‘Beauty and the Beast’ Was Top-Grossing Movie of 2017, But Attendance Hit 25-Year Low Album

Guess that’s the “Beauty” and the “Beast” of 2017 in a nutshell.

Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” — starring Emma Watson — was the highest-grossing movie of 2017 worldwide, followed by “The Fate of the Furious,” then “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which is still picking up major $$$ into 2018.

But in sad news for movie theaters, domestic box office ticket totals were down again last year, hitting a 25-year low. According to Box Office Mojo’s data, via Business Insider, the total number of tickets sold at the domestic box office in 2017 was 1.239 billion, a 5.8 percent drop compared to 2016, and the lowest total since 1992’s 1.173 billion.

Why are fewer people going out to the movies? Content is a big reason — low quality in theaters and better quality options on TV/streaming.

“Studios are lagging behind for the very simple reason that they are relying on retreads and reboots, and most of those aren’t being well received,” Jeff Bock, senior analyst for Exhibitor Relations, told Business Insider. “Audiences are continuing to flock to streaming in droves for challenging content and that doesn’t look to change in 2018, or the near future. The studios are up against the wall, and the next few years they’ll have to produce a plethora of quality films to win back favor with audiences.”

But if you look at the most popular films in the U.S. and around the world, almost all of them are sequels or reboots. Those are the films people will actually leave the house to see.

Here’s Box Office Mojo’s list of the top worldwide grosses of 2017:

1. Beauty and the Beast: $1,263.5 (worldwide): $504.0 (domestic) + $759.5 (overseas)
2. The Fate of the Furious: $1,235.8: $225.8 + $1,010.0
3. Star Wars: The Last Jedi: $1,056.4: $533.1 + $523.3
4. Despicable Me 3: $1,033.5: $264.6 + $768.9
5. Spider-Man: Homecoming: $880.2: $334.2 + $546.0
6. Wolf Warrior 2: $870.3: $2.7 + $867.6
7. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: $863.7: $389.8 + $473.9
8. Thor: Ragnarok: $848.1: $311.4 + $536.6
9. Wonder Woman: $821.8: $412.6 + $409.3
10. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales: $794.9: $172.6 + $622.3
11. It: $698.1: $327.5 + $370.6
12. Justice League: $652.9: $225.9 + $427.0
13. Logan: $616.8: $226.3 + $390.5
14. Transformers: The Last Knight: $605.4: $130.2 + $475.3
15. Kong: Skull Island: $566.7: $168.1 + $398.6

(Are you thinking, What the heck is “Wolf Warrior 2”? It made $870.3 million worldwide and only $2.7 million domestically, so clearly the North American box office is not the center of the universe!)

Will 2018 follow this same trend in slightly lowered box office receipts, or will films like “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” “Deadpool 2,” the “Fantastic Beasts” sequel, and these other 2018 movies keep fans showing up at the theater?

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