Oh, what a year it has been at the box office. We have seen several movies crack the $1 billion mark, and others have raked in every dollar imaginable. Plenty of movies have underperformed, and a great deal have exceeded “experts’” expectations. The box office race has been a wild ride since the beginning of the year, and with December right around the corner, expect to see a few more surprises. Sure, you’re going to watch all of the Christmas classics, but the December box office is a full-on juggernaut every year.
Enjoying a film is subjective to the person in the audience, and movies with terrible reviews have been able to lure in audience members to bolster their ticket sales. You may hate some of the biggest franchises in the world, but they continue to make absurd amounts of cash. Of course, for every movie that stinks and overperforms, you will have some that are critical darlings that post embarrassingly low numbers.
The 15 movies that we have selected for our list today are some of the best that 2017 has had to offer. We made sure to include different genres to keep things diverse and interesting. This list could have been full of movies from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but where is the fun in that? Whether you have already seen these films or are preparing yourselves for an amazing theatrical experience, your year won’t feel complete until you watch these movies. You threw in the towel on your resolutions months ago, so do yourself a favor and give these a watch.
15 Blade Runner 2049
Is this the most misunderstood franchise of all time? When the original Blade Runner film came out, it received a lukewarm reception and put up some disappointing box office numbers. Over the years, however, it became a bona fide cult classic, and when Blade Runner 2049 was announced, the fandom rejoiced. Cut to 2017 and this film, much like its predecessor, disappointed at the box office. It is hard to figure out why these films don’t fare well while in theaters, but anyone who has watched Blade Runner 2049 will tell you that this film is a worthy followup to the classic.
Boasting an incredible cast, Blade Runner 2049 also has some of the most spectacular visuals that you will ever have the privilege of seeing on film. If you missed seeing it in theaters, then hit up a Red Box when it is released and feel free to kick yourself for not seeing it on the big screen.
14 War For The Planet Of The Apes
For a film series that dates back several decades, many were skeptical to see a new era of Planet of the Apes films. The classic series itself is considered legendary, but in-between that and the newest trilogy, we had an absolute travesty of a film, courtesy of Tim Burton. Nevertheless, the new trilogy of films had been good so far, and few could have predicted that War for the Planet of the Apes would be such a great film. Upon its release, War for the Planet of the Apes would receive plenty of critical acclaim, and the word of mouth that came from audience members helped the film haul in $490 million at the box office.
Because the film was so good and so successful, director Matt Reeves has been tasked with directing The Batman for the DCEU. Needless to say, DC fans couldn’t be happier with the selection of Reeves to spearhead the first solo Batman movie since The Dark Knight Rises.
Each year at the box office, we see plenty of horror movies stake their claim as a massive financial success, but the hype and truly brilliant trailers behind the film It catapulted it to heights far beyond what anyone could have predicted. If you are looking to get your horror fix, then this is the perfect movie for you. Then again, with the amount of money that it made at the box office, you've probably given this one a watch already.
The original film, which came out 27 years ago, was a favorite of horror fans, and many were curious to see how a modern adaptation of the film would turn out. $685 million later, it is safe to say that fans and critics everywhere absolutely loved the movie. Because this film only dealt with the first part of the story, fans anxiously awaited the announcement of the sequel to tell the next half. It has been speculated that September of 2019 will be the release of the next part of the story. Due to the immense amount of success that it had, fully expect to see its sequel haul ridiculous amounts of cash.
12 Logan Lucky
This film may have failed to set the box office on fire upon its release, but believe us when we say that you will truly regret not sitting down and giving Logan Lucky a watch. Directed by Steven Soderbergh and boasting an insanely talented cast, Logan Lucky is one of the more interesting films that we have on our list. The summer box office is always full of movies looking to cement themselves as a hit along with the other blockbusters, but there will be films that are typically ignored by the masses. People who were fortunate enough to see this on the big screen have given it glowing reviews.
Given the critical acclaim that it received upon its release, it's hard to believe that Logan Lucky only managed to pull down $44 million at the box office. Although it drastically underperformed at the box office, we highly recommend giving this hilarious heist movie a watch. Logan Lucky was recently released on Blu-ray, so do yourself a favor and scoop this one up.
11 The Big Sick
The Big Sick just might be the biggest surprise hit comedy of 2017. With a production budget of just $5 million, The Big Sick was able to rake in $54 million during its theatrical release, thanks largely to the amazingly warm reception that it received from critics. Unlike My Big Fat Greek Wedding, The Big Sick seemingly came out of nowhere to become a legitimate hit in Hollywood. Believe us when we say that this is no fluke. This movie is legitimately funny, and you will be incredibly thankful that you sat down and gave it a watch.
Hollywood has an awful tendency with taking something that is a surprise success and driving into the ground, and we really hope that doesn't happen with this film. In the case of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, no one was interested in a sitcom or in the sequel. Let’s hope that Hollywood has learned his lesson and lets this movie stand on its own feet without beating it into the ground and leaving a sour taste in the mouths of viewers.
10 Wonder Woman
The DCEU got off to a terrible start, and it took the brilliance of Patty Jenkins and the beauty and talent of Gal Gadot to finally right the ship. Fans were skeptical of Wonder Woman prior to its release, and it's hard to blame them. After sitting through atrocities like Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, there was a little reason to believe that the DCEU would churn out a quality film. Once Wonder Woman hit theaters, all sense of doubt was immediately ripped away. From start to finish, it is a fantastic film that was easily one of the year's best.
From one scene to the next, Wonder Woman hit all the right notes, and it became a global juggernaut in terms of box office returns. With Justice League receiving a rather poor reception from critics, it appears as though the DCEU is back to its old ways. Nevertheless, we fully expect Patty Jenkins to once again hit a grand slam when the sequel to Wonder Woman hits theaters in a few years.
9 The Lego Batman Movie
Did anyone actually expect this movie to be this good? The Lego Batman movie was one of the most entertaining films that was released this year. It was a film that didn't take itself too seriously, and it was a film that gave an earnest and fantastic portrayal of Batman. Sure, there are tons of moments that are completely over-the-top and embellished for the sake of comedy, but that does little to impact the overall film itself. Instead of a long drawn-out story about an older Bruce Wayne who's beefing with Clark Kent, fans were treated to an introspective story about family and overcoming doubts and fears.
From one scene to the next, The Lego Batman Movie gave longtime Batman fans plenty of Easter eggs to sink their teeth into. It had no issues with poking fun at itself and the character’s history, and it was one of the more enjoyable theater experiences that most people had this year.
8 I Am Not Your Negro
This documentary was nothing short of incredible. When it was released in February, I Am Not Your Negro put the entertainment industry on notice with its powerful message and incredible imagery. Documentaries don't often set the box office on fire, and I Am Not Your Negro will never be looked at as a box office powerhouse. Made with a budget of $1 million, this film would go on to pull down $7.4 million at the box office. We have included a number of lighter films on this list, but believe us when we say that this film will have a huge emotional impact on you.
Because its initial festival release was in September of 2016, I Am Not Your Negro found itself being nominated for an Academy Award in 2017. Even though it didn't take home the prestigious award, the nomination alone should tell you the caliber of film that you will be watching. Watching a documentary that focuses on the history of racism in the United States can be a truly powerful experience, and director Raoul Peck did an amazing job.
7 Baby Driver
Baby Driver is a film that represents the perfect storm in Hollywood. Not only does it have an amazing cast and a talented director, but the movie was very well-written and was released at the beginning of the Summer. Although it is a time of year where plenty of movies often get looked over, Baby Driver was able to find its place at the box office and pulled down a significant chunk of money in the process. Critics seemed to love the film, and it received plenty of great views upon its release. Even though superheroes dominated the summer, Baby Driver was still able to pull down to $126 million, thanks to great reviews and word of mouth from those who saw it.
Of course, things could have turned out drastically different had the allegations against Kevin Spacey been brought up before the film's release. As we stated earlier, this film was the perfect storm, and any change from those conditions could have led this film down a bad path.
How is it possible that a film that hasn't been released in America is on our list? It's simple. Disney and Pixar have a history of producing quality animated films, and every release of theirs is a can’t-miss when it hits theaters. To further prove our point, you need not look any further than the box office returns that Coco has had in Mexico. As it stands now, Coco is the highest-grossing movie of all time in Mexico. No, we did not say animated film. It is the highest-grossing film in the history of Mexico, and it has received some stellar reviews from film critics.
Disney is once again in the process of cranking out smash hit animated films each year, and the early buzz suggests that Coco is a film that needs to be seen. The cast is comprised of Hispanic people, continuing Disney's recent trend of ensuring that film roles go to actors who fit the race of the character. It further adds to the authenticity of the film, and it makes for an overall better experience for audiences.
It is not often that a superhero movie will cause audience members to feel all the emotions, though few superheroes have been played as long and as perfectly as Wolverine has. In terms of live-action films, Hugh Jackman is the only actor who has ever played the role of Wolverine, and when it was announced that his last portrayal of the character would come in the film Logan, longtime fans rush to theaters to see a unique era of film come to an end. Not only did Jackman once again deliver a stellar performance, but the film as a whole was great from start to finish.
Logan was a critical success, and the fact that it would be Hugh Jackman's last time playing the character helped propel the film to the top of the box office. When it was all said and done, Logan would walk away with $616 million, making it a critical and commercial success. Even though we may never get to see Hugh Jackman play the character again, we were at least given an incredible movie to cap off his time as Wolverine.
4 Thor: Ragnarok
Thor has long been considered one of the weaker characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and when the first trailer for Thor: Ragnarok made its way across the internet, it looked as though the character will soon become one of the most popular Avengers on the roster. Thor: Ragnarok received a slew of amazing reviews, and its box office numbers have been through the roof. Despite any flaws that it may have as a film, Marvel made sure to make it as entertaining as possible, breathing new life into a character that most people couldn't have cared less about. Now, we're not saying that Thor was as bad as Hawkeye, but most people seem to prefer Captain America or Iron Man.
The decision to allow Thor: Ragnarok to be more of a comedy was a stroke of genius by Disney. Their releases this year all could have made this list, but Thor: Ragnarok is fresh in our minds, and it is a truly entertaining watch.
If you're looking for a film that is visually stunning, historical in nature, and an overall emotional watch, then Dunkirk is the film for you. Christopher Nolan can do no wrong, and his most recent outing may in fact be his best. The film's cinematography is nearly unparalleled by any other release this year–save for Blade Runner 2049–and audiences immediately fell in love with it. It saw its worldwide release in July and droves of people rushed to theaters to go see the film. Some critics have hailed it as one of the best war movies ever made, and the $525 million that it hauled in at the box office is a pretty good indication of what other people felt about it.
As we have stated, Dunkirk is not a film that's going to have you feeling warm and fuzzy inside while watching it. If you haven't seen this film already, prepare to be emotionally drained by the time it is over. Even though most people would prefer to sit down and watch a comedy, you will truly regret it if you don't give Dunkirk an honest watch.
2 Get Out
Get Out is quite possibly the best movie that has come out so far in 2017. Jordan Peele has proven that he is a talented writer in the past, but Get Out has elevated his status at Hollywood to a legitimate force of nature. The film is able to touch on several different themes while remaining socially conscious in its message. The previews for the film alone had audiences ready to go see it in theaters, and word quickly spread that Get Out was even better than it looked. For a film that was made for $4.5 million, its final box office haul of $253 million is far beyond what anyone could have predicted for the film.
A stir was caused recently when Get Out was submitted in the comedy category of the Golden Globes. Nevertheless, expect to see this incredible film get nominated for an Academy Award and possibly take home some impressive hardware that evening. Despite being the greatest film released so far in 2017, there is one film that has yet to see a theatrical release that was an obvious choice for our list.
1 Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi
Is there a single film in 2017 that has been as highly anticipated as Star Wars? Since taking over the property, Disney has cranked out back-to-back billion-dollar movies at the box office, and Star Wars is arguably as popular as it has ever been. Though the last entry in the series, Rogue One, wasn't a standard episodic entry, fans still came out and feasted their eyes on the latest and greatest. Episode VIII is slated to be released in December, and you had better believe that this movie is going to pull down ridiculous amounts of money.
For as much flak as Episode VII took from die-hard fans who are never satisfied, it did an excellent job in laying the foundation for a number of different things that will be revealed over the next two movies. We still hardly know a number of the new characters who were introduced in The Force Awakens, and The Last Jedi is sure to develop the characters further, hopefully making them as beloved as some of the franchises most iconic characters.
Sources: IMDB, Boxofficemojo