If Rogue One has taught us anything, it's that Star Wars slays everything. A movie whose ending was already known (#galactichistoryspoilers!) featuring an almost entirely new cast of characters has descended down to Earth and taken all of our money. It doesn't even feel like a question, then, that Star Wars 8 could be anything other than the biggest movie of 2017, especially with Carrie Fisher's death likely to generate massive curiosity about General Leia Organa's final, supposedly-significant appearance in the saga.
But, believe it or not, there are other movies coming in 2017 from galaxies slightly less far away, and a lot of them are going to be big. The schedule for the year ahead includes a Pirates movie, an Alien prequel, a Transformers sequel, three Marvel adventures, two from DC, the sequel to arguably the greatest sci-fi film of all time, two movies about angry monkeys and a #Disney princess classic, to name just a few.
And, guess what? Not all of them will smash. A few will crash and burn, just as several of this year's blockbusters from Star Trek: Beyond to Assassin's Creed did. I thought it would be fun to work out how much money each of next year's 25 (potentially) biggest movies will make, or lose. For the record, Star Wars 8 is not included because it will easily hand the others a complete spanking and should get close to the hallowed $2bn mark. If you think any of my predictions are wildly off, make yourself heard in the comments. Ready? Let's do it.
1. 'Alien: Covenant' (May 19)
Remember Prometheus? My condolences if so. The sequel is finally coming, it's confusingly titled Alien: Covenant, and director Ridley Scott reckons there are three more in the pipeline. The first #AlienCovenant trailer is quite a promising affair — that tentacled creature creepin' on the lovers in the shower is delightfully gross — but regardless the jury is definitely out for now.
How well Covenant does should be dictated by the strength of the reviews and word-of-mouth, but for now I'm (very) cautiously optimistic about its chances.
Box office prediction: $600m (SMASH!)
2. 'Baywatch' (May 26)
'90s nostalgia might be all-pervasive right now, but there's a huge question mark hovering over #Baywatch and whether the show itself, outside of Pammy's ample assets, is really beloved enough to justify a movie reboot. Zac Efron is also box office poison. That said, the world loves The Rock, and Alexandra Daddario should get the boys through the door. Still, why watch this movie when you could just drive to the beach and see it all for real? Maybe slo-mo running really does it for you.
As start-of-summer counter-scheduling to Alien: Covenant, Baywatch could be a decent-sized hit. I'll go optimistic on this one.
Box office prediction: $250m (SMASH!)
3. 'Beauty And The Beast' (March 17)
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There's really not much question about whether #BeautyAndTheBeast's box office will be regally beautiful or repulsively deformed — this is the closest thing to a safe bet of any movie on the list, Marvel aside, and any less than half a billion at the box office is unthinkable. It doesn't look revolutionary, but Emma Watson and Dan Stevens should definitely bring in the kids, families, and date-night lovers in spades.
Box office prediction: $725m (SMASH!)
4. 'Blade Runner 2049' (October 6)
Without knowing what the budget on #BladeRunner2049 is, it's tough to say whether it stands a chance — apparently this is one of the most-expensive R-rated indie films ever made, which could mean it cost somewhere in the $100m region. Director Denis Villeneuve is on a huge roll, though, Arrival now his biggest movie, and you'd expect that to continue here.
Whether or not Blade Runner 2049 does OK or goes stratospheric depends on how good the trailers are and whether there's any real appetite for a sequel 35 years later.
Box office prediction: $325m (SMASH!)
5. 'Coco' (November 22)
Of all the films on this list, Coco is probably the most low-key. An animated original musical from Pixar telling the story of the Mexican Day of the Dead festival which is now beginning to gain popularity across the world. No trailer yet, but the most comparable movie is probably Disney's own #Moana, and like that film Coco releases on Thanksgiving, one week after Justice League. It won't be as big as DC's superhero team-up, but it shouldn't be a Good Dinosaur-esque mini bomb, either.
Box office prediction: $500m (SMASH!)
6. 'Dunkirk' (July 21)
The first trailer for #Dunkirk was good, but the six-minute preview showed at certain IMAX screenings of #RogueOne was better still, an intense adrenaline rush which puts Tom Hardy's pilot in grave danger while airborne in one particularly memorable scene. War movies aren't often huge money-spinners, but the combo of Christopher Nolan, a typically solid cast and a major promo campaign should make Dunkirk one of the biggest hits of summer.
Box office prediction: $600m (SMASH!)
7. 'Fast 8: The Fate Of The Furious' (April 14)
Who would have guessed fifteen years ago that the Fast franchise would still be going in 2017, and not only that, but would actually have become quite good? The trailer for Fate is positively insane (even if you know Dom's defection is actually some kind of twisty double-cross), and some of the action sequences look legit incredible. There's no reason to think those who watched Furious 7 to see Paul Walker bow out are going to be abandoning ship this time round.
Box office prediction: $1.15bn (SUPERSMASH!)
8. 'Fifty Shades Darker' (February 10)
You might ask whether #FiftyShadesDarker could really be any good, but you'd be missing the point — Darker doesn't have to be good, it just has to be more breathless, more insane and more downright NSFW than the first film, and the trailer ticks off that checklist in style. The budget has clearly gone through the roof, too. Expect this one to do some very solid first weekend business, after which word of mouth will determine whether it has any real legs.
Box office prediction: $535m (SMASH!)
9. 'Ghost In The Shell' (March 31)
Much like video game movies, Hollywood adaptations of Japanese and Korean source material, whether fucked-up genre movies like Oldboy or classic manga like this, #GhostInTheShell, are usually toxic. Here, Rupert Sanders directs a diverse cast including Scarlett Johansson, Takeshi Kitano and Juliette Binoche in a movie which looks dazzlingly beautiful, but the story is what counts — has Hollywood resisted the urge to meddle and dumb down? History's omens aren't good.
Box office prediction: $265m (CRASH!)
10. 'Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2' (May 5)
The #MCU really doesn't do flops, and if anything was going to change that it wouldn't be this sequel to 2014's huge surprise smash. James Gunn is back behind the camera, Kurt Russell and Elizabeth Debicki are joining the cast, and baby Groot is causing all manner of mayhem. The only question is whether Vol. 2 has the stamina to cross the big $1bn.
Box office prediction: $985m (SMASH!)
11. 'John Wick 2' (February 10)
It's been a while since Keanu Reeves had a film which allowed him to be his most badass self, but #JohnWick was that movie, and Chapter 2 looks like somebody basically just watched the first film, took out a megaphone and yelled; "More kills! More sex! More everything! And Laurence Fishburne holding a pigeon!" Expect this one to make more money, too.
Box office prediction: $130m (SMASH!)
12. 'Jumanji' (December 22)
Robin Williams' fantasy-adventure classic Jumanji is one of the best kids' films of the '90s (is it really a kids' film, though? I'm still scared of it today, and I'm really quite old) — that doesn't mean is anyone is gagging for a remake in 2017. To be fair to Sony, the cast is solid (The Rock, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart, Nick Jonas, Bobby Cannavale), but December, against Star Wars 8, seems like an idiotic time of year to release Jumanji, which is surely the definition of a fun summer flick.
Box office prediction: $125m (CRASH!)
13. 'Justice League' (November 17)
Warner Bros. needs this movie to do well — at least as well as Batman v Superman but, in an ideal world, closer to $1bn at the box office. To do that it'll need better reviews than anything in the #DCEU so far, which is not impossible, and for Wonder Woman to be a good movie, so that the fanboys have a reason to part with their dollar. That's a lot of ifs, but there's a lot riding on #JusticeLeague. We'll have a better idea of what to expect when the first proper trailer drops this month.
Box office prediction: $925m (SMASH!)
14. 'King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword' (May 12)
Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law and Eric Bana star in this film absolutely nobody asked for about a man whose story has already been told countless times. It's hard to know what would persuade Guy Ritchie or Warner Bros. that what the world needed was a King Arthur with a very 21st century haircut in a movie which thinks it's Game of Thrones, but it's happening nonetheless. Dropping a week after Guardians, expect Legend Of The Sword to be buried and swiftly forgotten.
Box office prediction: $190m (CRASH!)
15. 'Kingsman: The Golden Circle' (October 6)
Spy movies have rarely been funnier or more meta than Kingsman: The Secret Service, which achieved the rare feat of satirizing a genre and being proudly part of it. The sequel should take things to an even higher plane of absurdity, and we know already that Colin Firth will step back into Harry Hart's tux — even though he totally died in the first film. Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges and, uhh, Elton John bring a lot more star power to The Golden Circle, which should pay off handsomely at the box office.
Box office prediction: $540m (SMASH!)
16. 'Kong: Skull Island' (March 10)
Do we need another King Kong movie? Probably not, but there's a Kong vs. Godzilla movie on the way and we need a way to get there. Thankfully, Skull Island, which takes things way back to 1971, looks like a complete riot. You really can't go wrong with 'Bad Moon Rising' on the stereo and Samuel L. Jackson barking commands at his army men like the sassy motherfuckin' bitch he is. If the film's as much fun as the trailer, Skull Island could be gorill-y good. (Allow it.)
Box office prediction: $580m (SMASH!)
17. 'Logan' (March 3)
Arriving one week prior to Skull Island is #Logan, Hugh Jackman's final outing as Wolverine. Post-Deadpool there's a clear appetite for R-rated superhero films, and while Marvel keeps things inoffensively light and DC struggles with being dark for dark's sake, a more grounded tone with few actual heroics and a bit of a future-Western vibe could make Logan the biggest movie of this trilogy. It's been a while since his last solo movie, though, so reviews will need to be hot.
Box office prediction: $520m (SMASH!)
18. 'The Mummy' (June 9)
In the absence of a superhero franchise, Universal are hoping #TheMummy can do well enough to make their Monsters Universe a credible rival to the MCU or the DCEU, but based on the evidence of the first trailer, getting asses on seats could be a serious case of mission impossible. Tom Cruise will do the heavy lifting here, but Russell Crowe looks too tired to deal with this nonsense.
The Mummy's budget is unknown, but it was big, so unless the public is gagging for what feels like a very unnecessary reboot, this franchise could be stuffed straight back into its dusty sarcophagus come the end of summer.
Box office prediction: $390m (CRASH!)
19. 'Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales' (May 26)
It feels slightly surreal that the Pirates films have been so consistently huge for so long, while rarely delivering anything more than crushing, oceanic mediocrity, but that's the way of the world. Since 2011 #JohnnyDepp's appeal has dipped, but it'd be mad to imagine that the box office of Dead Men Tell No Tales won't be huge.
The problem, though, is that the budget was also huge — a truly eye-watering $320m (where does it all go? I wouldn't like to speculate...). Ideally, Disney would want a final box office north of $1bn. That's a major ask.
Box office prediction: $850m (SMASH!)
20. 'Power Rangers' (March 24)
For kids of a certain generation (mine), the idea of a new #PowerRangers movie could be pretty exciting. This movie, though, doesn't seem to capture the fun of the classic '90s TV show, opting instead for a kind of emo, teenage version of the whole dark DC thing. Good luck, Lionsgate.
Box office prediction: $280m (CRASH!)
21. 'Spider-Man: Homecoming'
Most of Marvel's solo hero movies start off in the $500-600m range, which is perfectly fine, especially considering the sequel will inevitably go bigger. But #SpiderMan is not about that "perfectly fine" life, and you'd best believe #Homecoming has bigger ambitions than that. Slapping everybody's favorite arrogant billionaire (sorry, Batman) into the mix should ensure that just about everyone who ever saw an Avengers film parts with their cash for Tom Holland's first proper Spidey adventure.
Box office prediction: $950m (SMASH!)
22. 'Thor: Ragnarok' (November 3)
Neither of Marvel's two #Thor movies were actually very good, but both made a lot of money. With Taiki Waititi directing #Ragnarok and a truly excellent cast including Cate Blanchett, Anthony Hopkins, Jeff Goldblum, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo's Hulk and Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange, there's every reason to imagine Thor will finally be part of a great movie that's not an Avengers flick, possibly even Marvel's best of the year ahead. I'm psyched. Expect big bucks from this one.
Box office prediction: $785m (SMASH!)
23. 'Transformers: The Last Knight' (June 23)
Whatever you think about the #Transformers franchise (whether you love it, hate it, or claim to hate it to mask your secret Transformers-loving shame), it's the dubious billion dollar beast that refuses to slow down. Apparently there are a lot of people out there who love Michael Bay's own particular brand of CGI-heavy chaos, wreckage and destruction, although I've never met any of them myself (to my knowledge). My point is that The Last Knight will be enormous, we will all pretend to be surprised, and by August we'll all have swiftly forgotten the whole, surreal daydream.›
Box office prediction: $1.05bn (SUPERSMASH!)
24. 'War For The Planet Of The Apes' (July 14)
There haven't been many smarter, more emotionally engaging blockbusters in the last few years than Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, and I don't think it's insane to imagine that this year's War For The Planet, the third in the trilogy, could also be one of 2017's best movies. The genius of this franchise is how you actually find yourself rooting for the apes as humankind does what we do best and fucks everything up with a seemingly endless taste for war. This time it's Caesar and friends vs. Woody Harrelson, and I know who my money's on.
Box office prediction: $675m (SMASH!)
25. 'Wonder Woman' (June 2)
One of 2017's most important movies is also the one whose fortunes are perhaps the hardest to predict. #WonderWoman is the first solo female superhero movie since Elektra (2004) and Catwoman (2005), so there's really no frame of reference. Those movies did terribly, but they also came at a time when nobody was taking superhero movies seriously enough to observe that Halle Berry playing a purring human cat reincarnated from an Egyptian Mau was unlikely to go down well.
It's pretty much universally considered that Wonder Woman was the best thing about Batman v Superman, Gal Gadot's understated, likeable performance instantly silencing her doubters, so this Patty Jenkins-directed movie has a strong shot at being the best-received film in the DCEU so far. Box office could be anywhere from the okay ($350m) to heights much closer to Suicide Squad.
Box office prediction: $600m (SMASH!)
Which movie on this list will make the most money, which blockbusters will go down as box office bombs, and will you confess to seeing Transformers?