Just in case you were wondering why Hollywood studios continue to pour their time and talents into recognizable franchises -- most notably of the superhero sort -- a research report conducted by Piper Jaffray on the predicted consumer habits of teenagers in the year 2017 indicated that all seven anticipated movies are sequels or chapters in expansive cinematic universes, most of which have been around for decades.
An investment bank and asset management firm, Piper Jaffray Companies specializes in mergers and acquisitions, and related information. Their latest Collaborative Consumer Insights Projects for Spring 2017 (read it in full here) analyzes the activities of teenage consumers and covers everything from Global Fashion and Lifestyle Brands, Media and Devices, and Restaurants. When it came to the category of anticipated 2017 films -- movies on the radars of cash-holding teenagers -- these seven titles ranked alongside the already successful Beauty and the Beast. Disney dominates the contenders, but what other films are being circled on the calendars of teens?
The Fate of the Furious
The Fast & Furious franchise has a little something for everyone, so it's no surprise that it ranks so heavily with a teenage audience. For one thing, the movies have been prevalent for the duration of their entire lives, having kick started 16 years ago with The Fast and the Furious. This series excels at marketing, makes terrific use of contemporary music and the fast-car culture, and has been consistently entertaining for the past three films (and counting).
Release Date: April 14
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
When Star Wars: The Force Awakens reignited interest in the semi-dormant Star Wars franchise, many industry observers wondered if the nostalgia kick would primarily consume older audiences, those of us who grew up on Star Wars. In order to stay relevant, the new trilogy -- and he subsequent spinoff films -- would need to appeal to a younger demographic. Well, following the global success of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ($1.056 billion in worldwide grosses), and the high placement for Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi in the minds of teens, these are clear indicators that the Star Wars saga is going to live on for years to come.
Release Date: December 15
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is resonating with teenaged audiences, as James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is the first of two MCU movies on this list (the next is on the next page). Again, we have a sequel to a successful superhero property that has been selling heavily on what worked in the first movie: top-notch special effects; and an ensemble of rogues who are overwhelmed by chemistry. The fact that Guardians has the opening slot of Summer 2017 can only help its chances at winning big at the box office.
Release Date: May 5
Marvel and Sony have to be thrilled to see Spider-Man: Homecoming on this list, as there was a fear that Spidey fatigue had set in with potential ticket buyers after the two The Amazing Spider-Man movies. Instead, the data collected by Piper Jaffray Companies suggests that this new approach to the wall-crawler, with Tom Holland in the lead, is connecting with its target teenage audience, meaning its July release date could prove lucrative.
Release Date: July 7
Transformers: The Last Knight
There's a reason Michael Bay's Transformers movies continue to break box office records year after year. Teenagers tend to support the blockbuster aspirations of the Transformers saga, and The Last Knight isn't looking to break that streak. Bringing Mark Wahlberg back into the fold, The Last Knight will explore the rich history of the Autobots, dating back to the time of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. But it also will pit Optimus Prime against his friends, notably Bumblebee.
Release Date: June 23
Any other year, this movie should be much higher. But at the moment, we just don't know what to expect out of the first massive team up in the DCEU. The Justice League builds on what Zack Snyder started in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, with Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) recruiting a team of metahumans to combat a looming threat. The fact that Justice League is on the list has to be a win for Warner Bros. Now it's up to Snyder and his crew to deliver.
Release Date: November 17
Maybe we all will feel better about Justice League when Wonder Woman knocks our DC socks off. But we have to wait until June until that can be confirmed. The last movie on the list of anticipated 2017 films for teens is Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman origin story, with Gal Gadot bringing the warrior to life on the big screen. Early trailers have been impressive, and the overall cast is a winner. Can Wonder Woman be the movie that puts the DCEU on the right track?
Release Date: June 2