For a lot of people, 2017 was a marked improvement over 2016, but in many ways it was business as usual, with Hollywood preferring to churn out sequels, remakes and reboots instead of providing us with original material, or taking risks. The first half of the year was particularly disappointing. After an early burst of award-worthy movies such as Moonlight, La La Land and Manchester by the Sea (all 2016 movies most of us didn’t see until this year), there was hope for 2017 in the form of Logan, but that was an early high point, and from then on the big mainstream movies that we’d all been looking forward to let us down time after time, with only the likes of Spider-Man: Homecoming and War for the Planet of the Apes compensating for the overall dreariness of the movies competing for our attention. Soon, 2017 was inter-changeable with 2016, and as the year wore on, it seemed as if there would be no turn around, even though It and the flawed Blade Runner 2049 did their best to provide audiences with something different to appreciate.
In the end, the year saw itself out in time honoured tradition with a handful of award-worthy movies being released that will have more impact in the early part of 2018. Looking back, there were gems to be found and cherished, disappointments on an almost weekly basis, and enough rotten apples to make going to the cinema something of a risky business. It was a year that saw Netflix and Amazon release more original movie content, though a lot of those releases showed the problems inherent in streaming services believing they can just jump in and swim with the “big boys”. Both companies only succeeded in showing that it’s very early days for both of them, and that there’s a long way to go before their business models will provide them with critical and commercial success.
At the international box office, Disney once again ruled the roost, with six movies in the Top 10. Superhero movies also dominated, and Marvel continued their remarkable run of movies with all three of their 2017 releases placing within $32,000,000 of each other. But if there’s any hope that superhero movies aren’t the be-all and end-all of modern day movie making, then it’s in the fact that the top four spots have been taken by non-superhero outings. And the entry at number six is a Chinese movie that has quietly made its presence known by virtue of its being a major success in its home country. But if one statistic is more worrying than anything else, it’s that there are eight sequels in the Top 10, which can only mean that perhaps the mainstream studios are right after all, and all we want is more of the same, year after year. Now that’s depressing.
Top 10 Movies at the International Box Office
10 – Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – $794,861,794
9 – Wonder Woman – $821,847,012
8 – Thor: Ragnarok – $848,013,810
7 – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – $863,732,512
6 – Wolf Warrior 2 – $870,325,439
5 – Spider-Man: Homecoming – $880,166,924
4 – Despicable Me 3 – $1,033,508,147
3 – Star Wars: The Last Jedi – $1,040,444,228
2 – The Fate of the Furious – $1,235,761,498
1 – Beauty and the Beast – $1,263,521,126
2017 was also a year when the hype surrounding certain movies proved to be just that: hype. If you were keenly anticipating the long-awaited first adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series, then the pain you must have felt at seeing what was eventually released to a largely unsuspecting public must still be causing you some level of discomfort. Likewise if you were looking forward to Universal’s Dark Universe getting properly off the ground with The Mummy. Both movies showed that their makers had absolutely no idea what they were doing, and both franchises are officially dead in the water. This can only be a good thing as the possibility of there being any further outings in either world is just too terrible to bear.
Incredibly, though The Dark Tower and The Mummy were two of the worst movies released in 2017, there were others that equalled them for their poor quality and inability to tell a story coherently. Whether it’s a Top 10 or a Worst 10, putting said movies in the right order is always a challenge. The number one movie is usually an easy pick, which was definitely the case in 2017 with the 10 Worst Movies, with a certain TV adaptation proving that having a recognisable concept and worldwide fan base, along with big name stars, isn’t any guarantee of quality or success. Further down the list it becomes trickier, as the various degrees of awfulness have to be weighed and assessed. To be honest, this year’s list from number three to number ten could have been put together in a variety of ways and each would have looked right.
10 Worst Movies of 2017
10 – The Hunter’s Prayer
9 – Pottersville
8 – Hangman
6 – I.T.
3 – The Layover
2 – Death Race 2050
1 – Baywatch
But thankfully, where there are bad movies, equally there are good ones, but as mentioned above, the flurry of 2016 movies that reached the UK at the beginning of the year meant that this year’s Top 10 Movies list would be over-run by “older” titles. So a decision was made to only include movies actually released or first shown in 2017. However, this has led to the list becoming over-run in a different way. The opportunity to see some of this year’s award-worthy movies in recent weeks has meant that a few movies that were previously shoo-ins for the Top 10 have been demoted, and their places taken by these award-worthy movies. That’s not a complaint however, because now those movies will get the recognition they deserve in the year that they deserve it.
Top 10 Movies of 2017
10 – Detroit
9 – The Villainess
8 – The Big Sick
6 – Wind River
5 – Marjorie Prime
2 – Lady Bird
Whatever full-scale delights or unwanted horrors 2018 holds for us all remains to be seen, but as ever, hopefulness should be the year’s watchword. Although it could be argued that nobody sets out to make a bad movie, experience does teach us that people do complete bad movies and release them to the public. As already mentioned on this site (here), mega-budget, mega-hyped movies will have less of a public face on thedullwoodexperiment in 2018, and the focus will be on finding good movies overall, ones to recommend that might not have had the exposure of their big-budget cousins. That’s a pretty good challenge and one to look forward to.
In closing, I’d like to offer a big Thank You to everyone who visited thedullwoodexperiment in 2017 and read a review or some other post, or who became a follower (not sure that term feels right), or left a comment. Your interaction with the site makes it all worthwhile. I would also like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year and many happy viewing experiences in the year ahead. And let’s hope we can all meet back here in a year’s time and still be buzzing about the movies we’ve seen and loved (or seen and hated), and that we still have that passion for movies that keeps us going and going and going. It’s been a pleasure sharing another year with you all.