2016 was not a great year by many accounts, but Disney is undoubtedly popping champagne well before the new year. They became the first studio to gross $7 billion worldwide in a single year recently and it doesn't look like things will be slowing them in 2017, with several monster releases on the way. That is evidenced by the fact that three of their upcoming releases topped Fandango's most anticipated movies of 2017 list.
Fandango recently published the list, via USA Today, which surveyed 2,000 visitors to the Fandango website who describe themselves as frequent moviegoers. To the surprise of probably nobody, Star Wars: Episode VIII came out on top. The survey was done prior to Carrie Fisher's recent, untimely death and that will certainly only fuel the fire of anticipation for that movie, since it will be her last appearance as Princess Leia. Here is what managing editor of Fandango Erik Davis had to say about it.
"Episode VIII is looking to be the movie event of 2017, just as Rogue One was the movie event of 2016. Disney keeps doing this every year. They concentrate on that Star Wars moment and each year it explodes."
At the moment, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has already made more than $600 million worldwide and has absolutely dominated the online conversation. It wasn't expected to match the fever that everyone felt for Star Wars: The Force Awakens last year, but it has done a great job of standing on its own, as it was supposed to do. But Disney isn't making unprecedented amounts of money at the box office on the back of a single franchise. They have a lot more going on and a lot of that has to do with their Marvel superheroes.
In 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy was considered a huge risk for Marvel Studios. Now, heading into 2017, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is the second most anticipated movie of the year. That is a huge feat, especially considering that Disney (via Marvel Studios) will also be co-releasing Spider-Man: Homecoming later in the year. That movie is still getting a lot of hype and landed at the number five spot on the list. Both of those movies debuted trailers recently and both were met with a ton of praise, so there probably isn't a lot separating them in terms of excitement. It will be interesting to see how it shakes out with both of those movies at the box office next year.
If there is a third pillar for Disney right now outside of Star Wars and Marvel, it has been their live-action adaptations of animated classics. This year The Jungle Book grossed just shy of $1 billion worldwide and next year they have a serious Ace up their sleeve in the form of Beauty and the Beast. Shockingly enough, the upcoming live-action adaptation of the animated classic came in at number three on the list, beating out Wonder Woman. Both the teaser and the first full-length trailer for Beauty and the Beast set records for views in a 24-hour period when they were released, so there is no telling how much money that movie could make. The hype is definitely there and it has very broad appeal.
Fandango also found out some other info with their survey. The most anticipated actress for next year is Emma Watson for her role as Belle in Beauty and the Beast, with the most anticipated actor being Chris Pratt as Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. As far as rising stars go, Gal Gadot came out on top for Wonder Woman and Tom Holland for Spider-Man: Homecoming, largely thanks to their supporting roles in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War respectively. Wonder Woman also edged out Baby Groot for the most anticipated comic book character of 2017. Outside of the comic book world, the site found that Pitch Perfect 3 was the most anticipated comedy of 2017, with Alien: Covenant coming in as the most anticipated horror/thriller.
Outside of Disney movies, the main list included the other major comic book movies coming out next year. The aforementioned Wonder Woman came in at number four, shockingly beating out Justice League, which came in at number 6. Fox also got in on the action, with the final Hugh Jackman/Wolverine movie Logan coming in at number nine. The other spots on the list were filled out by The Fate of the Furious at number seven, Fifty Shades Darker at eight and Despicable Me 3 at ten. No doubt, all of these movies will probably be successes to varying degrees, but 2017 is looking like it will be Disney and everyone else. A pattern that will likely continue for the foreseeable future. You can check out the full list for yourself below.
Most anticipated 2017 movies
1. Star Wars: Episode VIII
2. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
3. Beauty and the Beast
4. Wonder Woman
5. Spider-Man: Homecoming
6. Justice League
7. The Fate of the Furious
8. Fifty Shades Darker
10. Despicable Me 3