It may come down to the wire, but with a couple more big releases on the horizon (“Jumanji” and “The Greatest Showman”) and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” now in theaters, the movie industry might cross the $11 billion mark for the end of the year. That would be three straight years the biz has hit that milestone.
Regardless, though, there were some major performers, including three very different kinds of movies crossing the $1 billion worldwide mark — and a Stephen King adaptation performing beyond anyone’s expectations.
Thanks to Marvel hits (“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “Thor: Ragnarok”) and a live-action “Beauty and the Beast,” Disney passed the $5 billion total ticket sale mark for the third year in a row. Warner Bros. with “Justice League,” “It,” and “Wonder Woman” also hit the mark for the second time in its history.
Below are the 10 biggest worldwide box office earners of 2017.
10 highest-grossing movies of 2017
10 highest-grossing movies of 2017
10. “Justice League” — $635.9 million
For all the bashing the movie took from critics and the fans, this latest DC Comics movie was able to crack the top 10 (let’s check in a couple of weeks to see if “The Last Jedi” ruins the party). It’s the worst performer of any of the DC releases to date, but on the bright side, it likely won’t lose $100 million for Warner Bros.
9. “It” — $697.5 million
Domestic: $327.4 million
WB couldn’t be more happy with how this adaptation of Stephen King’s book, made on a $35 million budget, performed at the box office. And it was a hit internationally, where horrors usually don’t do as strong.
8. “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” — $794.8 million
Domestic: $172.5 million
People in the US may have had enough of the “Pirates” franchise, but it’s still working overseas. So expect more.
7. "Wonder Woman" $821.8 million
Domestic: $412.5 million
It’s Warner Bros. crowning moment so far with its DC Comics franchise. The movie wasn’t just great, it was a beacon for the female empowerment movement going on in the country.
6. “Thor: Ragnarok” — $841.8 million
Domestic: $306.3 million
Marvel did a major pivot with the “Thor” movies and it worked. The wacky feel, lead by its director Taika Waititi, gave a spike in business to one of the few Marvel characters whose standalone movies were getting stale.
5. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” — $863.5 million
Domestic: $389.8 million
This Marvel title, on the other hand, didn’t need any changes at all. This sequel to the overachieving original movie came back with more fun and sweet needle drops.
4. “Spider-Man: Homecoming” — $880.1 million
Domestic: $334.2 million
Sony teamed with Marvel Studios for its latest relaunch of Spidey and it was a masterful move. The inclusion of Tony Stark led to a light-hearted story and the franchise’s new Peter Parker, Tom Holland, did the rest with his charm.
3. “Despicable Me 3” — $1.03 billion
Domestic: $264.5 million
It wasn’t a great year for animated releases compared to the past couple. This is the only one that really knocked it out of the park around the world. Expect Universal and Illumination to call on Steve Carell to do more (and more Minions movies, too).
2. “The Fate of the Furious” — $1.23 billion
Domestic: $225.7 million
Not even infighting among the enormous stars of this franchise can stop its money making potential. It's pretty much bulletproof overseas, where the movie made $1 billion!
1. “Beauty and the Beast” — $1.26 billion
Domestic: $504 million
Disney’s process of doing live-action versions of its animated classics is going smoothly. 2016’s “Jungle Book” almost hit the $1 billion mark worldwide ($966.5 million) and “Beauty and the Beast” did this year. On deck: “Lion King.”
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But what about "The Last Jedi?"
It's only been out for a weekend, but if past "Star Wars" movies from the last couple of years are any indication, "The Last Jedi" will at least top the domestic box office by the time the year closes.
The movie has already earned $220 million domestically ($450 million worldwide), projections have the movie around the $750 million mark by early January, which means the movie would likely have surpassed the $504 million domestic mark of current leader "Beauty and the Beast" by the new year.