossing film of the year in the United States. The film received positive reviews and has even had a spin-off announced to star and direct Elizabeth Banks.
#4. Dolittle – Released January 17th
Domestic Box Office: $77,047,065 (31.4%)
International Box Office: $168,600,170 (68.6%)
Total Box Office: $245,647,235
Another box office bomb, “Dolittle” reached the number four spot on the box office despite not making enough to make back its budget. The film was widely criticized for not using its voice cast very well and the lack of an interesting plot and storyline for Downey Jr. to head.
#3. Birds of Prey – Released February 7th
Domestic Box Office: $84,158,461 (41.7%)
International Box Office: $117,700,000 (58.3%)
Total Box Office: $201,858,461
Taking the number three spot in the box office, this female centered hero film managed to capture a good audience despite the usual negative reception of DC superhero films. “Birds of Prey” received mostly positive reviews praising the action and the performance of Margot Robbie in her standout role as Harley Quinn.
#2. Sonic the Hedgehog – Released February 14th
Domestic Box Office: $146,066,470 (47.4%)
International Box Office: $162,154,274 (52.6%)
Total Box Office: $308,220,744
Dethroning “Pokémon: Detective Pikachu” as the highest grossing video game film of all time, “Sonic the Hedgehog” speeds its way into being the number two spot. Overcoming the controversy over Sonic’s original design for the film, the film received mixed to positive reviews from both audiences and critics.
#1. Bad Boys for Life – Released January 17
Domestic Box Office: $204,417,855
International Box Office: $220,200,000
Total Box Office: $424,617,855
The unexpected highest grossing film of the year so far is the sequel 17 years in the making with “Bad Boys for Life.” The film received mostly positive reviews with many praising the performances of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.
With three full months left in the year, it is possible for this list to change. But either way, it still shows how the coronavirus has affected everything this year including films.