By Samantha Ofole-Prince
Disney had the highest-grossing movies of 2016.
With esteemed films “Captain America: Civil War,” which took in $1.15 billion at the box office, the animated drama “Zootopia,” “The Jungle Book,” the sequel “Finding Dory,” “Moana” and “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” which according to Box Office Mojo, all earned in the $900 million to $1 billion range, Disney is clearly Hollywood's most profitable movie studio.
With several classics lined up for release, Walt Disney’s impressive accomplishment will continue and the company is set to add several more billions to their box office accumulation this year. Check out five must see Disney dramas, which are likely to dominate the box office in 2017.
Beauty And The Beast
This adaptation of the Disney fairy-tale about a beastly prince and a young woman who fall in love is directed by “Dreamgirls” Helmer Bill Condon who knows a thing or two about fantastical films and musicals. Starring Emma Watson, Emma Thompson, Ewan McGregor and our very own South African belle Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who starred alongside Will Smith in “Concussion,” this one’s scheduled for release on March 17th. The film stays true to the original music, so expect to hear some of the original songs written by the dynamic duo Menken and Howard Ashman as well as three new catchy songs.
Guardians of The Galaxy Vol 2
This is the follow-up to James Gunn’s 2014 sci-fi superhero hit, which marks the return of the original Guardians; Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper and Sean Gunn. This highly anticipated sequel re-teams all of the original cast as they continue their adventure to unravel the mystery of Peter Quill's true parentage. A hit with audiences and critics, the original “Guardians of the Galaxy” earned over $770 million at the worldwide box-office. New cast members include Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan and Kurt Russell. Directed by James Gunn, this galactic sequel releases in theaters on May 5.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
In case you’ve lost count of how many Pirates of the Caribbean flicks have been made, this one’s the fifth in the franchise and Johnny Depp is back on the big screen as the anti-hero Captain Jack Sparrow, who in this fifth installment is feeling the winds of ill-fortune blowing strongly his way by deadly ghost sailors led by the villainous Captain Salazer (Javier Bardem). His only hope of survival lies in locating the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it he’s forced to forge an uneasy alliance with an astronomer played by Kaya Scodelario. As the new villain on the high seas, Bardem is known for playing villainous roles, including the depraved serial killer that won him an Oscar in the Coen brothers’ film “No Country For Old Men.” “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” sails into theaters May 26.
This one’s inspired by the Mexican holiday the Day of the Dead, itself inspiration for 2014’s "The Book of Life " and follows a 12-year-old boy named Miguel who dreams of becoming an accomplished musician. Desperate to prove his talent, he sets off a chain of events relating to a century-old mystery and ends up in the colorful Land of the Dead after a mysterious occurrence. Disney-Pixar certainly lead the way and set the standard for quality animated storytelling in modern filmmaking and in the true Disney fashion of having two directors at the helm, it’s directed by Lee Unkrich (“Toy Story 3”) and Adrian Molina and blazes into theaters November 22.
A 2017 box office isn’t the same without sequels and reheats. With the golden era of superheroes on the big screen, we return to Marvel's cinematic universe in this latest “Thor” installment. Following the events of the “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” Thor (Chris Hemsworth returns) finds himself imprisoned without his trusty hammer, on the other side of the universe while a new enemy, Hela (Cate Blanchett) lurks. In the fight to return home, he faces an old friend the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). This one also stars Tessa Thompson (“Creed), Idris Elba and Anthony Hopkins. This one thunders into theaters Nov 3.
Samantha Ofole-Prince is an entertainment journalist who covers industry-specific news. Follow her on twitter @SamanthaOfole
5 Disney Dramas To Watch In 2017
By Samantha Ofole-Prince