While almost every major studio had at least one box-office smash in 2017, ticket sales were only up 3% from 2016. This year movies made over $39.92B worldwide, up from $38.8B in 2016. During the summer months it may feel like every major hit was a superhero movie, but the top-ten list from 2016’s domestic charts includes four non-comic related movies. Those were “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “IT,” “Despicable Me 3,” and “Fate and the Furious”. Disney took 40% of the top-ten list in 2017, 50% if you count FOX’s “Logan” as Disney now.
Disney’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” overtook “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” this weekend to become the highest grossing domestic film of the year, but it was a close race. Star Wars made over $517M this month alone, while Beauty and the Beast made over $504M throughout 2017. The Warner Bros. Pictures hit “Wonder Woman” landed in third-place this year, grossing over $412M during the film’s theatrical run. Disney wrapped-up fourth-place as well, the film “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” made almost $390M in theaters in 2017. Sony’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming” barely beat Warner Bros. Pictures’ “IT,” Spidey made $334M while the killer clown made $327M domestically.
While the box-office may have only gained 3% over 2016, it was enough to set a new record. As we mentioned earlier, movies made over $39.92B through December 31, 2017, which is now the highest-earning year in global movie history. This includes $28.8B from international audiences, and $11B from North American box offices alone. If you’re keeping track, this marks the third-year that North America has reached the $11M mark. ComScore reports that films hit 125,000 screens in more than 25,000 theaters across the globe.
“Going to the movies is truly a worldwide phenomenon,” said comScore’s Senior Media Analyst, Paul Dergarabedian. “The ‘big screen’ experience was bolstered by a unique and compelling slate of titles in 2017 that sparked an exceptional level of enthusiasm by patrons who flocked to movie theaters around the globe.”
It’s important to point out that films starring women were at the top of the list this year. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and “Wonder Women” were first, second and third respectively, and all three films featured a woman in the leading role. Now none of those films feature a woman of color in a leading role, so it’s not a perfect-win scenario, but 2018 will hopefully change that.