ByMeghann Elisa, writer at
'Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?'
Meghann Elisa

I think it's safe to say that 20th Century Fox are dominating the cinema so far this year. Their $740 million domestic gross (half of which is thanks to Deadpool) gives them 30% of the market share, leaving Buena Vista (Disney) and Paramount trailing behind with 21% and 11% respectively. The studio's success looks set to continue throughout the rest of 2016 too with such major releases as X-Men: Apocalypse, Independence Day: Resurgence, Ice Age: Collision Course and Assassin's Creed in the pipeline.

So 2016 is turning out to be a big year for 20th Century Fox and 2019 is looking like it's going to be Disney's year, but what about our friends over at Universal? Well, if last year is anything to go by, 2017 is shaping up to be their next big success. Out of the 23 movies released by the studio in 2015, the triumphant $2.5 billion generated domestically was largely a result of only the top five. Take a look.

And now take a look at a snippet of the roster for 2017.

That's right. A total of four of 2015's biggest hitters are getting sequels or spin-offs in 2017, and there's no shortage of other standout releases that should fill the gap left by Jurassic World (the sequel of which is slated for a 2018 release). Here are the future box office winners that look set to put Universal back on top in 2017.

1. Sing

Release date: December 21, 2016

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Tori Kelly, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton, Scarlett Johansson

Okay, so technically not a 2017 movie but with a release merely 10 days before the end of the year, there's bound to be some carryover. This animated musical comedy not only has an all-star cast, it's also the brainchild of BAFTA winning production company Illumination Entertainment and will feature over 85 hit songs from the 1940s to the present day. Rather than the traditional animation method, the producers chose to use motion capture technology and specially trained animals, which should make for some incredibly convincing characters.

Watch the first trailer below:

2. Fifty Shades Darker

Release date: February 10, 2017

Starring: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Kim Basinger, Luke Grimes, Eloise Mumford, Max Martini

The highly anticipated sequel to erotic romance adaptation, Fifty Shades of Grey, will be coming your way in early 2017. Based on the novel of the same name, we can expect to see Christian Grey left behind when Anastasia decides to break up with him in pursuit of her journalism career. Fortunately for him, the cold shoulder doesn't last long and the couple soon resume their sultry and sensual relationship. James Foley and Niall Leonard will replace Sam Taylor-Johnson and Kelly Marcel as director and screenwriter respectively.

3. Fast 8

Release date: April 14, 2017

Starring: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris Bridges, Eva Mendes, Lucas Black, Kurt Russell, Jason Statham

Fast 8 will be the eighth instalment in The Fast and the Furious franchise, which was kickstarted back in 2001. Set in New York for the very first time, the latest movie will also be the first of the franchise other than The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006) not to star Paul Walker, who died in a car crash in 2013 with filming of Furious 7 only half-completed. Filming is also set to take place in Iceland where the production team are planning to carry out the biggest explosion ever in the country.

4. Despicable Me 3

Release date: June 30, 2017

Starring: TBA

There's no denying that the Despicable Me movies have become something of a cult classic since the first film was released in 2010. Last year's prequel, Minions, brought in an astonishing $1.1 billion worldwide and the little yellow creatures have been popping up in books, video games, at theme parks and on lunch boxes everywhere. The plot of the fourth Despicable Me movie has not yet been revealed but you can count on Illumination Entertainment and original screenwriters Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio to make it just as fun, bright and altogether loveable as the first two.

5. Pitch Perfect 3

Release date: August 4, 2017

Starring: Anna Kendrick, Elizabeth Banks, Hailee Steinfeld, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow

A month before Pitch Perfect 2 was even released, Rebel Wilson confirmed that a third film was already in the works. Following the huge success of PP2, the sequel was confirmed with all of the original cast members reprising their roles and Kay Cannon returning to write the script. In September last year, the production team held a competition called to win a walk-on role in the movie, which was ultimately won by Vanessa Silva from Los Angeles, California.

6. How The Grinch Stole Christmas

Release date: November 17, 2017

Starring: TBA

There's not a lot of info about this one at the moment but it has been confirmed that Illumination Entertainment are currently developing a 3D animated remake of the much-loved Dr. Seuss children's book with Peter Candeland on board to direct. The screenplay will be written by Michael LeSieur and the music by John Powell.


Which Universal movie are you most looking forward to?


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