People love talking clocks.
At least they do when they talk to candlesticks. Despite their unattractive appearance, people flocked to see furniture at the theater in DROVES! And to think Beauty and the Beast (2017) didn’t even make my top 5 films prediction for 2017. Spider-Man: Homecoming was a hit and came in behind Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. The film itself was even better than expected, but those lovable galaxy spanning heroes topped the old webslinger. The Last Jedi, my number one prediction, just topped the domestic charts as the New Year rolled around. But will it overcome Beauty and the Beast worldwide? That is still to be seen, but considering it’s only in it’s third week of release, it likely will.
Coco was the biggest surprise by far. This charming, heart-tugging story not only won over my heart but apparently the hearts of millions. Currently the 6th most popular Disney film of 2017 and 16th worldwide overall, it finished far ahead of Cars 3 which unfortunately brought up the rear. That doesn’t mean Cars 3 didn’t do well financially, just came up last in box office earnings. Disney overall had another great year – just not as great as 2016. Assuming The Last Jedi does end up as the highest grossing worldwide film, this is how the top 5 Disney films of 2017 will end up (current worldwide position in parentheses with my predictions to the right):
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi
- Beauty and the Beast (2017) (1) / Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2 (7) / Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
- Thor: Ragnarok (8)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (10) / Cars 3
The new year has a heavier slate than 2017. Instead of seven films, the Disney studio is releasing nine potential hits including THREE Marvel movies, two animated films (one Pixar, one Disney), and a summer Star Wars film. I would like to think that A Wrinkle in Time would end up in the top 5, but because of the built-in audience for Marvel, Star Wars, and Disney animated films it would take something extraordinary for it to break through. Is it possible? Sure! But likely? No. Normally, any Star Wars movie would get placed in the number one position, but Solo has had so many problems, has the least diverse cast, is opening in the summer against a slew of other popular films, and is competing against the Avengers. I’m just not sure. And I LOVE the Star Wars franchise. Also, with less than six months until opening, almost nothing has been seen from it. That’s how troubled this production has been.
I was REALLY looking forward to Mary Poppins Returns. Who wouldn’t with the talents of Lin-Manuel Miranda as part of it? But they aren’t utilizing his songwriting abilities which seems like such a waste. And at D23 Expo, Gerry Marshall and Emily Blunt just kept talking about how much they love each other and how much this isn’t going to be like Julie Andrews’ Mary. Who wants that? Mary Poppins was great because of Julie Andrews. I can understand wanting to make the character your own, but the way they talked seemed like more than that. I’m hoping it’s amazing and I’m looking forward to see what they reveal over the course of the year, but not using Lin for his music ability I hope isn’t an indication of where this film is heading.
The only easy one is The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. It won’t do well based on early clips shown at D23 Expo. Despite it’s star power, it just looks uninteresting. However, that won’t take away from the stellar success Disney will have in 2018. Here are my predictions for top 5 films of the year (based on worldwide gross at the box office):
- Avengers: Infinity War – Everything in the MCU has been building to this. It’s poised to be the summer blockbuster hit of the year and there’s no reason to think it won’t be.
- Incredibles 2 – Going out a bit on a limb here considering the competition, but the buzz has already been strong for this animated superhero sequel. Finding Dory did gangbusters worldwide last year coming in third behind Captain America: Civil War and Rogue One. I’m thinking Incredibles 2 will follow the same pattern.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story – Yes, despite the problems, it will still be in the black. Almost guaranteed money, it’s just a matter of how much. It may fall short of even the number three spot depending on how it’s received, but it could do better. It’s hard to tell with so little coming out about it. Han Solo is such a beloved character that if it’s done well it could mean big money, but done poorly could be a disaster. And with Ron Howard taking over after Lord and Miller were fired so late into production, it doesn’t bode well.
- Black Panther – This is a hard one. I was waffling between this and the better positioned Ant-Man and the Wasp. With Ant-Man being released in July after Solo is out for a couple of weeks (another reason Solo might falter is cross competition with Marvel not to mention other blockbusters), it is a more highly anticipated movie watching weekend. But then again perhaps the lack of serious action movie competition AND the amazing visuals already out there might make this the best bet of all. I’m going with Black Panther for number four.
- Ant-Man and the Wasp – Ant-Man isn’t dropping far. The first one was amazing, but it seems people saw it as “Marvel adjacent” rather than something directly related to the ongoing story in the MCU. It still made half a BILLION dollars, but didn’t crack the top 10. Still Paul Rudd is so amazing as this character and was a scene-stealer in Civil War. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ralph Breaks the Internet slips into this spot or Mary Poppins Returns. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Mary Poppins Returns slides into number four and steals a bit of Marvel thunder. But we’ll see.
So many good films to choose from! It looks like 2018 will be a lot like 2016 financially for the Disney company. Likely at least two of these films will bring in over a billion dollars. What are you most looking forward to seeing in the new year?