Movies are an art form, and like all forms of art, some examples are forgotten while others stand the test of time. The movies that win awards as great examples of the medium don't always survive on those merits. It's often the films that capture the popular imagination that become the ones that we all remember fondly.
In a decade, movies will have changed drastically. We can't even guess at how new technologies might fundamentally change how we experience film or how trends might change the types of movies we want to watch. However, wherever things go in the future, there will always be those movies from the past that we return to because we've always loved them. Here are the 2016 movies we believe we'll still be watching in 2026.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
In general, the reason that people still watch a movie years after it came out is because something about the movie is timeless and resonates with people in any era. We honestly have no idea if Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will have that special something. What we do know is that 10 years from now, the franchise that started this fall will still be going on, as such, people will be watching this movie in the future if only to prep for the final installment, which will be hitting screens just about 10 years from now.
Very few know how to make movies that last quite like Disney animation. When they produce a musical with a princess at its center it's a virtual certainty that such a movie will be watched for several decades to come. While there have been exceptions, Disney films that haven't done as well, we're fairly confident Moana won't be one of them. The movie's soundtrack is one of the best the Mouse House has produced in a long time, and the unique take on the Disney Princess archetype will be enough to have people rewatching this one for probably the next several decades.
Superhero movies are all the rage today. How popular they still will be in 10 years is hard to tell. While we don't expect them to be done completely, the focus of blockbuster movies may have shifted over to other things. Regardless, while the Marvel Cinematic Universe may still be a popular franchise in a decade, it's hard to say how well any individual film will stand up. Deadpool is in the unique position of being a movie that doesn't require any additional movies to work. It'll be one of the few superhero movies people will just be able to start streaming and enjoy without any preamble. It's also funnier than hell and comedy will always be wanted. This makes it much more likely to still be popular in the future.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
The least surprising movie on this list may be Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It's not a crazy idea that people will still be watching this one in 10 years. The Star Wars franchise has been continuously watched even when there were no movies being actively made, and we fully expect that Disney will still have this franchise producing films 10 years from now. Like Deadpool though, Rogue One won't require you to sit down and watch an entire trilogy in order to properly enjoy it. It works perfectly fine all by itself, and as most reviews agree, it's also a really good movie.
The Nice Guys
It's easy enough to say that movies that were popular with fans in 2016 will still be popular in the future. But what about one movie that seemed to skate by unnoticed? Based on the box office performance of The Nice Guys, you probably didn't see it in 2016. That's ok. Sometimes films don't get recognized until after the fact. At some point over the next few years, people will begin to give The Nice Guys a look, and it will become one of those "cult" hits where nobody can understand why it wasn't a huge success when it was released. We knew it the whole time.
Yes, Disney Animation makes the list twice, what do you want from me? While Disney's musicals are nearly guaranteed to survive the test of time, their non-musical films are less of a sure thing. Does anybody even remember that Chicken Little was a thing? However, Zootopia is a special movie. It's got the sort of timeless message that one generation will want to instill into the next. At the same time, it's just as much fun as anything Disney has done in recent years. There's a better than average chance we'll see a sequel to this one down the road, which will only help keep the original in your standard comfort movie rotation.