The year of 2015 was a good one for cinema fans, with the rejuvenation of a classic franchise among its highlights, and several billion dollar movies which broke numerous record, as described in this IG analysis of share prices. Here are the five top-grossing movies of the year – and what may happen next.
1. Star Wars Ep VII: The Force Awakens ($2bn… so far)
For once, a big blockbuster lived up to the hype. A decade long gap from Revenge of the Sith meant that Star Wars fans had spent ten years salivating over the return of the franchise, this time with added Skywalker and Solo, and the critics loved it. For example, Robbie Collin in the Telegraph said that JJ Abrams had made “the sequel of your dreams”.
The main ‘Episode’ stories continue with Episode VIII arriving in 2017 and Episode IX in 2019. After that, who knows, but it wouldn’t surprise us if the story just keeps going!
Before that there’s the ‘Star Wars Stories’ movies, starting with Rogue One in Dec 2016, and then two more following in 2018 and 2020. You can also expect video games and many many more merchandise tie-ins to keep the momentum rolling.
2. Jurassic World ($1.6bn)
Kids love dinosaurs, and yet another iteration of the series in Isla Nubar proves that seeing them on the big screen is an unmatched experience. This time, however, the genetic malpractice has created a new hybrid dinosaur named Indominus Rex, capable of camouflage and of course mass murder. One would have thought the island should be left alone now, but fans of spectacular CGI and terrifying lizards are pleased it didn’t happen.
Jurassic World 2, in June 2018. According to an interview with the Guardian, series writer Colin Trevorrow says the technology behind the beasts will be open-source – meaning anyone, anywhere can breed them. Oh yes… I’m sure nothing can go wrong with that idea!
3. Furious 7 ($1.5bn)
A film tinged with tragedy, completed amidst the death of one of its main stars Paul Walker. Still, the speed scenes in sports car, drone, helicopter and other vehicles at the hands of vin Diesel et al was well-received by petrolheads.
Furious 8 in 2017. What else?
4. The Avengers: Age of Ultron ($1.4bn)
The outstanding cast including Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, and Samuel L Jackson returned for another battle against the forces of evil – in this case an artificial intelligence determined to destroy mankind: Ultron, voiced by James Spader of blacklist fame. Finishing with more total destruction and countless deaths of unimportant civilians, the film didn’t quite live up to the earlier efforts but was still well-received.
At least two more full Avengers movies: Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 and Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2, due to be released in 2018 and 2019. A clue to one of the protagonists appears at the conclusion of Age of Ultron in the form of the Mad Titan Thanos (Josh Brolin). There is also Captain America: Civil War coming on 29th April 2016 which will feature many of the Avengers, thought not all of them may make it out of there alive… Followed by Doctor Strange in Oct 2016, then Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-man, Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther… You won’t be short on Marvelly goodness!
5. Minions ($1.1bn)
More CGI, but a lot cuter this time. Who knew that servitude would be such fun, and laced with humour? Well, the youngsters who enjoyed this spin-off from the Despicable Me series starring Sandra Bullock, Michael Keaton and Steve Coogan among others. The film received mixed reviews from critics, but it still became the 11th highest grossing film of all time.
There’s speculation the the hero from Jurassic World Chris Pratt could play the villain in Minions 2 – we’ll have to wait and see.