Box-Office Oddities of 2016: Hollywood's Case of Sequelitis, South Korea's Love of 'La La Land'

Courtesy of Columbia Pictures; Universal Pictures
'Ghostbusters,' 'Neighbors 2'

Elsewhere, 'Bridget Jones's Baby' topped everyone in the Netherlands.

1. PG IS THE NEW PG-13

The prevailing wisdom is that older kids will avoid a PG movie, animated or otherwise, hence the rush for a PG-13. But in 2016, four of the top 10 films worldwide — and three of the top five in North America — were PG and lured demos of all ages, not just families.

2. HALF FULL, HALF EMPTY

Felicity Jones starred in the biggest hit of the holidays, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. But the same weekend Rogue One topped all rivals, her other film, A Monster Calls, flopped.

3. SEQUELITIS

More reboots and sequels — including Ghostbusters, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising and Star Trek Beyond — trailed their predecessors. (One exception was Universal and Blumhouse’s The Purge: Election Year, which earned $118 million compared with $111 million for 2014’s Anarchy). That’s troubling because 2017 is packed with more sequels (Vin Diesel’s XXX: The Return of Xander Cage, Cars 3) and reboots (Baywatch, Jumanji).

4. SINGING IN SOUTH KOREA

Oscar hopeful La La Land isn’t just a phenomenon in the U.S., where it has earned $37 million as of Jan. 2 from only 750 theaters. Overseas, it has earned $27.8 million — led by a surprising $17.7 million in South Korea thanks to the K-pop industry. La La Land already has beaten Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice there ($16.5 million).

5. EUROPE LOVES BRIDGET

Bridget Jones’s Baby bombed in the U.S. with $24 million. But it grossed $188 million internation- ally, including a massive $61 million in the U.K., where it was the No. 2 title of 2016 behind The Jungle Book ($66 million), and $11.5 million in the Netherlands, where it was No. 1 for the year.

This story first appeared in the Jan. 13 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

comments powered by Disqus