The 2017 calendar year has come to a close, and before we get too deep into 2018, now seems like a good time to look back on the 2017 box office and analyze the year’s big winners and losers. As always there’s a bit of disparity between the domestic chart and the worldwide chart, but there are also some films that were bona fide successes regardless, carried by either huge domestic, international, or a combo of the two.
It’s also important to keep in mind a couple of these films are still in release and will continue climbing. That’s certainly true of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which has secured the top spot domestically and could overtake The Fate of the Furious and/or Beauty and the Beast to top the worldwide chart. It’s a little too early to tell for sure, but it’s definitely possible—the film has already overtaken Rogue One and The Dark Knight to become the #6 domestic release of all time. And Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle seems destined to at least overtake Dunkirk on the domestic chart.
So before we dig too deep on who won and who lost the box office battles, let’s look at the raw numbers.
Here’s the Top 20 Domestic:
1.) Star Wars: The Last Jedi – $531,511,829
2.) Beauty and the Beast (2017) – $504,014,165
3.) Wonder Woman – $412,563,408
4.) Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 – $389,813,101
5.) Spider-Man: Homecoming – $334,201,140
6.) IT – $327,481,748
7.) Thor: Ragnarok – $311,500,126
8.) Despicable Me 3 – $264,300
9.) Logan – $226,277,068
10.) Justice League – $225,913,169
11.) The Fate of the Furious – $225,764,765
12.) Dunkirk – $188,045,546
13.) Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle – $185,224,946
14.) Coco – $182,455,513
15.) The LEGO Batman Movie – $175,750,384
16.) Get Out – $175,484,140
17.) The Boss Baby – $175,003,033
18.) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – $172,558,876
19.) Kong: Skull Island – $168,052,812
20.) Cars 3 – $152,901,115
And here’s the Top 10 Worldwide:
1.) Beauty and the Beast (2017) – $1,263,521,126
2.) The Fate of the Furious – $1,235,761,498
3.) Star Wars: The Last Jedi – $1,066,345,547
4.) Despicable Me 3 – $1,033,508,147
5.) Spider-Man: Homecoming – $880,166,924
6.) Wolf Warrior 2 – $870,325,439
7.) Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 – $863,732,512
8.) Thor: Ragnarok – $848,816,474
9.) Wonder Woman – $821,847,012
10.) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – $794,861,794
- Disney, full-stop. Beauty and the Beast’s massive success ensures the Mouse House will continue churning out live-action adaptations of animated classics until the end of time, but the studio has four of the top five slots on the domestic chart, and three of the top five on the worldwide chart. And while Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales failed to light up the box office here at home, it performed pretty spectacularly overseas.
- R-rated movies. While these may not travel as well overseas, Get Out has grossed a whopping $254 million worldwide already against a $4.5 million budget; Logan, a slow-paced R-rated drama Western topped over $616 million worldwide; Split was one of the biggest January hits in years; and It is one of the year’s biggest films with nearly $700 million worldwide. The horror genre is alive and well.
- Dunkirk. Believe it or not, a dialogue-light World War II actioner grossed over half a billion dollars—more than The Mummy, War for the Planet of the Apes, and even Cars 3. Who says adults don’t go to the movies anymore?
Wolf Warrior 2. There are plenty of American films that do well here but don’t really travel overseas, but the reversal isn’t usually true. In the case of Wolf Warrior 2, however, this Chinese blockbuster cracked the worldwide Top 10 while only grossing a mere $2 million in the U.S. That’s wildly impressive.
- Wonder. While not on these charts, this modestly budgeted feel-good drama has grossed nearly $200 million worldwide. That’s insane.
- The Fast and the Furious franchise. While Fate of the Furious grossed over $100 million less domestically than its predecessor Furious 7, the sequel played like gangbusters overseas—enough to secure the #2 slot on the worldwide chart.
- Wonder Woman. There was concern in some circles about whether a female-fronted superhero movie would work, but not only did Wonder Woman score highly positive reviews, it was one of the biggest box office hits of the year. Moreover, nearly half of its worldwide gross comes from the domestic box office, which is something of a rarity in the blockbuster genre. This movie hit home in a big way, and must serve as some semblance of hope for Warner Bros. considering the performance of its other DCEU blockbuster in 2017. Speaking of which…
- Justice League. This superhero team-up, which features major comics characters together onscreen for the first time ever, has been outgrossed by IT both domestically and worldwide. Even Logan, something of a gamble for Fox, performed better than Justice League at home. Given the high profile nature of the film, its cost, and its starpower, this is a massive fumble for Warner Bros. There’s no way around it.
- Transformers: The Last Knight. This movie made $500 million less than its predecessor worldwide! That’s a massive dropoff, and something Paramount cannot be too happy about. It also grossed a mere $130 million domestically—not enough to crack the Top 20 Domestic chart. Relative to budget, scope, and expectations, this is one of the biggest bombs of Michael Bay’s career.
- Pixar, kinda. Cars 3 is one of the lowest grossing films from the studio ever with only $383 million worldwide, and while Coco has picked up steam and should get more momentum from an Oscar nomination or two, its $550 million is well behind the $857 million that Inside Out scored just a few years ago. Between Cars 3’s disappointment and the relatively low grosses of The Good Dinosaur ($332 million) and Brave ($540 million), the studio has certainly lost some of its box office shine. Yes, Finding Dory and Monsters University were huge hits, but we’re far from the days where every Pixar movie seemed guaranteed a top spot on the box office charts.