As the year comes to a close, Hollywood looks back with mixed feelings.
Though there were some surprise box-office giants like Disney’s “Zootopia” and Fox’s “Deadpool,” which just added to the predicted success of movies like “Captain America: Civil War” and “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” (not to mention the huge coin “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” will get soon), the industry also had numerous failures in its sequels (“Independence Day: Resurgence,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows”) and reboots (“Ben-Hur,” “Ghostbusters”).
And though there have been record-setting box-office openings this year, ticket sales are down as many are staying home to watch what’s on TV or their streaming services.
Let’s break down what the movie business did right and what it did wrong as we highlight the five winners and losers at the box office in 2016.
The biggest winner of the year by far is the house Walt built. In early December, Disney surpassed the industry record for biggest domestic box office in a year, earning $2.49 million (Universal previously held the record for the $2.45 million it made domestically last year). And the studio could earn close to $7 billion worldwide by the end of the year (if all goes as planned with “Rogue One”), which would break another industry record.
Basically almost everything Disney released this year did as expected or better. “Zootopia” ($1.02 billion worldwide) and “The Jungle Book” ($966.5 million worldwide) earned beyond what anyone imagined. And “Captain America: Civil War” and “Finding Dory” were the biggest domestic earners of 2016.
If you went to the movies this year, it was likely for a Disney movie.
The studio had a lot of stumbles this year. Movies with marquee names — like “Money Monster,” starring George Clooney, and “Inferno,” with Tom Hanks — didn’t ignite the box office and its supposed awards contender “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” used a shooting format that only two theaters in the US could show the way it was intended.
But the biggest disappointment was the release of the all-female reboot of “Ghostbusters,” only earning $229 million worldwide on a budget of $144 million. Regardless what the studio did, the people who used the internet to voice their displeasure about the “Ghostbusters” reboot affected its performance.
Fox rolled the dice by making a movie about an obscure Marvel character whose mouth was sealed shut the last time he was seen onscreen. But its gamble payed off big time.
“Deadpool” is the shocking success of the year as it took in over $782 million worldwide on a $58 million budget. And it was an R movie! This has opened up Fox to make its next Wolverine movie, “Logan,” much more violent (and it likely will receive an R rating, too). And it’s also put the pressure on “Deadpool” star Ryan Reynolds to repeat the box-office success for the sequel, which is stumbling to get off the ground.
But regardless of what may occur, 2016 was the year of Deadpool.