The comic-book genre has already carved out a nice return at this year’s box office courtesy of Black Panther’s cinematic claws. The film surpassed expectations by going well over the $1-billion mark worldwide. But don’t count on it being the 2018 box-office champion. There are other super-beings in tights ready to challenge the throne of Wakanda.

People are clamoring to see all their favorite Marvel characters in Avengers: Infinity War which is set to come out on April 27th and should be 2018’s highest-grossing film of the year with an estimated box office total of $1.6 billion globally. It’s pretty much a no-brainer that the Avengers are the ones to beat.

But let’s not forget about the pioneers at Pixar, who caused the genre to explode back in 2004 with The Incredibles. With a sequel on the way (The Incredibles 2, July 13th), Disney will duke it out with Marvel’s heavy hitters and also likely fly past the billion-dollar mark. All you have to do is look at Pixar’s Finding Dory to understand the box-office power of quality storytelling plus a blast of nostalgia.

Not for all ages and never afraid of a fight, the “Merc with the Mouth” (a.k.a. Deadpool) will try to shoot his way up the money-making charts with violence and mayhem. Can the Deadpool sequel outdo it’s 2016 predecessor, which went on to become the world’s highest-grossing R-rated film of all time? With a couple of years to gain a bigger fan-base and the inclusion of Josh Brolin as Cable, Deadpool 2 (May 16th) could kick the Avengers and the rest of the MCU in the nuts. It should at least out-earn the original and lay comfortably around $900 million in earnings.

Meanwhile, Ant-Man and the Wasp hopes to be the little Marvel property that could. The first Ant-Man crawled its way to respectable box-office earnings of $500 million in 2015, and by the time August 3rd rolls around, there’s a chance that audiences will have MCU fatigue.

It will also be interesting to see if fans turn out for the latest X-Men rendition, Dark Phoenix (October 31st), as some say the property is already burnt out.

The big mystery this year is the Spider-Man spinoff, Venom (October 5th), starring Tom Hardy. Although a teaser trailer was released, not much is known about the sentient alien Symbiote, but with a solid cast and the popularity of last year’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, this could be a big hit, earning in the range of $400 million at the global box office.

The end of the year will give us DC’s new standalone film Aquaman (December 21st). It’s a longshot to be the box-office champ given the likelihood that it drowns in Warner Brothers’ waters of mismanagement. Outside of Wonder Woman, Warner/DC badly needs a hit while they try to continue to build their cinematic universe. Films like last year’s Justice League don’t give us much hope and might hurt Aquaman’s overall return.

In the end, titans will clash at this year’s box office, but it will be Disney and your old friends the Avengers soaring higher than everyone else.

 

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