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The all-time box office Top Twenty – was 2017 the year of change?

By Alex Wiggan

At the beginning of 2017, the Honcho-SFX blog looked at the worldwide box office Top Twenty, to discuss the highest grossing movies of all-time. The object of the post was to set out what the Top Twenty looked like at the beginning of the year, with a follow-up post to appear at the end of the year to see if 2017 was the year of change.

To sum up: At the beginning of last year, 2017 was set to see some very big movie releases, including a new Star Wars film and the much-anticipated Beauty and the Beast live-action remake. These movies were predicted to do BIG things and were likely to alter the list of all-time highest grossing movies in suitable fashion.

But did they? Well, you’ll have to read on to find out.

Oh, and before we get to that, this post you’re reading now is slightly delayed – but there’s good reason for the delay. The biggest movie of 2017, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, wasn’t released until the very end of the year, so it’s only really now that a true reflection of 2017 can be given.

Anyway, without further delay let’s take a look at the Top Twenty from the beginning of 2017 vs the Top Twenty as it stands today.

Here’s a reminder of what the all-time highest grossing movies looked like at the beginning of 2017:

  • 20) Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides ($1,045.7)
  • 19) Pirate of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest ($1,066.2)
  • 18) Toy Story 3 ($1,067.0)
  • 17) The Dark Knight Rises ($1,084.9)
  • 16) Transformers: Age of Extinction ($1,104.1)
  • 15) Skyfall ($1,108.6)
  • 14) The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ($1,119.9)
  • 13) Transformers: Dark of the Moon ($1,123.8)
  • 12) Captain America: Civil War ($1,153.3)
  • 11) Minions ($1.159.4)
  • 10) Iron Man 3 ($1,214.8)
  • 9) Frozen ($1,276.5)
  • 8) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 ($1,341.5)
  • 7) Avengers: Age of Ultron ($1,405.4)
  • 6) Furious 7 ($1,516.0)
  • 5) Marvel’s The Avengers ($1,518.8)
  • 4) Jurassic World ($1,670.4)
  • 3) Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($2,068.2)
  • 2) Titanic ($2,186.8)
  • 1) Avatar ($2,788.0)

And now, here’s the current list of the Top Twenty highest grossing movies of all-time:

  • 20) The Dark Knight Rises ($1,084.9)
  • 19) Transformers: Age of Extinction ($1,104.1)
  • 18) Skyfall ($1,108.6)
  • 17) The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ($1,119.9)
  • 16) Transformers: Dark of the Moon ($1,123.8)
  • 15) Captain America: Civil War ($1,153.3)
  • 14) Minions ($1.159.4)
  • 13) Iron Man 3 ($1,214.8)
  • 12) The Fate of the Furious ($1,236.0)
  • 11) Beauty and the Beast ($1,263.5)
  • 10) Frozen ($1,276.5)
  • 9) Star Wars: The Last Jedi ($1,313.8)
  • 8) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 ($1,341.5)
  • 7) Avengers: Age of Ultron ($1,405.4)
  • 6) Furious 7 ($1,516.0)
  • 5) Marvel’s The Avengers ($1,518.8)
  • 4) Jurassic World ($1,671.7)
  • 3) Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($2,068.2)
  • 2) Titanic ($2,187.5)
  • 1) Avatar ($2,788.0)

As you can see from comparing the two lists, there were only a few changes. In short, 2017 was not the year of change.

The new entries in the Top Twenty were The Fate of the Furious (12), Beauty and the Beast (11) and Star Wars: The Last Jedi (9) – all big movies that did really, really well. However, they didn’t manage to achieve ‘phenomenal’ status and as such all they managed to do was shuffle a few of the existing movies around a touch.

Much has been written about The Last Jedi in particular and whether or not it was a bit of a financial disappointment for Disney/Lucasfilm. Well, let’s just address this subject now. No; no it was not a financial disappointment.

The Last Jedi achieved a good result at the box office – a very good result. Sure, it didn’t reach the same heights of The Force Awakens, but hey, it wasn’t a flop by any stretch of the imagination.

The Force Awakens opened at a time when there hadn’t been a Star Wars movie in cinemas for around ten years. The Last Jedi, meanwhile, opened during a time where Star Wars movies appear in cinemas on an annual basis!

There is bound to be a drop off in interest/repeat viewings as the Star Wars saga moves forward and this is something which Disney/Lucasfilm will have to consider when planning out the next set of Star Wars movies, post Episode IX. For now, let’s all just agree that the Star Wars Universe and the way in which we see Star Wars as a brand is changing.

The big question now is, will the Top Twenty all-time highest grossing movies change by this time next year? Will any movie be able to shift Avatar or Titanic?

Well, this year we have a hotly anticipated Jurassic World sequel; yet more fun from the Star Wars Universe in the shape of Solo: A Star Wars Story; and we have arguably the biggest superhero movie of all-time in Avengers: Infinity War, so it is very possible.

Let’s revisit this subject in another 365 days and we can discuss it further. Until then, let’s mourn the passing of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, which no longer has a place in the Top Twenty.

*2 seconds pass*

OK, the ‘Pirates’ franchise is suitably mourned.

 

 

 

About the author: Alex Wiggan has written blog posts for Honcho-SFX blog since October 2014. He likes writing, eating pizza and watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Sometimes in that order.

 

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