More than ever in 2017, American studios will be counting on blockbuster sequels to secure top spots in global box-office rankings. With new movies from heavyweight franchises like Star Wars, Fast & Furious, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Transformers in store, plus a follow-up for Guardians of the Galaxy, the battle for the box office looks set to be tough.
Major American studios have found a winning trick to ensure sure-fire success in global box-office rankings, as well as making millions of dollars in revenue. In fact, as soon as a movie proves a hit in theatres, it’s pretty much guaranteed to be followed up with at least one sequel.
Next year will be no exception, with several popular franchises set to return for 2017. Star Wars Episode VIII will add a new instalment to the intergalactic saga, which began in 1977 and boasts grosses totaling $6.6 billion. Episode eight is due out December 15, 2017, with a plot that follows on directly from The Force Awakens, which is now the third biggest box-office hit of all time, grossing $2 billion.
Fast & Furious, another highly popular franchise, will be bringing an eighth instalment to the big screen, April 14. The previous movie, released in 2015, grossed $1.5 billion at the global box office, taking the saga to a total of $3.9 billion.
Pirates of the Caribbean is to return May 26 with a fifth adventure entitled Dead Men Tell No Tales. After a six-year break, the franchise should at least match the success the last episode, On Stranger Tides, which grossed over $1 billion. Transformers, another saga regularly reaching similar heights, will also return with The Last Knight, June 23.
Although coming in under the billion mark with $773 million in 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy could improve its performance with a 2017 sequel, opening May 5. Similarly, Thor: Ragnarok is likely to exceed the $645 million box-office takings of 2013’s second instalment, The Dark World. Fifty Shades Darker” will also be vying to beat its predecessor, which grossed $570 million last year.
The year could bring pleasant surprises for certain franchises that haven’t yet enjoyed such levels of success. Ridley Scott‘s Alien: Covenant, out May 19, could out-perform Prometheus and its $403 million grosses in 2012, thanks to a title linking it directly to the famous sci-fi saga.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle (October 6) could outdo the first Kingsman movie, The Secret Service (2015), which grossed $414 million. War for the Planet of the Apes, out July 14, is also set to land three years after Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which took $710 million.
The real surprise of 2017 could be a hit animated movie. Despicable Me, whose sequel came close to the $1 billion mark in 2013, is back with part three June 30. Cars is due a third episode too, landing June 16, six years after the last adventure grossed $559.8 million.
Despite grossing relatively low sums with their first releases, Trainspotting and Blade Runner follow-ups could cause a sensation at the box office in 2017. The films, released in 1996 and 1982 respectively, have since become cult movies, and have the potential to draw several million moviegoers when their sequels land March 3 and October 6.
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