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Now that 2017 has finally come to a close, it is time to look back on how the film industry performed over the course of the last year. We saw some big winners in the form of movies like Spider-Man: Homecoming and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but we also saw some notable domestic duds like The Mummy. In fact, with the tallies now in for 2017, it looks like the overall box office did end up dipping, despite some gains from end-of-year hits like Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.
Even with some major box office successes, the domestic total for 2017 wasn't as good as some had hoped. The North American box office raked in roughly $11.1 billion this year, and while that is impressive in the sense that it's the third highest year on record and the third consecutive year to see the overall box office break $11 billion, it also represents a 2.3% dip from last year. The summertime box office this year was notable for the numbers being down, but then fall hits like IT picked things up a bit, leading some to hope that the holiday releases might recoup a lot of what was lost due to movies like Justice League and even the latest Transformers movie underperforming domestically. The likes of Star Wars: The Last Jedi and other holiday releases have done well, but it wasn't enough to bring things up to pace with numbers in previous years.
On that note, much of 2017's box office growth has been attributed to rising costs of tickets, and the end-of-year numbers note that movie attendance itself has dropped in total, with numbers similar to what we saw back in the nineties. Reasons for this drop-off in attendance varies from person to person (with rationale ranging from better options on streaming services to the overall cost of theater attendance), but getting more warm bodies into seats may need to become a bigger industry priority over the next few years.
On the international stage, the assessment of the box office numbers seems a bit better. More specifically, the foreign box office is up 6% over 2016, with China providing a significant boost that led to a total of $28.8 billion in international ticket sales -- leading to a 3% increase in worldwide gross and $40 billion in total globally. Big American blockbusters like The Fate of the Furious continued to have some serious clout with other countries, but native Chinese productions also made boatloads of money, as well. Specifically, Wolf Warrior 2 (which stars Captain America: The Winter Soldier's Frank Grillo) turned out to be a cash cow for the Chinese film industry.
The Wrap notes that 2018 is shaping up to destroy the previous year potentially. With films like Avengers: Infinity War and Solo: A Star Wars Story (not to mention Aquaman and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald) all expected to do substantial business in 2018, there's plenty of reasons to feel optimistic about what's coming. We will just have to wait and see how things pan out as we move forward.
Those are the numbers for 2017, but the new year means an entirely new slate of films is finally upon us. If you're looking for more information about all of the movies that will debut over the course of the next 365 days, then take a look at our 2018 movie premiere guide!