According to comScore figures this New Year’s Eve, the worldwide box office has hit a record $39.92B. That’s up 3% over 2016 and makes 2017 the highest-grossing year ever in global box office history.
While domestic box office is set to ring in 2018 with a close on 2017 of $11.12B, 2.3% down from 2016’s record $11.4B, the international box office helped propel the global estimated final to its own record.
With $28.8B at overseas turnstiles, 2017 was partly enhanced by a massive hit out of China where Wolf Warrior 2 grossed over $854M in just that market (with a new ticketing fee included) while the whole of the Middle Kingdom is projected to see 20% growth over 2016 — The Fate Of The Furious became China’s biggest import in 2017 with $392.8M. The emerging South East Asia markets also helped fuel growing ticket sales in general as did the Middle East — and Saudi Arabia will soon join the party.
As of today’s estimates, the Top 5 worldwide movies in 2017 are Disney’s Beauty And The Beast ($1.264B); Universal’s Fate Of The Furious ($1.236B); Disney’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which just scaled to the No. 3 position today at an estimated $1.04B; Universal/Illumination’s Despicable Me 3 at $1.033B and Sony’s Spider-Man: Homecoming at $880.2M.
Other big titles in the worldwide mix include Disney/Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2 ($864M); the same partners’ Thor: Ragnarok ($848M); Warner Bros’ Wonder Woman ($822M); and Dis’ Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales ($795M — performing far better overseas than domestically).
Further highlights include WB’s It which made nearly $700M worldwide without China in the mix; as well as films like Fox’s Logan; Disney’s still-lively Coco; and WB’s Kong: Skull Island and Dunkirk. Warner in fact hit its best-ever global year in 2017.
For some of the studios, there will also be holdover play on current titles that runs into 2018, further boosting grosses.
“Going to the movies is truly a worldwide phenomenon,” says comScore’s Senior Media Analyst, Paul Dergarabedian. “The ‘big screen’ experience was bolstered by a unique and compelling slate of titles in 2017 that sparked an exceptional level of enthusiasm by patrons who flocked to movie theaters around the globe.”