As of September 2022, only 51 films have ever crossed the coveted $1billion mark at the global box office. And only 5 have managed to cross the even more elusive $2billion mark.
But does this achievement actually have any meaning? After all, cinema tickets are a lot more expensive than they used to be – often hitting £10 or more per person.
Nevertheless, this list showcases the movies that made a billion dollars at the box office, and whether or not you should spend your time watching them – or give them a pass.
Intrigued? You should be!
Good Luck to You, Leo Grande stars the legendary actress Emma Thompson and up-and-comer Daryl McCormack (who plays Isaiah Jesus in Peaky Blinders). Sophia Hyde directs the film. Hyde started her career focusing on short documentary films and made her full-length feature debut with 52 Tuesdays in 2014.
There’s few directors that ‘burst on to the scene’ like Jordan Peele did back in 2017 with the Oscar-winning horror/thriller/satire Get Out. In his first feature film, Peele tackled the racial divide in a way audiences never saw coming and has continued to surprise audiences in unexpected ways. Two years later Peele made Us (2019), while a competent and intriguing horror/thriller with similar themes and allegory, it didn’t quite reach the narrative tightness and unexpected brilliance of Get Out. Now the former funny-man turned horror-auteur presents audiences with his latest ‘spectacle’, Nope.
The question everyone will be asking is “is it as good as Get Out?”. Honestly, that might not be achievable based on how Peele seemed to ‘catch lightning in a bottle’ with his first feature, however with Nope Jordan Peele has brought an entertaining cinematic experience to the big screen that in terms of size, scope and filmmaking in general, surpasses the achievements of Get Out and Us, fully cementing him as one of cinema’s most interesting horror filmmakers.
Not so long ago, in a galaxy not so far away, the world was introduced to one of the most successful franchises to exist, spanning multiple genres and mediums. While its roots are grounded in Japanese cinema and the Westerns of the golden age, Star Wars over time has grown and evolved to become much more than that, opening the eyes of generations of viewers while becoming a central part in many people’s lives.
Whether it be for casual viewing or hard-core marathons, it isn’t hard to see the attraction of such a universe. If anything, it offers an escape from the sometimes bleak and depressing world we inhabit, showing fans that there can always be light found in the dark.
For anyone that saw the last Predator film, I think I speak for most when I say that expectations for a new instalment were rock bottom. The Predator franchise has had its ups and downs, with most sequels failing to capture what made the original so memorable.
Enter Prey, the latest film in the Predator canon that is the first to not be released in cinemas, instead going straight to Disney + or Hulu in the US. Directed by Dan Trachtenberg of 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) fame, Prey is a back-to-its-roots prequel to the original 1987 film, set 300 years in the past following Naru (Amber Midthunder) a Native American who attempts to prove herself a hunter only to find that she and her tribe are being hunted themselves by the predator on what’s assumed to be its first hunt on earth.
With Angus MacLane (BURN-E, Toy Story of Terror!, Toy Story Toons: Small Fry) at the helm and Chris Evans (Knives Out, Snowpiercer, Avengers: Endgame) starring as the titular space ranger, this expansion was all set to be an out of this world experience for fans and newcomers alike. While this is initially the case, a retcon appears towards the film’s third act which prevents the story from reaching hyperspace.
The story as a whole is well written, with the exception being the aforementioned franchise retcon which has been a major turn off for some fans. In addition, the bizarre choice is made to have the, in universe, merchandising for the film be based off the suits and star ship from the closing minutes of the film.
Alex Garland’s latest folk-horror/thriller Men is one of those ‘marmite movies’. You’ll either love it, and appreciate its utter strangeness, ambiguity and tone. Or you’ll hate it for the very same reasons many will adore it. Alex Garland is no stranger to weird and existential concepts, just look at his last film Annihilation (2018), which had such a WTF- is-going-on-ending that I was quite surprised to see him out do himself with Men.
Men follows the story of Harper (Jessie Buckley) a woman in need of a countryside getaway after the shocking suicide of her husband. While in this idyllic but isolated village retreat things turn nightmarish as Harper begins to encounter various men, all creepily portrayed by the brilliant Rory Kinnear, as they begin to make her confront her past trauma.
Shhh! Don’t tell the critics at The Guardian and The Times, but you are able to enjoy a popcorn blockbuster for what it is. I know, I know, I shouldn’t be saying that, but it’s true.
The critical reception to Jurassic World: Dominion has been less than stellar, with a measly 32% rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Going in, I was incredibly worried that my favourite franchise was going out on a Rise of Skywalker whimper. But how good is this final chapter in the Jurassic era?
Hollywood often has a tendency to release similarly themed films at the same time. Think impending doom from space in Deep Impact (1998) and Armageddon (1998), or the rather niche genre of the White House under attack in Olympus Has Fallen (2013) and White House Down (2013).
2022 is proving to be the ‘Year of the Multiverse’ with the recent release of Marvel’s Dr Strange in the Multiverse of Madness proving to be quite the mind-bending trip but ultimately failing to live up to the infinite and untapped potential of said multiverse. Now, after a long wait for a UK release, we have the Indie take on parallel dimensions with Everything Everywhere All At Once, the latest film from Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert – or as they’re collectively known, “Daniels”.
Please note, this review has not been paid for by the Church of Scientology. It was 36 years ago that director Tony Scott (Unstoppable, The Taking of Pelham 123) brought Top Gun to the big screen. It cemented Tom Cruise as one of the most bankable action stars in the world – a tag that has stayed with him throughout what has to be the most illustrious career in all of Hollywood bar none.
With its mix of breath-taking action and fantastic soundtrack that of course featured that classic tune, Danger Zone, Top Gun became a box office success and instant classic – transcending generation after generation. Now, almost 40 years on, Cruise is back – but can this maverick soar to new heights and capture the imagination of a whole new generation of moviegoers?