Luke Owen charts the highest grossing movies of 2016…
The box office battle of 2016 is now in the books, and Disney are the ones wearing the king’s crown. Their domestic totals are very impressive, and their worldwide takings are even better. As with the opening weekends, The House of Mouse holds six of the Top 10, while Warner Bros. only have two. Universal – who had a fantastic year in 2015 – haven’t made quite the impact this year with only two movies in the Top 20.
A very interesting note when comparing the overall totals to their opening weekends is the lack of legs Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice had. Despite having the second biggest opening of 2016, it finds itself eighth overall in the domestic rankings. The bad reviews and dreadful word of mouth really had an impact on the movie, which has now been overtaken by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story after just two weeks of release.
However when we look back at the big titles released this year, it’s surprising not to see movies like Independence Day: Resurgence, The BFG and Star Trek Beyond higher. And the so-called Superhero Fatigue? Well, 50% of the Top 10 are comic book films, and X-Men: Apocalypse managed to crack the Top 15. With that said, it was the animated Finding Dory that toppled Captain America: Civil War despite it earning the biggest opening weekend of 2016.
2017 Update: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has now overtaken Captain America: Civil War and has Finding Dory in its sights…
Here’s the domestic totals as 2016 comes to an end:
1. Finding Dory ($486 million)
2. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ($451 million)
3. Captain America: Civil War ($408 million)
4. The Secret Life of Pets ($368 million)
5. The Jungle Book ($364 million)
6. Deadpool ($363 million)
7. Zootopia ($341 million)
8. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($330 million)
9. Suicide Squad ($325 million)
10. Doctor Strange ($228 million)
And here’s what just missed out:
11. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them ($217 million)
12. Moana ($190 million)
13. Jason Bourne ($162 million)
14. Star Trek Beyond ($158 million)
15. X-Men: Apocalypse ($155 million)
16. Trolls ($149 million)
17. Kung Fu Panda 3 ($143 million)
18. Ghostbusters ($128 million)
19. Central Intelligence ($127 million)
20. The Legend of Tarzan ($126 million)
Looking at the worldwide rankings, it’s clear to see why they’re becoming more and more important when determining the success of a movie. Previously only domestic box office mattered, but a rise in the Chinese market (and the UK to a smaller extent) is having an impact on a film’s release. While it hasn’t overly affected the Top 10, three entries in the Top 20 are there because of the Chinese market. Duncan Jones’s video game adaptation Warcraft only made $47 million domestically, but it ended up with $433 million worldwide which mostly came from its Chinese release (the proposed sequel is rumoured to made with China as its target market). Likewise Mei ren yu and Monster Hunt are Chinese movies that had no impact in the US market (Monster Hunt made less than $300,000 domestically), but the former just missed out on a Top 10 place.
Similarly, the international market has also helped Ice Age: Collision Course and Independence Day: Resurgence make their way into the Top 20, while also pushing down Trolls, Ghostbusters and Central Intelligence. It also got Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – which didn’t have a great showing in the States – higher than both Doctor Strange and Suicide Squad.
Continuing their happy streak, Disney own the top four spots of 2016, all but one making over $1 billion worldwide (and The Jungle Book came pretty close). Given the success of Minions last year, The Secret Life of Pets shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, but its lacklustre reviews should have spelled a much worse time at the box office than it had. The international screenings also bolstered Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which saved it the embarrassment of being being beaten by the much lower-budget Deadpool, officially making it the second biggest comic book movie of 2016. Of course, as many expected, Captain America: Civil War took the crown.
While we’re on the subject, we should take a moment to give congratulations to Deadpool. With a small budget (for the genre at least) of $50 million and a dumped February release, The Merc with a Mouth became The Little Engine that Could as it pushed past $750 million worldwide when many (Flickering Myth included) didn’t think it would earn more than $350 million.
2017 UPDATE: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has knocked Doctor Strange out of the top 10 and has overtaken Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Deadpool and Suicide Squad.
Here’s the worldwide rankings as 2016 comes to an end:
1. Captain America: Civil War ($1.1 billion)
2. Finding Dory ($1 billion)
3. Zootopia ($1 billion)
4. The Jungle Book ($966 million)
5. The Secret Life of Pets ($875 million)
6. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($873 million)
7. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ($829 million)
8. Deadpool ($783 million)
9. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them ($778 million)
10. Suicide Squad ($745 million)
And here’s what just missed out:
11. Doctor Strange ($656 million)
12. Mei ren yu ($553 million)
13. X-Men: Apocalypse ($543 million)
14. Kung Fu Panda 3 ($521 million)
15. Warcraft ($433 million)
16. Jason Bourne ($415 million)
17. Ice Age: Collision Course ($407 million)
18. Independence Day: Resurgence ($389 million)
19. Monster Hunt ($385 million)
20. The Legend of Tarzan ($356 million)
Next year will be very competitive for the comic book movie market, with the releases of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2., Thor: Ragnarok and Spider-Man: Homecoming from Marvel (and Sony), Justice League and Wonder Woman from Warner Bros. and Logan from 20th Century Fox. Should Marvel continue their trends, we should see Spider-Man: Homecoming and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in the Top 10, but the inclusion of Hulk in Thor: Ragnarok could push it past its $640 million barrier. With Logan being the last run of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, we should also see that in a good position, but the bad press for Justice League and Wonder Woman following Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad will be the telling tale of whether DC and Warner Bros. can compete with Marvel and the House of Mouse.
Let’s also not forget the non-comic book movies being released. Furious 7 was a huge movie in 2015 earning over $1 billion, so it could be possible that The Fate of the Furious earns the same. There’s also War of the Planet of the Apes, Blade Runner 2049, Transformers: The Last Knight (also coming from a billion dollar franchise) and, of course, Star Wars: Episode VIII. Hard to forget that Star Wars: The Force Awakens earned $1 billion domestically – can Star Wars: Episode VIII repeat that success?