It’s been a record high for the UK’s film box office, thanks to some big hitters.
Each year we find out whether our most anticipated films are the massive commercial hits we expected them to be, or whether they fail to excite us and flop.
2016, like any year, was a mixed bag of critically lauded and universally panned films that impressed and disappointed different audiences for various reasons. But which were the winners at the UK box office?
Here are the 10 biggest films in the UK from 2016, with some entries that may not surprise you – and some that will.
10. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (£35.9m)
We know what you’re thinking – this one came out in 2015! And while it did, it continued its gloriously strong cinema run well into 2016, where it ended up amassing an incredible £1.7 billion. J.J. Abrams’ ‘The Force Awakens’ was always predicted to do big business, and it certainly did.
9. The Secret Life of Pets (£36.3m)
Universal’s family-friendly animation about what our beloved pets really get up to when we go out was a huge hit globally, having taken over £700 million by the end of its run. There’s already a sequel, ingeniously titled ‘The Secret Life of Pets 2’, which was greenlit after the success of this.
8. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (£36.6m)
Despite this DC epic having the potential to be one of the greatest superhero romps ever, Zack Snyder’s lengthy, CGI-heavy interpretation of when Batman met Superman who were in turn introduced to Wonder Woman didn’t go down well with everyone – that goes for both fans and critics – but it still performed well in ticket sales.
7. Captain America: Civil War (£36.9m)
Marvel’s eagerly anticipated showdown between Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man and Chris Evans’ Captain American was always going to be explosive, and the Russo brothers didn’t let us down with their action-packed, witty superhero flick that brilliantly introduced Tom Holland’s new-look Spider-Man and the absolute badass that was Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther.
6. Deadpool (£37.8m)
The surprise comicbook movie of the year – if not the decade – wasn’t just down to how popular Ryan Reynolds’ Merc with a Mouth was, but mainly due to the well-made film Tim Miller’s feature turned out to be. The sequel may have had a bump in the road with Miller severing ties with the project but Fox had a big hit on their hands in early 2016, before ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ had the chance to let us down.
5. Finding Dory (£42.9m)
Pixar’s ‘Finding Nemo’ was huge back in 2003, and in those 13 long years young fans had inevitably grown into adulthood but were still eager to see the follow-up. And the film still managed to capture the studio’s appeal after their last effort, ‘The Good Dinosaur’, failed to ignite the box office in 2015.
4. The Jungle Book (£46.2m)
John Favreau’s live-action adaptation of the Rudyard Kipling classic – not to mention the sing-along Disney staple from 1967 – seemed a risk at first, but having painstakingly nailed the CGI (and let’s face it, there’s a lot of it in there) and retained the essence of the story, Disney had yet another monster hit on their hands.
3. Bridget Jones’s Baby (£48.1m)
The fanbase were out in force to see how Renee Zellweger’s hapless Brit’s love life would pan out in the third and final ‘Bridget’ movie. Considering it hit cinemas in September, which is notoriously a dead period for releases, it did tremendously well.
2. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (£52.1m)
‘Fantastic Beasts’ was always going to be one of the year’s biggest and most anticipated films. Not only did J.K. Rowling write the screenplay – for the first ever time, may we note – but the ‘Harry Potter’ spin-off had fans salivating over Eddie Redmayne fumbling around New York as Newt Scamander, decades before the Potter storyline even began.
And it was very nearly the UK’s biggest movie of the year, but then one other spin-off came along…
1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (£56.4m)
Was it ever in doubt, especially after how ‘The Force Awakens’ dominated its time in cinemas? Gareth Edwards’ prequel to ‘A New Hope’ may have only been released in mid-December, but it didn’t waste any time in getting bums on seats, as it comfortably snatched the number one spot from David Yates and Warner Bros.
(Box office figures sourced from Screen Daily.)