Pictured are just the top five, keep reading to know all ten movies.
What a year it had been for movies! Superheroes battle it out on the big screen, vying for total world domination (on the box office charts). Ultimately, having super powers doesn't help much when they had to go up against the adorableness of animated cartoon characters, which won audiences the world over by tugging at their heartstrings and never letting ago. While one superhero movie managed to emerge victorious, the rest are toppled over by movies with anthropomorphic animals.
With animated movies already populating the top five spots, the other superhero movies have to make do with settling for the sixth to tenth places.
Among these also lies one magical movie about fantastic beasts, which, still being part of the fantasy genre (and not to mention, a spinoff of the very popular "Harry Potter" franchise), of course generated more than enough interest for it to end up in the top ten despite having only been released for less than a couple of months.
While it's too early to tell with the mid-December release of "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story", no doubt its Force will be stronger by the end of its run, possibly even topping the chart as "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" did last year. Though its release alone has already contributed in making Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures the first studio in cinematic history to gross more than USD7 billion at the box office worldwide.
Based on Box Office Mojo stats, it is deducible that superhero franchises are still the dominator of charts. Much like last year, most of the top ten movies worldwide have action as the common denominator. Figure-wise, the numbers for this year are considerably lower than last year's; where 2015's top five all managed to break the USD1 billion mark (and even USD2 billion in the case of top movie "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"), this year only the top three were able to do so and even so, the collection for 2016's top movie is still considerably low, earning USD6.1 million less than 2015's fifth-placer, "Minions".
Take a look below at the Top 10 movies of 2016:
Marvel's Captain America: Civil War
Team Captain America or Team Iron Man? Fans find themselves torn between the two heroes when political interference causes the Avengers allies to turn on each other. Directed by the Russo brothers, Anthony and Joe, the movie sees most of the Avengers (sans Thor and Hulk) assemble once again as Chris Evans returns as the titular captain, Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlett Witch, and Sebastian Stan as Winter Soldier, to name a few, joined by Paul Rudd as Ant Man. It wasn't only this gathering of superheroes that entices fans to flock the cinema, however, another big pull was also the fact that it doubles as Marvel's vehicle for the introduction of Tom Holland as Spider-Man (whose standalone movie "Spider-Man: Homecoming" is releasing in 2017) and Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther (to be seen next in 2018's "Black Panther"). With a bigger budget – USD250 million – than the previous two "Captain America" movies, this third instalment received the best reception and managed to become the highest-grossing movie of 2016.
Worldwide box office collection: USD 1.153 billion
Releasing a sequel more than a decade after the original can be a risky move (just look at "Zoolander 2") but this animated movie starring a blue tang with short-term memory loss successfully swims its way to the top of the pack. Serving as the follow-up to 2003's "Finding Nemo", Andrew Stanton returns to direct with Ellen DeGeneres back to voice Dory, who in this movie is trying to find her own family with the help of reunited clownfish father and son duo, Marlin and Nemo – voiced by Albert Brooks and Hayden Rolence. Seeing that it had big flippers to fill, as its predecessor was the highest-grossing animated movie at the time and considered one of the best animated movies to be made, the makers of "Finding Dory" did not slack off, crafting another heart-warming tale that imparts a positive lesson – on a budget of USD200 million – and made this the first Pixar movie to cross the USD1 billion mark worldwide since 2010's "Toy Story 3".
Worldwide box office collection: USD1.028 billion
The first movie on this list that is not a remake or a sequel to existing movies. This Disney original garnered positive reviews and is the highest-rated movie of 2016. It may be all animated animals but it's a movie that can be enjoyed by both children and adults, thanks to its thought-provoking yet funny storyline. The burst of colours and songs will entertain children whereas the storyline, which balances the fine line of simplicity – so as to be just as enjoyable to children – and complexity, will keep adults focused on the way the movie unfolds. The talented voice cast (Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, Jenny Slate, etc) are also to be commended in their dedication to bringing the characters to life with their voices. Byron Howard and Rich Moore have talked of returning to direct a sequel, citing that there's still more to tell especially since this movie had to undergo various cuts in order to fit into the standard feature film length. One thing's for certain, with the movie's success, it can afford a sequel with a larger budget than its USD150 million.
Worldwide box office collection: USD1.029 billion
The Jungle Book
Disney is on a roll this year (in case you haven't noticed, this makes the fourth movie from the studio to end up in the top ranking). With five of its movies dominating the top ten chart of 2016, the studio proves that audiences want something that is part of a franchise ("Zootopia" is the exception, not the rule in this case) or something familiar. This live-action/CGI remake of Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Book", directed by Jon Favreau, shows that fans do enjoy the retelling of their beloved childhood tale, provided it is done correctly. And "correctly" is exactly how this movie did it. While still keeping the essence of the story, it evolved into something heavier, just dark enough to qualify as a good watch for serious adults but still light-hearted enough to be enjoyed by families. Its profit might not be as high as the above movies, seeing that this was made on a budget of USD175 million, but it is still a profitable enough movie that a sequel is already being planned.
Worldwide box office collection: USD966.6 million
The Secret Life of Pets
The sole contributor from Universal Pictures is also the second and last movie on this list that is not a sequel or a remake or part of a franchise. Much like "Zootopia", this animated movie – with a budget of USD75 million – by Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney features talking animals, though unlike the aforementioned movie, it deals with a less complex and more light-hearted plot but is still very much an entertaining watch. Children and adults alike will enjoy the pets' adventure as they go on a mission to rescue their doggy friend, Max. The "villain" in this movie, a fluffy white bunny voiced by Kevin Hart, definitely stole the show with its antics. Other voice cast includes Jenny Slate and Albert Brooks, who (see above entries) are no strangers to voicing adorable cartoon characters. Simple but engaging, the movie received positive reviews and is set to come back with a sequel in 2018.
Worldwide box office collection: USD875.4 million
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice
Despite bashes from fans and critics alike, "Batman V Superman" still managed to become Warner Bros' top grosser for this year. The execution and somber tone of the movie may have left fans wanting but despite all the negative feedback, it seems that uniting the two big superheroes in one movie is still a very smart move as that very idea generated more than enough interest to keep the seats in cinemas filled. It could be that fans are just curious to see how Batfleck would pan out (Ben Affleck did not exactly receive a warm welcome when he was first announced to play Batman) or how Zack Synder would steer the story as he did have experience directing 2013's "Man of Steel" (also starring Henry Cavill as the titular superhero) or maybe they just want to catch a glimpse of Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot will reprise the role for her solo vehicle next year). Whatever the reason, this USD250 million movie is still successfully the highest-grossing movie from the DC Extended Universe this year.
Worldwide box office collection: USD873.3 million
While its comrade in the "X-Men" franchise, "X-Men: Apocalypse", met quite an apocalyptic end at the box office this year, "Deadpool" proves that a R-rated superhero movie is anything but dead. The only movie from 20th Century Fox that breaks into the top ten this year, it has also helped reignite Ryan Reynolds career in the superhero universe (his previous movie, "Green Lantern", was so bad he even made fun of it in this movie). Wade Wilson a.k.a. Deadpool is inherently different from other superheroes as he is more of an anti-hero, with a very crass behaviour to boot. His unapologetic jokes and fondness of breaking the fourth wall (addressing the camera as if talking to the audiences themselves) make this a welcome change from the barrage of superhero movies this year. While there will be a sequel, it will no longer be directed by Tim Miller, whose reason for exiting the project was never really clarified. Whether the sequel will not stray far from the first movie's budget of USD58 million or will instead be an extravagant affair remains to be seen.
Worldwide box office collection: USD783.1 million
DC movies seem to be in a habit of eliciting abhorrence from fans and critics but is still able to procure enough wealth to keep a footing in the top spots at the global box office. Choppy directing by David Ayer, poor character development and inconsistent tone did not stop "Suicide Squad" from being the #SquadGoal for movie fans this year. Its popularity cannot be denied, as evident by Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn being basically the Halloween outfit of 2016. Robbie's performance (and appearance) isn't the only redeeming quality, however. At least the movie, made on a budget of USD175 million, learnt from the mistakes of "Batman V Superman" and inserted more humour to keep the movie livelier and less somber. Get ready to see more of the world's worst superheroes as there will be a sequel as well as standalone movies for Deadshot and Harley Quinn, the latter which will also feature the Gotham Sirens.
Worldwide box office collection: USD745.6 million
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
J.K. Rowling definitely found a winning recipe with her "Harry Potter" movie series. The original series may have ended five years ago but the interest for it is still ablaze. Hence the reason why it's a no-brainer that the first movie in its spinoff series, "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them", will end up claiming the ninth spot even though it is a fairly new release compared to the others on this list. Aside from having a solid fanbase from the start, it also helps that director David Yates previously helmed four of the "Harry Potter" movies, giving him the knowledge and experience on how to properly direct this new adaptation on a budget of USD180 million. It also doesn't hurt that the lead actor is Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne, whose co-stars include Colin Farrell, Johnny Depp, Ezra Miller, Katherine Waterston and Dan Fogler. The movie is set to be followed up with four more sequels.
Worldwide box office collection: USD744.7 million
Marvel's Doctor Strange
This fourteenth movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe debuts Benedict Cumberbatch as the focal doctor. The USD165 million budget for this movie was not wasted as it was appropriately utilised in creating the acclaimed visual effects that assisted in making this one of the best movies of the year. Director Scott Derrickson had the chance to make the fight scenes unique and he did. The special effects and visual effects in the movie give it an edge over other superhero movies since other movies might not have a solid claim to use the mind-bending effects seen in it, but Doctor Strange does since they tie with his magical powers. The arresting visual, interesting storyline and talented cast combine to become one big pull for moviegoers to come and enjoy the movie in cinemas. Cumberbatch has confirmed that he will appear in at least one more solo "Doctor Strange" movie, though the release date has yet to be set.
Worldwide box office collection: USD656.2 million
Cinema Online, 31 December 2016