Science Fiction Films
Top Ten Chart - 2022
Concatenation's annual calculation looking at the British Isles (and Malta), 52 weekly film (movie) box office charts across 2022 that accounts for only fantastic films (SF and fantasy).
Remember, this is the UK public's cinema theatre box office we are talking about, and not fantastic film buffs' views. Consequently below this top ten we have included at the end a few other worthies well worth checking out as well as (in some years) some warnings-to-avoid. Also note that this chart compilation calculation did not include DVD sales or spin-off product earnings, and our chart is also subject to weekly vagaries. (In some weeks most of the entries do not gross much but at other times (for example public holidays) overall box office takings are higher.) This means that the chart reflects on-going cinema attendance throughout the year and it is not a strict annual list of the year's high box office earners. Notwithstanding such small-print caveats, standby with the pop corn, here we go...
A personalised assassination weapon becomes a weapon of mass destruction in this, Craig Daniels' last outing as James Bond. The film follows directly on from Spectre (which also did well in the 2015/6 chart). J Bond has left active service. His peace is short-lived when Felix Leiter, an old friend from the CIA, turns up asking for help, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with the dangerous new technology. Director Cary Joji Fukunaga. Trailer here.
Shang-Chi, the master of weaponry-based Kung Fu, is forced to confront his past after being drawn into the Ten Rings organization. Director: Destin Daniel Cretton. Trailer here.
Set in 1998, this origin story explores the secrets of the mysterious Spencer Mansion and the ill-fated Raccoon City as our protagonists try to whistle blow the Umbrella Corporation and stop the contagion from spread. Well, we all know how that worked out… Director and written by Johannes Roberts. Stars: Kaya Scodelario, Robbie Amell and Hannah John-Kamen. Trailer here.
4. Black Widow(12A)
Based on the Marvel comic character. Natasha Romanoff confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Director: Cate Shortland. Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh and David Harbour. Trailer here.
This came out sufficiently close to the year's and did sufficiently well that a three or four more weeks in the charts would have boosted it up to number '3' or '2'. This sequel truly harks back to the original film, so much so that it is worth revisiting the original before watching this. It was obviously made for parents to take their kids to see: the parents getting memories of the original while the kids get off on this child-centred offering. Trailer here.
The saga of the Eternals, a race of immortal beings who lived on Earth and shaped its history and civilizations. Eternals is based on the Marvel Comics race of the same name. In 5000 BC, ten superpowered Eternals—Ajak, Sersi, Ikaris, Kingo, Sprite, Phastos, Makkari, Druig, Gilgamesh, and Thena—are sent by the Celestial Arishem to Earth on their starship, the Domo, to exterminate the invasive Deviants. The last of the Deviants are killed in 1521, and the group's opinions differ over their continued responsibilities and their relationship with humankind. Over the next five hundred years, they mostly live apart from each other, awaiting Arishem's return. In the present day, Sersi and Sprite live together in London. They are attacked by the Deviant Kro, with Ikaris arriving and chasing the creature away. Realising the Deviants have returned, they travel to South Dakota to reunite with their leader, Ajak, only to find that she had been killed by Kro. Director: Chloé Zhao. Trailer here.
This is not a bad sequel to the 2018 SF horror of an invasion of blind aliens that hunt by sound. This sequel actually came out 2020 but its general release was interrupted by CoVID lockdown but did well in 2021, hence its presence in this year's chart. The original film was short-listed for the 2019 Hugo Award 'Best Dramatic Presentation' category. Following the events at home, the Abbott family now face the terrors of the outside world. Forced to venture into the unknown, they realise the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats lurking beyond the sand path. Director: John Krasinski. Stars: Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds and Cillian Murphy. Trailer here.
Not to be confused with the 2016 film. Supervillains Harley Quinn, Bloodsport, Peacemaker and a collection of unhinged criminals at Belle Reve prison join the super-secret, super-shady Task Force X as they are dropped off at the remote, enemy-infused island of Corto Maltese. Directed and written by James Gunn. Trailer here.
The latest adaptation of Frank Herbert's science fiction novel about the son of a noble family entrusted with the protection of the most valuable asset and most vital element in the galaxy: spice, the drug that enables the space guild to warp space, hence make interstellar travel possible. This is actually part one and it is not a bad adaptation other than being on the long side with lengthy panoramic scenes. Director: Denis (Arrival, Blade Runner 2049) Villeneuve. Stars: Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson and Zendaya. Trailer here.
A sequel to the horror Candyman (1992) that returns to the now-gentrified Chicago neighbourhood where the legend began. Based on the short story 'The Forbidden' by Clive Barker. Directed by Nia DaCosta. Trailer here.
And the worthies that slipped through the net...
Once again Hollywood dominates chart, the below is where you may find some worthy watching should you want to hire a DVD for the evening.
The Matrix Resurrections (R)
Spiderman: No Way Home (18)
And then there were…
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes (12)
Boss Level (15)
Last and First Men (12)
The Old Guard (15)
As noted above, last year's chart was deferred due to SARS-CoV-2 / COVD-19 pandemic, across the globe cinemas closed with films postponed. Nonetheless, the SF² Concatenation team's informal best films of the year for 2020 were alphabetically:-
See also our selection of best films of 2021 (January - December) as opposed to the year UK box office chart above. This personal selection is in our Spring 2022 news.
For forthcoming SF film premieres then see the Concat' Science Fiction diary.
For forthcoming SF film news then see our seasonal Science Fiction news page and its film section.
If you really are into Science Fiction (as opposed to casually passing through this site) then check out this site's What's new page for our full list of recent postings of news, reviews, diary articles and loads of other stuff.