Luke Owen explores the highest grossing movies of 2017…
Another movie year has come to a close, and what a year it has been. We’ve had five movies from the Marvel and DC movie universes, another entry into Star Wars cannon, and several horror films break into the mainstream media and earn huge money at the box office. While 2017 wasn’t as competitive as previous years, there are a few surprises.
Firstly Justice League is missing from both the domestic and global box office, earning $647 million worldwide to take twelfth place. It feel behind the much cheaper R-rated It ($698 million), which would have had a bigger task ahead of itself to bring eyes to the screen. It’s not been a great year for the DCEU behind the scenes, however the much-better received and reviewed Wonder Woman did make its way into the highest grossing films of the year with a much more palatable $821 million.
On the Marvel side of things, neither of their two releases, Thor: Ragnarok or Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, broke the $1 billion mark like last year’s Captain America: Civil War but made it into the highest grossing list. However, both showed signs of growth on their predecessors due to good word of mouth and wonderful marketing campaigns. Both films were bested by their Marvel Cinematic Universe brother – but Sony released – Spider-Man: Homecoming though, which earned a total of $880 million worldwide – just $10 million from becoming the biggest Spider-Man film ever at the global box office.
While Disney take up five spots on the highest grossing list (the same as last year), only one of their films passed the $1 billion mark in Beauty and the Beast (although Star Wars: The Last Jedi will pass it at some point). Warner Bros. took one place in the list as did Sony, while Universal scored two billion dollar movies in Despicable Me 3 and The Fate of the Furious. Those who wondered why 20th Century Fox was sold to Disney, their biggest movie of the year was The Boss Baby which made under $500 million. Big releases like War for the Planet of the Apes and Logan certainly made money for the studio, but it was tough releases like Alien: Covenant (one of the lowest earners in the franchise) that hurt their takings for 2017. Having said that, Paramount didn’t have a single film in the domestic or worldwide highest earners – astounding considering previous Transformers movies have passed the $1 billion mark.
An interesting addition to the global box office for 2017 is Wolf Warrior 2, Jing Wu’s Chinese release starring the director and Captain America: The Winter Solider‘s Frank Grillo which earned $870 million, $854 million of which came from its Chinese theatrical run. That’s an incredible domestic figure for the country, and a sure sign of things to come.
Looking at the differences between the domestic and worldwide takings are very interesting. While Wonder Woman finds itself the ninth highest earner at the global box office, it was the third biggest movie domestically with $412 million. Similarly, The Fate of the Furious just about made it into the top 10 domestically, but is second overall thanks to a ginormous worldwide box office. Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales floundered in its domestic release ($172 million), but is ninth for the year worldwide thanks to a stellar overseas release. Also in the highest earners for the year domestically that missed out on a global spot are the aforementioned It and Logan. With all that said, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast topped both lists.
UPDATE 1/1/2018: Star Wars: The Last Jedi has become the fourth film in 2017 to cross $1 billion and is now the biggest domestic release of the year. Justice League has also eked into the top 10 domestic releases, beating The Fate of the Furious by a couple of hundred thousand dollars.
Here are the domestic totals for 2017:
1. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Disney) – $533 million
Beauty and the Beast (Disney) – $504 million
3. Wonder Woman (Warner Bros.) – $412 million
4. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (Disney) – $389 million
5. Spider-Man: Homecoming (Sony) – $334 million
6. It (Warner Bros.) – $327 million
7. Thor: Ragnarok (Disney) – $311 million
8. Despicable Me 3 (Universal) – $264 million
9. Logan (20th Centry Fox) – $226 million
10. Justice League (Warner Bros.) – $225 million
Just missing out:
11. The Fate of the Furious (Universal) – $225 million
12. Dunkirk (Warner Bros.) – $188 million
13. The LEGO Batman Movie (Warner Bros.) – $175 million
14. Get Out (Universal) – $175 million
15. The Boss Baby (20th Century Fox) – $175 million
And here are the worldwide rankings
1. Beauty and the Beast (Disney) – $1.2 billion
2. The Fate of the Furious (Universal) – $1.2 billion
3. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Disney) – $1 billion
4. Despicable Me 3 (Universal) – $1 billion
5. Spider-Man: Homecoming (Sony) – $880 million
6. Wolf Warrior 2 (H Collective) – $870 million
7. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (Disney) – $863 million
8. Thor: Ragnarok (Disney) – $848 million
9. Wonder Woman (Warner Bros.) – $812 million
10. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (Disney) – $794 million
Just missing out:
11. It (Warner Bros.) – $698 million
12. Justice League (Warner Bros.) – $652 million
13. Logan (20th Century Fox) – $616 million
14. Transformers: The Last Knight (Paramount) – $605 million
15. Kong: Skull Island (Warner Bros.) – $566 million
Next year should be a rather competitive one, with some sure-fire $1 billion earners. Next year sees the releases of Avengers: Infinity War, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Black Panther, Ready Player One, Deadpool 2, Tomb Raider, The Incredibles 2, Pacific Rim: Uprising, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Aquaman, Venom, Mission: Impossible 6, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, The Predator and many more.
Luke Owen is the former Deputy Editor of Flickering Myth, a presenter for WrestleTalk, and the author of Lights, Camera, GAME OVER!: How Video Game Movies Get Made. You can follow him on Twitter @ThisisLukeOwen.