This won’t surprise anyone, but there are a lot of big movies coming out next year. And with every year there are movies that succeed and those that fail. Some struggle to turn a profit, others manage to accumulate all of the money. Some stay in your heart for years, while others refuse to be forgotten no matter how hard you try.
So I thought I’d have a little bit of fun with next years schedule in another edition of 1Up Multiplayer. I called upon three of my fellow pop culture aficionados to join me in a challenge: The 2017 Movie Draft.
The rules were simple. We’d take turns picking from the wealth of movies that are due out next year in an effort to compile the best list. We had to consider both its box office draw as well as overall quality, and for many of these movies we had to pick with barely more than a teaser trailer or bits of information. The order would be determined by random, and picks would be made in what is known as ‘serpentine’ order – meaning the order flipped after each round – in the name of fairness and parity.
The random generator gods smiled upon Melissa, who was granted the number one pick, followed by 1Up Culture Cast co-host Jareth, then yours truly, with 1Up Culture guest writer Dylan landing the 4th position. The transcript below is an account of the draft, which took place over the most official of formats: The Facebook group messenger system. Not only do you get each person’s pick and a brief explanation of why they made the pick, but you also get some of the reactions as well. There were some surprise picks, some stolen movies and even a rivalry or two that began to form. So keep reading, and when you’re finished let us know who you think compiled the best five movie combination!
One final note: The draft started October 6, so while some of these movies have received trailers in the past month, they weren’t out during the draft itself.
Melissa: So since I have the honour of going first, I of course am going to pick an obvious one and go with….. Wonder Woman!
After her appearance in Batman v Superman, Wonder Woman is one of the most anticipated films of 2017. It will be the first time a solo live-action film of the character is seen on the big screen, and will likely feed into the narrative and hype of Justice League’s release later in the year. With a trailer already drawing positive reactions and the fantastic casting of Gal Gadot, Wonder Woman has the chance to draw in a wider audience than ‘just DC fans’. No matter how the reviews turn out though, Wonder Woman is sure to be a huge box office smash in 2017.
Trent: Wow Wonder Woman at #1! Expected it to go high but not that high. You made that article I wrote a while back back look really good haha
Melissa: Haha I forgot about that! Should’ve just plagarised your article for my reasoning hahaha
Dylan: I didn’t think Wonder Woman would be pick number one but damn am I glad it is. After stealing the show in BvS it’ll be great to see her (and that magnificent cast) in that rare period piece superhero film, to say nothing of the rarity of female leads haha
Jareth: I honestly thought Melissa would have picked Star Wars with the number one pick. Her selection of Wonder Woman was a pleasant surprise for me. I am using my second pick to select Star Wars VIII. With a franchise this enormous I am unsure where to begin explaining why I believe this movie will be the highest grossing film of the year (that’s my massive prediction). In a draft where the scoring system is based off of both the quality of film and the box office success it will achieve, this feels like the safest option in the draft to me.
Trent: This was, to me, the Shaq of the draft, the obvious #1 pick (If I can be a sports guy for a minute). The fact you got this at two makes me super jealous.
Dylan: Star Wars is the safe bet for sure; the trailer could just be Mark Hamill pleading with people not to see it and it’d still break records. It’ll likely be pretty good too, I just hope it carves out its own unique place in the narrative rather than resting on its nostalgic laurels like it’s predecessor (largely) did
Trent: This #3 pick is a tough one, but I feel I have to go with the movie that features a beloved and diverse ensemble cast in a story that’ll be filled with both action and drama.
Let’s look at the facts: the previous Fast and Furious movie grossed more money than any superhero movie outside of The Avengers, which was riding the height of the Marvel hype train and was the first time we ever saw anything like it. And while yes part of the success can be traced to the passing of Paul Walker, there’s no way he alone skyrocketed it to over $1.5 billion. People want to turn their brains off and enjoy crazy action, and unlike other movies that try and do it, Fast and Furious does it well.
Dylan: I can’t argue with your logic there! Even if the truth of it all does disappoint me haha. I’m also stoked because neither of my top two picks were chosen, though maybe there’s a good reason for that…
Pick #4 is going to Justice League. Surprise surprise. DC films may not be popular with critics at large but it’s impossible to deny their appeal to a mass market. Even after Batman vs Superman tanked critically Suicide Squad went on to surpass all expectations (at least financially) because these are characters people want to see. Justice League is the first live action representation of the iconic team so it has that extra momentum behind it, something that the Avengers benefited from in their first outing. Whether or not it breaks the DCEU curse for reviews (or maybe Wonder Woman has already done that) there’s no doubt that it will be a box office juggernaut with, I’m sure, a vocal fan base behind it.
After Round 1:
Melissa: Wonder Woman
Jareth: Star Wars Episode VIII
Trent: Fast 8
Dylan: Justice League
Dylan: Pick #5 takes a different tact, from iconic fictional characters to an infamous real event helped by one of Hollywood’s biggest directors; Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk. Nolan is leading an all star cast on his first attempt at a true World War 2 epic, it is also a return to realism not seen in one of his films since his early hits Momento and Insomnia. Nolan’s visceral and intense style will likely suit this war film perfectly, capturing the exceptional violence and terror of being outmatched on the battlefield. The first teaser trailer displays just that in a haunting still shot of a U-Boat full of soldiers realising an incoming fighter plane might mean their end. Its scenes like that, Nolan’s own name, and his track record for critical and commercial success that might just propel Dunkirk to one of the year’s best films.
Trent: DAMN YOU! you weren’t meant to pick Dunkirk so I could bust it out later on haha
Dylan: Sorry to steal your thunder chum haha
Melissa: Dammit I totally forgot about Dunkirk, that’ll be huge and it’ll even draw a twelvesie audience because of the Harry Styles cameo hahhaa
Trent: For the 6th pick I’m going to have to go with one of the most popular superheroes of all time. He made his Marvel Cinematic debut in Civil War, but even when he was in the sole clutches of Sony his movies have performed well at the box office. I’m talking Spiderman: Homecoming! The best iteration of Peter Parker with the full creative vision (and good-will) of the MCU means the webslinger is well primed for a huge showing next year.
Dylan: Homecoming was in my top three choices for sure. I really hope it’s good. We’ve had five Spidey films, all of differing qualities, with the main problems all being about overstuffing and latterly retreads. Let’s hope it’s just a fun, fresh, and exciting take on the Webhead
Jareth: With the 7th pick I am selecting Pirates of the Caribean Dead Men Tell No Tales. 2017 is a year of sequels and I have therefore decided that instead of just looking at the movie I’m drafting I am also taking into account the franchise box office success so that I can attempt to estimate the likely financial success of my picks. This could be a theme with my picks.
Trent: Inspired by the recent teaser trailer haha?
Jareth: Good trailer haha
Dylan: It looks great, the trailer I mean, but every PotC film has let me down since #1
Melissa: ahhhh so keen for Pirates! The teaser looked like it was going back to its roots which is great, but I do have to wonder how well it’ll go at the box office since people seem to be pretty over it (especially after the last one which I didn’t like – sorry haha!)
Trent: I’m one of the few people who seemed to enjoy the 4th Pirates film. I mean it was no Citizen Kane but it was fun.
Melissa: And for my next pick, Power Rangers
Possibly one of the most anticipated movies of 2017, the rebooted Power Rangers franchise will hit our screens. With the built-in audience from the 90s who will head to see this movie for the nostalgia, Power Rangers has the ability to reach numerous demographics from young and old alike. This means that no matter how the movie is critically received (my bet is it won’t be received favourably), it’ll be a box office hit. Keep your eyes peeled for Power Rangers movies over the next five years at least, as it will definitely span sequels.
Jareth: Noooooo I wanted power rangers. Mainly out of childhood loyalty.
Trent: I heard Jareth’s heart break from across town on that pick haha. I’m cautiously reserved about how the reboot will go I must say.
Dylan: Power Rangers is probably a good financial bet. Another product with a built in audience and nostalgia boons, it’s like studio catnip haha
After Round 2
Melissa: Wonder Woman, Power Rangers
Jareth: Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean 5
Trent: Fast 8, Spiderman: Homecoming
Dylan: Justice League, Dunkirk
Melissa: Kingsman 2
Kingsman: The Golden Circle was a surprise breakout of 2015, making $500 million worldwide. With a fantastic cast including Collin Firth and Samuel L Jackson, this quirky comic-book adapted film wasn’t afraid to shy away from blood, gore and breaking boundaries. In other words? It didn’t give a shit about genre boundaries, and often mocked them. So it’s little wonder that I’m anxiously awaiting the movies sequel. With a stacked cast including Channing Tatum and Julianne Moore, and insane action scenes that are arguably some of the best seen on film, the movie might not be a box-office smash, but it’ll win the hearts of critics and fans.
Trent: Ooh nice pick, I think the sequel will do good numbers at the box office since it was a bit of an unknown when the first one came out. And if it’s anywhere near as good as the first you’ve got the quality down
Jareth: Next I will pick Transformers: The Last Knight. This proves I am picking on franchise box office success. I am not exited about this movie…..at all! however if past Transformers box office numbers are any indication, China is exited for this. If it wasn’t for the Chinese audience the last Transformers film wouldn’t have been successful enough for them to make The Last Knight. It is however being made I believe China will save it again. if they don’t this is going to be a very bad pick.
Melissa: Ugh I can’t believer they’re making ANOTHER Transformers. I haven’t even seen the last one! Though I assume Mark Wahlberg’s presence made the whole thing way more bearable haha
Trent: They’re going to keep making those until China realises that there are better American movies to go see haha. Maybe it’s all a conspiracy by the Chinese government to make their people think Americans actually like these movies, and as a result show that China > America? Seriously the last one only did like $250 mill in America but still reached a billion thanks for the foreign market
Trent: Ok, so for my next pick, I’m going for a storied franchise that has been on a tear since it’s 2011 reboot. I’m going to war and paying respect to Harambe on this draft with ‘War of the Planet of the Apes’. Both of the movies in this new run have been fantastic and ‘Dawn’ especially did really solid numbers and there’s room for those numbers to grow, which I think ‘War’ will achieve. Could also be low key one of the best mainstream movies of the year.
Dylan: CURSE YOU TRENT CURSE YOU
Dylan: That was going to be my next pick
Trent: Gotta get you back for the Dunkirk pick
Dylan: It pains me to do this… This competition has savaged my very soul. My next pick is… Despicable Me 3 There are few things I hate more than those damn Minions but there’s no denying the popularity of the (third highest ever grossing) animated film franchise. There’s no reason that this third entry, fourth discounting last year’s Minions spirit off, should fare any worse.
Trent: Haha yeah that and Transformers were picks that were going to hurt me if I made them, but they’re just too damn successful at the box office not to take if they’re still on the board.
Jareth: Great pick. With all the children annoying their parents to take them this is going to take off. All the children take a parent you double your profit which is why kids and family films make those big bucks.
Dylan: I hadn’t actually considered that but it makes so much sense! I guess I hadn’t rationalised it before haha.
Jareth: Glad to help with your write up haha.
Dylan: I’ll be sure to credit your insight.
My second pick is definitely the first risky one I’ve gone with; Ghost in the Shell (sorry Trent haha). This is one I’m hoping will be great but I’m prepared for it not to be as these live action western adaptations so often lose some of the magic. So what I’m banking on is, if not the quality (though the first looks, small as they were, looked good) is the commercial pull. Potentially it could draw a new audience thanks to its dark technophilosophy and action reminiscent of the Matrix in addition to the already established audience, though some of that audience might not even attend in protest to A) a western adaptation generally (especially if the original’s high minded ideas are dumbed down) and B) the accusations of white washing Major with Scarlet Johansson’s casting. It’s a risky bet, and its success in either area feels like a bit of a coin flip, but I’m hoping it’ll pull ahead in both areas.
Trent: Sad face. I was hoping I could snag that in the last round as my high risk high reward pick. Glad it got picked though, and I do agree it could go either way. I so hope this movie does as well as it could though.
Jareth: Stuff Trent! I wanted Ghost in the Shell. My picks have been box office related (especially Transformers) this was (along with Power Rangers which I also didn’t get) my risky pick that I wanted to represent.
Dylan: Lol my apologies to you too as well man! If it’s any consolation to you both it might end up being a bullet dodged.
Jareth: It might be a dodged bullet but the risk was worth it. Even though I didn’t get to pick it I hope it does well.
Trent: Ok, this pick is probably the hardest one I’ve had to make because there’s a few different movies that I think have similar potential. Like Dylan I’m delving into the animated realm, and I’m going to take The Lego Batman Movie. Seriously. It’s Lego. And it’s Batman. Nothing more needs to be said…but I’ll say it anyway. The Lego Movie surprised just about everyone in how good it was, and Batman was one of the highlights from that movie. Considering that and the hilarious trailers we’ve received it’s a movie that could end up being the best animated film of the year – and there tends to be at least two animated movies that do well at the box office every year, so I’m hoping I’ve snagged one of them.
Dylan: I hope so! I’m a little apprehensive about it, I’ve only seen one trailer so far and didn’t rate it… But I’ve been wrong before!
Melissa: If people are not looking forward to The Lego Batman, then you are a sad, sad person.
Jareth: I’m picking Guardians Of The Galaxy 2. this reasoning is easy. I loved the first movie, now I’m exited for the second and I am ecstatic that this movie was still available this late in the draft. which shows how stacked this draft is with high potential movies.
Melissa: Oh F you Jareth!
Trent: You got one back on her Jareth. Seems we’ve got two rivalries brewing: Mel/Jareth and Trent/Dylan!
Dylan: It’s good that we have a couple of narratives lol
Jareth: I GOT HER BACK FOR POWER RANGERS!
Melissa: Ok so I’m going to go for a shameless ‘money only’ choice for my second last pick. And it is……. Fifty Shades Darker. I knew none of you guys would pick it hehe. It pains me to pick it, but let’s be honest: for every 1 person who hates the franchise, there’s about 10 people who love it. Since its big screen debut last year, the Fifty Shades brand has gained even more millions of fans, and the movie smashed the box office. Fifty Shades Darker is one of the most highly anticipated movies of 2017, and with a release date around Valentine’s Day, you know it’ll be successful regardless of the quality of film.
Dylan: Great choice, it was on my list as a back up as we approach the end but I’m glad I don’t have to wield it. How dirty does it feel selling out haha.
Melissa: haha oh I feel so horrible, such a bad taste in my mouth ahhahaa. But in all seriousness, apart from the superhero films it’ll be one of the biggest movies of the year I think (sadly), so I think it needs to be on the list!
Trent: I don’t think I could have picked it, that’d haunt me for weeks. Good to see this fun little battle is being taken seriously enough to make picks like this though!
After Round 3:
Melissa: Wonder Woman, Power Rangers, Kingsman 2, 50 Shades Darker
Jareth: Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean 5, Transformers, Guardians of the Galaxy 2
Trent: Fast 8, Spiderman: Homecoming, Planet of the Apes, The Lego Batman Movie
Dylan: Justice League, Dunkirk, Despicable Me, Ghost in the Shell
Melissa: This was the worst, honestly!! Last picks suck and there’s so many great films coming out next year that are yet to be picked 😥 But I’ve decided to go the unexpected route, with a movie that didn’t really cross my radar until yesterday (I had forgotten about it tbh). My final pick is…
Beauty and The Beast (live action). The social media reaction to the first teaser trailer says it all. The nostalgia. The score. The magic. There’s something about this live action version of Beauty and the Beast that excites me far more than Disney’s other live action attempts (cough Maleficent) so far. The casting of Emma Watson as Belle is perfection, and her star power equals more viewers. With the gorgeous teaser going viral online, I predict that this will hopefully win over the critics, definitely win over the box office, and most certainly win over fans hearts.
Jareth: That was the pick I wanted
Trent: The rivalry continues!
Jareth: I wanted to add to my Disney collection.
Trent: Nice final choice. Very curious to see how it goes, I’d presume with Watson in the role this should get a really strong marketing push leading into the release.
Melissa: Oh seriously Jareth? Hahaha I thought it was so random! I’d forgotten about it, and I watched the teaser yesterday and was like nope thats the one! It has all of the feels! I think it’ll actually be pretty good Trent! Here’s hoping
Dylan: Beauty and the Beast is a great choice, I think. With its basis being one of Disney’s most beloved undertakings there’s no reason why this shouldn’t dominate, especially when considering recent live action Disney adaptations like Jungle Book, and especially especially when it’s headed by Emma Watson
Jareth: With my last pick I am selecting Thor Ragnarok. This movie has been building up within the MCU for quite some time and will therefore either be a complete flop or a cinematic gem within this series. I am of course hoping for the later. This is Tom Hiddleston’s second large budget film of the year being released after King Kong: Skull Island. It is my hope that Skull Island does well and this assists sales to Thor Ragnarok.
Trent: I was wondering if it’d get picked up in the draft or not. The Thor movies have never really done much for me admittedly.
Dylan: I hope Thor Ragnarok is good but, like Trent, the series hasn’t done much for me overall. I liked the first one well enough but number two was, I think, the second worst *glares at Iron Man 3* film in the MCU. I like everything I’ve heard about Ragnarok sounds fantastic, but the same was true of Dark World too. Still, there’s no denying the magnetism of the brand!
Trent: Ok, I guess it’s time for me to make my final pick of the draft. I might not have been able to get Ghost in the Shell (thank you Dylan haha) but that won’t stop me from grabbing a Sci-Fi film with high risk/high reward value. Time for Cyberpunk to come back alive with the return of one of the seminal pieces of media for the genre – Blade Runner 2049.
Ryan Gosling. Jared Leto. Harrison Ford. The original writer on board and talented director Denis Villeneuve at the helm. The original has become a classic and if this gets the right treatment it could easily become the same. It might not be the biggest franchise out there but it’s got a loyal following and a setting/premise that could easily bring in solid box office numbers in 2017.
Dylan: When you put it like that it makes me hopeful Trent haha the director’s cut of the original was one of the first films I fell in love with when I started to realise I loved films, but the prospect of a sequel has had me nervous. But… With all those folks involved, it might just be able keep its throne.
Oki doki, so my pick was between two options. I decided against Logan and instead I’m going with John Wick: Chapter 2. The first one looked cool from trailers and was projected to make 7 million in its opening weekend. It was received very well by critics and consumers alike, doubling its projected opening weekend gross and with an overall take of 80 million it quadrupled its budget. John Wick: Chapter 2 continues the revenge thriller into its next iteration and, while sequels are always a risky bet, the team behind the original returns to deliver more of the same highly kinetic action, 90s era action one liners and laughs, and a delightfully self aware and meta narrative (only bolstered by re-teaming Keanu Reeves with his Matrix co-star Laurence Fishburn). I should also add that for a stand alone film the original provided an already sprawling mythology, it will be fantastic to dive deeper beneath the surface that was shown in the first
Trent: I don’t think I’ve heard anybody diss the first John Wick. I think quality wise you made the right choice between the two, but it’s always risky picking R rated movies when we’re talking box office numbers.
Melissa: That was one of the options I was tossing up for my last pick, so I’m glad it got on the list! Whilst risky box office wise, if the first one is anything to go by then the quality will be awesome!
Final Draft Results:
Melissa: Wonder Woman, Power Rangers, Kingsman 2, 50 Shades Darker, Beauty and the Beast.
Jareth: Star Wars VIII, Pirates of the Caribbean 5, Transformers 5, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Thor: Ragnarok
Trent: Fast 8, Spiderman: Homecoming, Planet of the Apes, The Lego Batman Movie, Blade Runner 2049
Dylan: Justice League, Dunkirk, Despicable Me 3, Ghost in the Shell, John Wick 2
So as you can see, it’s people like the four of us who are wrong with Hollywood haha. Of the twenty movies that were selected, precisely one of them wasn’t a sequel/remake, and honestly at this point in time Christopher Nolan is the exception, not the rule.
That being said, in the discussion afterwards a few more ‘original movies’ were thrown around as ones we were excited for/hopeful. Personally I am super pumped for ‘Mute’, which is Duncan Jones’ next movie which is scheduled for next year. The problem is, when faced with picking in this situation, with little to go off, you kind of have to bank on what’s a proven success. Which is a metaphor for the entire industry really. I want Mute to succeed. Hell I nearly picked it in the final round. But even if its the best movie of the year, it won’t do anywhere near the money a Transformers would (in fact I think it’s slated as a Netflix exclusive).
With all that said and done though, who do you think was right and who do you think was wrong. Are there movies we should have picked but didn’t? Let us know!