January 2017 Box Office Recap
By Steven Slater
February 11, 2017
Surprising in sixth place is Passengers, a film most people probably thought had flamed out by New Year’s. Despite having the hottest couple of stars in Hollywood, a bad movie is a bad movie, and Passengers could only drag in $41 million for the month. While that has doubled its domestic box office, it’s probably still not enough to justify this film’s price tag. However, as is often the case, international receipts may save this one from being a total disappointment on that front.
xXx: The Return of Xander Cage has made enough money to apparently warrant a sequel for next year, xXx: The Chronicles of Fast and Furious. Earning $35.3 million in January, good for seventh, it may be on the lower end of Vin Diesel’s comeback franchises, though it will likely do just fine with international receipts added in (echo?) But seriously, who was asking for this movie? Are they asking for more? Please hire me to write it. I can bring serious depth to the character known only as Xander Cage.
In Eighth is a movie from the ancient time of November. Moana has been going strong since Thanksgiving, and added $34 million for the month of January, bringing its haul up to $240 million. This is a pretty good total for the Disney Animation Studios release, coming in third for their recent efforts behind Frozen and Zootopia, and adds another feather to their cap of incredible releases these past few years.
Ninth and tenth are a couple of recent releases that...well, I guess they were kind of there. $29.8 million is a decent enough start for the most recent Underworld film. I suppose it might finance Kate Beckinsale’s next Jane Austen adaptation (double bill Underworld with Love and Friendship, you won’t regret it!). $28.7 million for Monster Trucks is right behind it. This movie would have made a killing if Samuel L. Jackson had been in it. GET these mother-effing monster’s outta my - okay, you get it.
In case you were wondering, the next batch of films on the charts are Why Him, Patriot’s Day, Fences and The Bye Bye Man, all with earnings in the 20s of millions. To get the top ten wide openers for January, add A Dog’s Purpose, Sleepless and Resident Evil to that list, each earning in the teens. And, incidentally, the biggest opening weekend for January 2017 was for Split, right at $40 million, which is oddly a very common number for this month (Split is fifth all-time for January opening weekends, the number two opener is Ride Along with $41.5 million).
There it is, the top ten for January 2017. It lives up to the history of recent Januarys, where you probably saw the films at the top of the list from December, and then a bunch of raw meat is thrown at the screen to see what sticks. Overall, movies made $270.7 million at the domestic box office in January, which places it 16th on the chart for all Januarys. Januaries. Januareez. Whichever one it is. Yeah, this January wasn’t so good compared to just about every recent first month of the year. The last time January box office was lower was 2007, and I don’t even want to think about adjusting for inflation. Let’s hope February brings better films and more butts to the theater, but we may have to wait until the new summer season (which now apparently begins in March, by the way) for some box office heat. LEGO Batman to the rescue!