This year's box office had some obvious big hits -- Marvel, "Star Wars," "Beauty and the Beast" -- but the numbers also revealed some interesting trends when it comes to what was a hit and a miss financially. Here are just a few of them.
The demand for more women and people of color in media wasn’t just a Twitter trend, it was backed up by wallets. Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot were the queens of the summer as “Wonder Woman” grossed $412.5 million domestic, while Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” was Hollywood’s biggest bang for its buck with $254 million grossed against a $4.5 million budget. Even indie films reflected this trend, as Best Picture winner “Moonlight” set a studio box office record for A24 … until it was broken by “Lady Bird,” the directorial debut of Greta Gerwig.
MISS: Long-running franchises
Audiences were very clearly not interested in a fifth “Pirates of the Caribbean” or “Transformers” movie, as 2017 installments for both franchises proved to be by far the lowest grossing films in their respective series. Disney can absorb the loss on “Pirates” failing to launch, but for Paramount, which looked to “Transformers” as its major tentpole and has another sequel and a “Bumblebee” spinoff on the slate, this was very bad news.
By far, 2017 has been a huge year for horror at the box office. Blumhouse’s low budget formula for horror continues to pay dividends for Universal, while WB/New Line’s “Conjuring” series topped $1 billion after the release of “Annabelle: Creation.” And of course, there’s “It,” the biggest horror hit of all time with nearly $700 million worldwide gross.
MISS: Raunchy comedies
Very few comedies were able to find traction at the box office this year. New Line's "The House" was the lowest-grossing film of Will Ferrell's leading role career with $34.1 million, while others like "Girls' Night" and "Snatched" also fell flat. A film that did buck the trend was Universal's "Girls Trip," which earned rave reviews and a $139 million global gross
HIT: The MCU
Well, duh, Marvel Studios has been the one constant at the box office for the past decade. But why was it especially a hit? Because this year Marvel Studios became the first production studio to release three films to $100 million-plus openings. With “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Infinity War” coming up, that streak could increase to five.
MISS: Dark Universe
Universal had a strong year with over $5 billion grossed worldwide, but the Dark Universe’s failure to launch with “The Mummy” was a big blemish. Despite launching with much fanfare, “The Mummy” needed overseas help to stay out of the red as it only grossed $80 million domestically. Five months later, Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan, who were selected to oversee the project, stepped down.
HIT: Diverse Slates
Even though Disney remained on top with their stable of franchises, Warner Bros. and Universal were able to keep up with a diverse set of films. In addition to "Wonder Woman," WB also released hit horror films like "It" and "Annabelle: Creation" and a blockbuster Oscar contender in "Dunkirk," while Universal's Blumhouse horror films and franchises installments like "Fate of the Furious" performed well alongside films aimed for female audiences like "Fifty Shades Darker" and "Girls Trip."
MISS: Matt Damon
Two years after the success of "The Martian," Damon has fallen on hard times. His two awards season hopefuls, "Suburbicon" and "Downsizing," have both tanked at the box office, while his 2017 blockbuster, "The Great Wall," did decently in China but fell flat in America with just $45 million domestic.
This year's box office total won't beat the $11.3 billion made last year, and a weak summer is to blame. The May-August box office total was the lowest since 2006, ending with an August that had two weekends without a wide release and the lowest total for the month in two decades.
HIT: The rest of the calendar
But while the summer was bad, domestic totals could have been worse had it not been for strong performances in the spring and fall. March and September 2017 set new records for their respective months off of films like "Beauty and the Beast" and "It," while "Star Wars" and "Jumanji" have given theaters a strong holiday finish. The traditional slate schedule is being broken, and hit films can now come at any time of the year.