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Can non-superhero movies make it in the age of Marvel? Absolutely!
Okay, so there were a few film successes this year that didn’t come from comic book origins, but almost all of the biggest box office earners did. One was a horror flick, the other was a fairytale. The list of flops, however, is way more diverse. Check out 2017’s biggest movie successes and flops below:
Not only did the live-action, Emma Watson-starring spectacle NOT ruin anyone’s childhood love of the original animated Disney movie (how perfect was Belle’s yellow ballgown?), it also made serious box office bank: $504 million in the US and over a billion worldwide.
It’s pretty simple math: when you spend $175 million making a movie, you need that movie to make at least $175 million at the box office. Guy Ritchie’s Cockney trip to Camelot couldn’t quite manage that—even with a David Beckham cameo. Maybe Ritchie should have considered more screen time for interesting characters such as Igraine, The Mage, or like, any female at all.
Yep, that’s right, the two biggest movies of 2017 were led by women. Despite the naysayers that claimed a female-led superhero origin movie would never fly, Wonder Woman definitely did—to the tune of over $821 million worldwide. The success of the movie also seems to have given its star, Gal Gadot, IRL superpowers—which she reportedly used to get Brett Ratner banned from any involvement in the sequel.
Was The Space Between Us the movie you’d been waiting for all year? According to box office numbers, it was just you two other people. Like, in the world. Look at it this way: a movie about emojis made 12 times more box office cash than this stinker did [insert poop emoji here].
First Guardians drops the hottest mixtape of the summer in a Doritos bag (so spicy!), then it drops into theatres and makes all the money as Marvel’s most successful movie of the year (and that’s saying something considering it had to go up against this other little Marvel movie called Thor: Ragnarok).
Despite having names like Rihanna, Cara Delevigne, Dane Dehaan, and Ethan Hawke attached to this sci-fi epic, the film totally bombed at the box office—which is kind of a bummer considering that director Luc Besson crowdfunded it as a passion project and spent $180 million on it. Valerian is the most expensive indie movie ever made and one look at it will tell you that Besson spared no expense. The problem is that no one looked at it.
You know what cost less than Valerian? This movie (ouch). Another origin story for the comic book-obsessed crowd, the latest retelling of the Spider-Man saga (how many are there now? 28?) pulled in over $800 million dollars of your hard-earned cash. Was it the cool new Spidey costume or was it Donald Glover as Prowler? We’re gonna go with Glover.
Hey Upper East Siders. Gossip Girl here. We hear that S starred in a film with box office numbers so low that it’s going to be impossible for her to show her face in the halls of Constance Billard School for Girls anytime soon. Translation: the Blake Lively-starring All I See Is You cost $30 million to make and didn’t even clear a quarter of million dollars in ticket sales. OMG, my trust fund’s worth more.
Sewer clowns: so hot right now. The adaptation of Stephen King’s classic horror novel really got its teeth (shudder) into audiences this Fall when, despite an R rating in the US, it managed to make a scary amount of money and get terrifyingly good reviews. Guess everyone wants to float.
For the longest time it seemed like golden girl Jennifer Lawrence could do no wrong… then she did mother!, a Darren Aronofsky-directed mess of a movie that the pair claimed was an allegory for the destruction of Mother Earth but that played out like simultaneous slapstick and torture porn. Worldwide, it barely managed to clear what it cost to make. Great Kristen Wiig cameo, tho.
Do superheroes do it better solo? Err, like as opposed to in groups. Wait, no, what we mean is are standalone movies like Ragnarok, Logan, Spider-Man, and Wonder Woman superior to ensemble flicks? They all outperformed the critically panned Justice League in 2017, which came in at number ten on this year’s list of top earners.
Paramount took a gamble on casting Scarlett Johansson to play the traditionally Japanese lead in this adaptation of a hugely popular manga series. They lost. The big-budget Ghost bombed at the box office amid charges of racism and whitewashing from fans and the media. Will Hollywood ever learn? Spoiler alert: nah.