The 10 top-grossing films of 2017

AMC theater

Last updated on December 10th, 2021

2017 wasn’t the best year for the movies on the domestic front. The Verge reports that movie theater attendance is at a 25-year low, with box office revenue dipping nearly 3% from last year. I’d imagine the reasons are a mix of film quality, underperforming/over-budgeted films, and the fact going to the movies is too expensive nowadays. Personally, I’d welcome the return of intermissions, given the number of films out nowadays that’re two and a half hours long (or longer).

Still, there are films that did well despite theaters’ problems. Below are the top 10 films at the box office (domestic, global, and in animation).

Domestic box office

Star Wars: The Last Jedi poster

Figures taken from Box Office Mojo as of January 6, 2018.

  1. Star Wars: The Last Jedi, $555.5 million
  2. Beauty and the Beast, $504 million
  3. Wonder Woman, $412.6 million
  4. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, $389.8 million
  5. Spider-Man: Homecoming, $334.2 million
  6. It, $327.5 million
  7. Thor: Ragnarok, $312.1 million
  8. Despicable Me 3, $264.6 million
  9. Justice League, $226.6 million
  10. Logan, $226.3 million

Unsurprisingly, the top-grossing film of the year domestically is “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”

Some have noted that the top three films are ones centered around women characters. Of course, “Wonder Woman” was this summer’s biggest hit.

Global box office

Wonder Woman poster

Figures taken from Box Office Mojo as of January 6, 2018.

  1. Beauty and the Beast, $1.2635 billion
  2. The Fate of the Furious, $1.2358 billion
  3. Star Wars: The Last Jedi, $1.129 billion
  4. Despicable Me 3, $1.0335 billion
  5. Spider-Man: Homecoming, $880.2 million
  6. Wolf Warrior 2, $870.3 million
  7. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, $863.7 million
  8. Thor: Ragnarok, $849.4 million
  9. Wonder Woman, $821.8 million
  10. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, $794.9 million

The interests of the world, of course, don’t necessarily jibe with those of North America. Case in point: the second-highest grossing film is “The Fate of the Furious,” the latest “Fast and the Furious” film. It did OK in North America, though not cracking the top 10 or earning its budget back. However, it made 82% of its box office take (over a billion dollars) outside North America. A mix of spectacle, action, star power, a diverse cast, and, well, fast cars, all seem to combine to make this franchise a global giant.

Elsewhere, “Pirates of the Caribbean” is also still a draw overseas, despite mixed feelings about Johnny Depp or the franchise in North America. It drew 78% of its box office from outside North America.

Superheroes also didn’t dominate quite as much globally as in North America; while six of the top 10 domestic films were superhero ones, only four of the top 10 are globally. (Still, “Logan” and “Justice League” earned two-thirds of its grosses from overseas.) The top-grossing superhero film globally is “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”

If wondering, “Wolf Warrior 2” is a Chinese action film that earned the vast majority of its box office from China, though it was popular in a few other countries as well. It managed to break various box office records in China.

Animated films

Despicable Me 3 poster

Figures taken from Box Office Mojo as of January 6, 2018.

  1. Despicable Me 3, $1.0335 billion
  2. Coco, $555.7 million
  3. The Boss Baby, $498.9 million
  4. Cars 3, $383.8 million
  5. The LEGO Batman Movie, $312 million
  6. The Emoji Movie, $217 million
  7. Smurfs: The Lost Village, $197.2 million
  8. Ferdinand, $146.8 million
  9. Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, $125.4 million
  10. The LEGO Ninjago Movie, $123.1 million

Yes, the Minions’ franchise is still extremely popular, as the only animated film this year to earn over a billion dollars.

Despite underperforming, “Cars 3” still earned $383.8 million. That said, I assume the world will be spared a “Cars 4.”

“The Emoji Movie” also pulled in some box office bucks (for some reason), despite being roasted critically: a 12 score on Metacritic, and a 9% Rotten Tomatoes score.


One of my goals for 2018 is to catch up on my movie watching, which includes some of the films listed above. Hopefully I’ll get through the films before I write the 2018 box office review list a year from now.

Photo by m01229 (Flickr / CC BY)

Anthony Dean

Anthony Dean is the owner of Diverse Tech Geek and Diverse Media Notes.

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