For the second time in the history of Deadline’s Most Valuable Blockbuster Tournament, Disney’s Lucasfilm prevails with Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the eighth movie (really ninth, if you count Rogue One) in a 41-year old sci-fi franchise that beat several superhero movies and some truly big family breakouts including Beauty and the Beast, Despicable Me 3 and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Similar to how J.J. Abrams climbed the ladder to cut the net for 2015 profit champ Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Rian Johnson does the honors here for Last Jedi.
This year we cut our top 20 list to the top 10 so we could take a look at what some of the most notable misfires were. But if there’s a difference between this year’s list and 2016’s, it’s that more live-action franchise films ruled the top 10 in 2017 while last year was populated with more animated features and younger franchise start-ups such as Deadpool, Suicide Squad and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Only one original movie, Universal/Blumhouse’s Get Out, cracked the top 10, with most original fare making our cash cow/honorable mentions list. To pull off such unique bets, and position them as breakout successes, studios and filmmakers have no choice but to make such fare for the least amount of money possible.
As the Disney-Fox merger looms in the near future, the begged question is how that will impact the landscape of this tournament’s top 10 going forward. If Disney and Fox product combined (led by Marvel’s Black Panther) can control 75% of the Presidents Day four-day weekend box office, how does that mean for the profitability of all films? Although Fox didn’t have a title in the top 10, it’s not say that its R-rated Logan didn’t make a surplus of cash. The Greatest Showman already is expected to make north of $50M after all ancillaries (it falls outside our honorable mentions due to its higher-budget $84M production cost). This year Disney counted the most films in the top 10 with four, commanding $1.16 billion in profit out of the top 10’s total $2.704B. While the overall top 10 profits are +5%, Disney’s portion is -15% due to its feature toons such as Coco and Cars 3 not yielding the bucks that 2016’s Zootopia and Finding Dory minted. That will be a different story this year with vault faves The Incredibles 2 and Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 on the horizon.
The tournament was set up as an annual Deadline feature to give a clearer idea, beyond the weekend and annual box office standings, of how much studios really keep, and that keeps studios in business and co-financiers coming back for more. As a final cap, Deadline Hollywood provides readers with the revenue and costs charts of all 10 films that participated, as well as five honorable mentions and the year’s top five bombs. You can click below for the entire breakdown of data that was always expected to be the most memorable part of this exercise.
Big shoutout to Deadline co-Editor-in-Chief Mike Fleming Jr. and Managing Editor Patrick Hipes in making this tournament possible.
Check out the rankings below, and you can read all our our tournament stories — including the biggest bombs a smaller-film hits — here:
Deadline’s Top 10 of 2017
Rank | Movie | (Studio) | Net Profit
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi (DIS/Lucasfilm) – $417.5M
- Beauty and the Beast (DIS) – $414.7M
- Despicable Me 3 (Illumination/UNI) – $366.2M
- Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (SONY) – $305.7M
- It (New Line/WB) – $293.7M
- Wonder Woman (WB/DC) – $252.9M
- Spider-Man: Homecoming (SONY/Marvel) – $200.1M
- Thor: Ragnarok (DIS/Marvel) – $174.2M
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (DIS/Marvel) – $154.7M
- Get Out (UNI/Blumhouse) – $124.3M
HONORABLE MENTION: Annabelle: Creation (NL/WB) – $108.7M, Split (UNI/Blumhouse) – $68.2M, Girls Trip (UNI) – $66.1M, Wonder (Lionsgate/Participant) – $55.2M, Baby Driver (Sony/MRC/Working Title) – $51.5M.
TOP FIVE BIG BOMBS: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (WB/Village Roadshow) – ($153.2M); Monster Trucks (PAR) – ($123.1M); The Promise (Survival Pictures/Open Road) – ($102.1M); The Great Wall (Legendary/UNI) – ($74.5M); Geostorm (WB/Skydance) – ($71.6M)
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