Only two of the 20 best-performing films in the US in 2016 was a “real world” story, compared with four in the UK.
Jason Bourne, Paul Greengrass’s triumphant return for Matt Damon’s amnesiac spy, came in at No 12 in the North American year-end charts, amid a sea of superhero movies, sci-fi space yarns and family films. At No 20, Dwayne Johnson/Kevin Hart comedy Central Intelligence also sounded a battle cry for semi-realism.
Finding Dory was the top film of 2016 in the US, taking $486m domestically, followed by Captain America: Civil War ($408m) and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which has so far taken $396m after a fortnight on release.
The remainder of the top 20 are comic book adaptations such as Deadpool, Doctor Strange and Suicide Squad, children’s fare such as The Secret Life of Pets and Trolls, and franchise expansions including Star Trek Beyond, X-Men: Apocalypseand Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Original properties proved strong in animation, with Moana, The Secret Life of Pets, Zootopia and Sing all faring well despite a lack of prior brand awareness. A number of titles perceived at the time of release to have underperformed also made the cut, including the latest Star Trek movie and Paul Feig’s female reboot of Ghostbusters.
The UK’s equivalent chart suggested audiences there had slightly more preference for stories set within the bounds of reality, with Bridget Jones’s Baby, The Girl on the Train and The Revenant joining Jason Bourne in the top 20 (Central Intelligence came in at No 36). The best-performing film in the UK was The Jungle Book; Finding Dory came in third, after Bridget Jones’s Baby.
Top 20 films in the US in 2016
2) Captain America: Civil War ($408m)
3) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ($394m)
4) The Secret Life of Pets ($368m)
5) The Jungle Book ($364m)
6) Deadpool ($363m)
7) Zootopia ($341m)
8) Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($330m)
9) Suicide Squad ($325m)
10) Doctor Strange ($230m)
11) Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them ($221m)
12) Moana ($203m)
13) Jason Bourne ($162m)
14) Star Trek Beyond ($159m)
15) X-Men: Apocalypse ($155m)
16) Trolls ($150m)
17) Kung Fu Panda 3 ($144m)
18) Sing ($140m)
19) Ghostbusters ($128m)
20) Central Intelligence ($127m)
Top 20 films in the UK in 2016
2) Bridget Jones’s Baby (£49.6m)
3) Finding Dory (£45.5m)
4) Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (45.5m)
5) Captain America: Civil War (£43.9m)
6) Deadpool (£43.9m)
7) Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (£43m)
8) The Secret Life of Pets (£39m)
9) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (£35.8m)
10) Suicide Squad (£35.8m)
11) The BFG (£32.5m)
12) Zootopia (£27.6m)
13) The Revenant (£26.8m)
14) The Girl on the Train (£23.6m)
15) Jason Bourne (£23.6m)
16) Trolls (£23.6m)
17) Doctor Strange (£22.8m)
18) X Men: Apocalypse (£19.5m)
19) Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip (£19.5m)
20) Star Trek Beyond (£17m)
Source: The Guardian