While in many other ways 2016 was a sh*tty year – we lost legendary singers, songwriters, actors, and other icons of popular culture – it was a good year for movie fans, as they saw many great productions hit the theaters. Just as the top 5 films of 2015, and the top movies before them, some of them were unanimously well received by critics and audiences alike, others were more controversial in either of the two cases. Sometimes the revenues of the movies contradicted the critics, showing that there’s more to movies than money. All things considered, 2016 was an eventful year for moviegoers, with lots of ups and downs to discuss.
How many of this year’s movies will live on? Only time will tell. The last few years have seen some famous franchises reborn in surprising ways – like both the Jurassic Park and Terminator returning to the screen in the form of Royal Vegas slot machines. Both new Royal Vegas titles were launched shortly before a new movie in the franchise (Jurassic World and Terminator: Genisys) hit the theaters. Were they part of a marketing effort? Is the upcoming Jurassic World slot machine, soon to be released at the Royal Vegas, a similar stunt? We’ll see about that in the new year. The games, as well as the movies they are inspired by, are great – that’s enough for the time being. But let’s leave them aside for now, and focus on what has just passed: the movie crop of 2016. Was it a good year for film fans?
Surprising as it may sound, the PG-rated animated feature “Finding Dory” was the top-grossing movie of 2016. Two more PG-rated productions – “The Secret Life of Pets” and Disney’s live-action “The Jungle Book” – made it to the top 5, showing that kids are still fascinated by the magic of the big screen (and there are enough child-spirited parents to accompany them to the theaters). “Captain America: Civil War” and “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” were also great cash cows for their respective studios, with ticket sales around $400 million each.
The top 10 looks more interesting, with the R-rated “Deadpool” performing surprisingly well, and DC’s “Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Suicide Squad” (two movies bashed by critics and fans alike) also making it to the list of the top-grossing films of the year.
When it comes to the critics’ opinions of this year’s movies, things look a lot different. According to Rotten Tomatoes, Zootopia was the best movie of 2016, with a rating of 98% (the 7th best grossing movie of the year), followed by “Hell on High Water”, “Arrival”, “Moonlight”, and Disney’s “The Jungle Book”. The two DC Comics entries to the above list – “Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Suicide Squad” – didn’t even make it into the top 100 this year.
To see that revenues and critics don’t always agree with the moviegoers, let’s take a look at the movies voted as the best by the users of IMDb:
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
- La La Land
- Hacksaw Ridge
All things considered, I think it’s safe to say that 2016 was an eventful year at the movies. Whether its crop was good or bad, it remains to be seen – remember, we have quite a few interesting titles (like Star Wars: Episode VIII, The Mummy, T2 Trainspotting, Thor: Ragnarok, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and Alien: Covenant) set to be released this year.