2016 has been filled with many surprising hits and many unsurprising flops, the industry has learnt not to produce unwarranted sequels and has also learnt that franchises guarantee box office returns. These are my top three best films of 2016 (from the editor) and my top three worst films of 2016. (Some box office numbers such as budgets are based on estimation).
My top three best films of 2016:
11 years in the making, Marvel’s antihero, Deadpool finally got a solo film that did the character justice. Played by the hilarious and recent Hollywood Walk of Fame-r (that’s a thing right?) Ryan Reynolds, the character became a hit amongst audiences. With an already strong fan base, the film was rumoured to have a strong opening weekend and it did not disappoint, with a $132,434,639 domestic gross across the weekend of February 12th, Deadpool solidified itself as the strongest opening for an R-Rated film… ever. Combine that grossing with an aggressively funny marketing campaign and it’s no surprise that the film made $783,112,979 worldwide, securing its status as a hit and putting a renewed sense of faith in its lead actor.
How To Be Single
How To Be Single seems like one of those romantic comedies that looks funny from the trailer but then flops majorly when the film hits the big screen, I think this is quite the opposite. How To Be Single does have some laugh out loud moments but mostly it has more of a ‘struggling 20-something woman’s life’ structure, which is more comforting and heart-warming than ‘hilarious’. Unlike many other rom-coms, this film teaches the message that it is okay to be single, that you shouldn’t let your life slip away because you’re scared of doing things on your own. If you want to sing at the top of your voice down Shepherds Bush, then go for it, and if you want to sightsee Berlin or visit Laduree in Paris for Macarons and tea, then DO IT. You do not need a partner for it. The film handles this topic well as we see the protagonist, Alice (Dakota Johnson) struggle with three relationships only to realise its too much hassle and it’s better to count on herself. Yes it’s cheesy, but it’s comforting to those ladies out there that feel pressured over dating. With a worldwide gross of over $112m on a $38m budget, the film didn’t do too bad economically either.
Doctor Strange seemed like Marvel’s answer to superheroes on LSD, but in fact it was actually an incredibly smart and refreshing move for the studio. Benedict Cumberbatch plays an arrogant neurosurgeon who loses efficient functioning of his hands due to an accident; this leads him down the path of the mystic arts. If you haven’t seen the film, you’re probably thinking that those two events have no correlation logically. But Doctor Strange isn’t all that concerned with logic and science. What’s great about this character is that he is part of the Marvel Multiverse, which means there can be numerous versions of him existing in different universes, which also means more Cumberbatch and less rebooting. Doctor Strange made over $229m domestically and over $656m worldwide, making it the highest grossing Marvel character debut ever, above Iron Man. Now, that’s definitely a hit.
Best Films based on gross
All of these films passed the $1 billion mark at the box office:
Captain America: Civil War (Worldwide Gross- $1,153,304,495)
Finding Dory (Worldwide Gross- $1,027,771,569)
Zootopia (Worldwide Gross- $1,023,784,195)
Warner Bros. ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’– over $748m on a $180m budget
Warner Bros. ‘Suicide Squad’– over $745m on a $175m budget
Warner Bros. ‘The Accountant’ – over $148m on a $44m budget
Universal’s ‘Jason Bourne’– over $415 on a $120m budget
Commercial Flops- Worst films of 2016
I cannot even begin to talk about how bad the quality of this film is, I actually feel sorry for Kiefer Sutherland starring in this for even five minutes. Zoolander became somewhat of a comedy cult hit in its first run; its outlandish and wacky style drew audiences in but unfortunately could not sustain that success in its sequel. Simply put, the film just isn’t funny. It’s incredibly cringy, more so than the first. My main problem with this film is that nobody wanted this sequel, I wasn’t aware of audiences crying out for ‘Zoolander 2’ and considering its $55m worldwide gross, I think everybody else agrees with me.
Alice Through The Looking Glass
This film actually did make nearly $300m on a $170m budget but due to the fact that Johnny Depp was embroiled in a court case with Amber Heard, the film’s box office takings took a tank. The star of the film, no matter how big the role is, does matter.
This film is considered such a flop, I don’t even want to talk about it. Ben Hur, with no real target audience, a budget of $100m and a worldwide gross of $94m, is definitely not considered a hit.
Feel free to disagree but I haven’t been crazy about cinema in 2016, the blockbusters haven’t been that great and the poignant independent films are all set for UK release in 2017. With more superhero films than ever next year and more exciting prospects for film, it looks as though 2017 may be the real hit.