×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Biggest Hits and Flops of 2017

There were plenty of winners and losers at the domestic box office this year since the overall 2017 number is still about 3% behind last year. Here we highlight the surprise successes — and the films that were originally intended to get franchises started but didn’t quite make the grade. So “Justice League,” as disappointing as it was, isn’t on the flops list, given that it grossed over $635 million worldwide.

The biggest successes —

Wonder Woman
WONDER WOMAN

Global box office: $821 million

Production budget: $120 million

Why it’s on the list: Who didn’t like “Wonder Woman”? The collaboration between Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins provided a fresh, light-hearted look at the superhero genre and became the one unqualified success in Warner Bros.-DC Entertainment’s efforts to compete with the Marvel-Disney universe. It has already set “Wonder Woman 2” for Nov. 2, 2019.

Girls Trip
GIRLS TRIP

Global box office: $138 million

Production budget: $19 million

Why it’s on the list: Universal’s raucous and joyous “Girls Trip” became a serious breakout hit as an R-rated comedy — an area which had seen plenty of stumbles in recent years, with nothing resembling a major adult comedy success since Amy Schumer’s “Trainwreck” and Melissa McCarthy’s “Spy” two years earlier. It reinvigorated the road-trip genre, was a star-making vehicle for Tiffany Haddish and got director Malcolm D. Lee a first-look deal at Universal.


WONDER

Global box office: $155 million (still in theaters)

Production budget: $20 million

Why it’s on the list: Perhaps the biggest surprise of the year, the Jacob Tremblay tearjerker opened on Nov. 17-19 with Lionsgate expecting a $9 million debut — and then took in $27.6 million. Audiences embraced the film’s message of kindness and inclusion following an extensive social media campaign through Lionsgate in partnership with Participant Media. It’s Lionsgate’s biggest hit since “La La Land.”

Get Out Movie
GET OUT

Global box office: $254 million

Production budget: $4.5 million

Why it’s on the list: Jordan Peele’s innovative horror-comedy is the most successful micro-budget blockbuster from the lucrative Universal-Blumhouse collaboration, which has included “Split,” “Happy Death Day” and the “Purge” and “Ouija” franchises. It’s also a thoroughly entertaining exploration of the state of race relations in the U.S. Though it was released in January, “Get Out” has become a serious awards contender with multiple Golden Globe and SAG nominations already.

It movie review
IT

Global box office: $695 million

Production cost: $35 million

Why it’s on the list: “It” saved the domestic box office this year with a record-setting September after the worst summer in a decade. It’s also the highest-grossing horror film ever and is regarded as one of the best Stephen King movie adaptations. Warner Bros. and New Line have already scheduled “It: Chapter 2” for Sept. 6, 2019.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Global box office: $1.26 billion

Production cost: $160 million

Why it’s on the list: “Beauty and the Beast” is the best example of why Disney continues to draw on its massive library of successful animated properties and transform them in to live-action features. It’s also a casting triumph with Emma Watson establishing herself as a major star after being Hermione Granger in the eight Harry Potter movies. Next up for Disney — a live-action “Aladdin” opening on May 24, 2019, and the live-action “The Lion King,” opening on July 19, 2019.


STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI

Global box office: $536 million (still playing)

Production cost: $250 million

Why it’s on the list: It’s the second-highest opening weekend domestically and the fifth-highest globally — even before a China release. It’s the ninth film in the iconic franchise, which shows no signs of running out of steam any time soon, thanks to a marketing campaign that effectively tapped into the massive fan base. Five months from now, Disney-Lucasfilm will again test fans’ Force fervor with the “Han Solo” spinoff on May 25 with Alden Ehrenreich as the young pilot.

And here are the flops:


MONSTER TRUCKS

Global box office: $64 million

Production cost: $125 million

Why it’s on the list: In September, 2016, Viacom announced that it was taking “a programming impairment charge” of $115 million for losses from this Paramount live-action CGI adventure — four months before it even opened the movie, which had originally been set to open in 2015. Paramount had announced the film in 2013 as the launch of a franchise.

king arthur legend of the sword
KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD

Global box office: $148 million

Production budget: $175 million

Why it’s on the list: Warner Bros. had been attempting to develop a King Arthur project for many years — first as an “Excalibur” remake and then as a possible six-film franchise set in the Arthurian world. Shooting began in 2015 with Charlie Hunnam starring but the original release date of July 22, 2016, was then delayed four times. “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” drew only $39 million domestically and international markets provided little aid with Russia delivering the best performance with $12 million, followed by China with $8 million.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS

Global box office: $225 million

Production budget: $180 million

Why it’s on the list: Luc Besson’s ambitious “Valerian” is the most expensive independently financed movie in history. Rival studios and insiders estimated the film needed to make at least $400 million worldwide to climb into the black and justify a sequel. STX opened the movie in the U.S. against the launches of “Dunkirk,” which took in $50 million, and “Girls Trip,” which grossed $31 million to just $17 million for “Valerian.”

Geostorm
THE DARK TOWER

Global box office: $111 million

Production cost: $60 million

Why it’s on the list: The science fantasy western, based on Stephen King’s novel series, had been in development for a decade, first with J.J. Abrams, then with Ron Howard and finally with Nicolaj Arcel in multiple attempts to turn King’s sprawling narrative into a conventional movie. Critics derided “The Dark Tower” for being difficult to understand. The movie opened domestically with $19.5 million on Aug. 4-6, one of the lowest first-place finishes of the year.


THE PROMISE

Global box office: $8 million

Production cost: $90 million

Why it’s on the list: “The Promise” had a decent pedigree with Terry George directing and Oscar Isaac, Charlotte Le Bon and Christian Bale in a story set in the final years of the Ottoman Empire. The film was released to coincide with the anniversary of the Armenian genocide and opened in ninth place with $4.1 million at more than 2,251 locations. The production was financed mostly by the late MGM owner Kirk Kerkorian, who posthumously received the only executive producer credit of his career.

Geostorm
GEOSTORM

Global box office: $207 million

Production cost: $120 million

Why it’s on the list: When a film’s release date is delayed four times, it’s a red flag for moviegoers — especially since the delays resulted in the film being opened, unfortunately, on the heels of massive hurricanes hitting Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. The premise of  seeing the world devastated by a series of weather-related disasters probably didn’t seem like that much fun to moviegoers when parts of the world were actually being devastated by a series of weather-related disasters. International grosses were decent but domestic performance was dismal. China’s gross of $65 million was nearly double the U.S. gross of $33 million. Skydance co-financed.

More Film

  • Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman Starring in

    Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman Starring in 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' for Netflix

    Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman will star in the movie adaptation of the play “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” for Netflix. George C. Wolfe (“Lackawanna Blues”) will direct from a script by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, based on the award-winning play by August Wilson. Other cast include Glynn Turman, Colman Domingo (“If Beale Street Could Talk”) and Michael Potts. Denzel [...]

  • Crazy Bitches

    Why the CASE Act Will Empower Creatives to Fight the Horrors of Piracy

    Our horror film, “Crazy Bitches,” was released on Valentine’s Day 2015. We invested in an online marketing campaign that resulted in two times the industry clickthrough rate and 2.6M social media impressions in the week leading up to the release. So, we had reason to expect a successful return. What we didn’t count on was [...]

  • Alamo Drafthouse LA

    Alamo Drafthouse to Open in Downtown Los Angeles in July

    The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema chain is planning to open its first Los Angeles location with a “soft launch” in early July in the city’s downtown. The Texas-based chain, which has 38 locations, specializes food and drink service with unique programming. It announced Wednesday that the Los Angeles site, located at the Bloc, would offer an [...]

  • Max Landis Dropped by Manager Following

    Max Landis Dropped by Manager Following Sexual Assault Allegations

    Max Landis has been dropped as a client by his manager, a day after sexual assault allegations emerged against the  screenwriter. “I do not represent Max Landis,” Britton Rizzio at Writ Large Management told Variety in a statement. Landis is facing allegations of sexual abuse and psychological manipulation from eight women who told their stories [...]

  • Fox Layoffs

    Another Round of Layoffs Hit Disney and 20th Century Fox Film Divisions (EXCLUSIVE)

    Another round of layoffs are going down for employees merged in Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox, individuals with knowledge of the company told Variety. The Wednesday reduction is the smallest round the studio has enacted since formally acquiring the film and TV assets of 20th Century in March, with a few dozen employees being [...]

  • Lin-Manuel Miranda

    Netflix Lands Lin-Manuel Miranda's 'Tick, Tick... Boom!' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Following a heated bidding war, Netflix has walked away with the rights to “Tick, Tick… Boom!” a musical adaptation to be directed by “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. Sources say Andrew Garfield is the top choice to star, though no deal is done. “Dear Evan Hansen” writer Steven Levenson adapting the script based on the original [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content