Will 2016 be a record year at the box office?


As screenwriter William Goldman once famously wrote: "Nobody knows anything ...Not one person in the entire motion picture field knows for a certainty what's going to work. Every time out it's a guess and, if you're lucky, an educated one." However, gambling movies, and casino ones in particular, do seem to have big box office appeal. Take the 2006 release of Casino Royale. This was the highest grossing movie of that year and the latest in a long line of popular films set in casinos, raking in an impressive $599 million dollars worldwide. It introduced us to Daniel Craig in his first of four outings to date as James Bond, and also gave us an indication of the things to come for the re-booted franchise.

The latest in the Bond cycle, Spectre, was released last year and made a very respectable $880 million worldwide but, along with the rest of the films that year, was blown to pieces by the long awaited release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens which took over $2 billion. So, this year, all of the major studios are hoping for another breakthrough hit that's going to set the box office tills ringing to a similarly impressive degree. Leading the way so far in 2016 is Deadpool with takings of over $760 million worldwide. Based on the Marvel comic of the same name, it stars Ryan Reynolds as a former Special Forces operative and its blend of action and irreverent humour certainly seemed to strike a chord with audiences everywhere.

Early 2016's other blockbuster release is another comic-inspired action movie - Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The DC Comics-inspired story also features the arch villain Lex Luthor and has an all-star cast including Ben Affleck, Henry Cavil, Amy Adams and Jeremy Irons. It was released at the end of March but received very mixed reviews which were reflected in the generally disappointing takings which fell far short of the $800-$900 million figures that Warner Bros. were hoping it would net. But what does the rest of 2016 have in store for us? Well the summer is traditionally the key time for the big releases to hit the silver screen and most of the studios have a contender waiting in the wings for us. First up is yet another in the seemingly endless line-up of Marvel Comics titles with Captain America: Civil War. This promises to be the biggest and best of the franchise to date, with a special trick up its sleeve - the introduction of Spider-Man. Whether it can do even better than Deadpool, only time will tell.

Harry Potter has gone down in cinema history as a fantastically profitable series of films which brought in over $7 billion in all, so the equally magical and mysterious Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is expected to be a big smash too. Written by J.K. Rowling, it's hotly tipped to take up where Potter left off. Last but not least, there's Disney Pixar's Finding Dory - the long-awaited sequel to 2003's Finding Nemo. With a stellar cast of voices, including Ellen DeGeneres, Willem Dafoe and Idris Elba, combined with the Pixar magic, anticipation is high and it could become the most successful animated move of all time. Only time will tell as to which one will emerge as the biggest success of 2016, but wouldn't it be nice if all the mighty of superheroes and supernatural creatures could be beaten by a funny little fish?

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