Can You Guess The Top-Grossing Movies Of 2016? (We Couldn't)

Illustration: Paola Delucca for Refinery29.
Predicting which movies are going to do gangbusters at the box office any given year is tricky business. Just because something looks good doesn't mean it won't tank. Conversely, just because something looks terrible doesn't mean that it won't be packed on opening night and beyond, in a way that makes you scratch your head and seriously wonder whether you have bad taste or if everyone else is just crazy.

So what are the factors that help shoot a movie to the top box-office tier? Beats me.

Okay, okay, that's a cop out. The truth is that it's a combination of things, not all of them measurable by marketing metrics. But since hindsight is 20/20, even if we can't perfectly predict which movie's ticket sales will soar, we can tell you which ones did in retrospect. So if you're curious to know which movies pulled in the most dough in 2016 (which is not, by the way, the same as saying that they're the ones you should spend money to see), click on. We've got you covered.

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The Film: Split

Summary: Three teenage girls are abducted by a man who suffers from multiple personality disorder. M. Night Shyamalan is BACK people.

Total Domestic Earnings: $98 million+ at time of publishing
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The Film: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Summary: You know the Star Wars drill: The fate of the galaxy is at stake, and only a select few who know how to use The Force have the potential to thwart the evil Empire's nefarious takeover. This time, featuring Felicity Jones.

Total Domestic Earnings: As 2017 kicked off, it was already clear we had a hit on our hands with this one. As of January 3, the movie had made $802 million across the globe.
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The Film: Dr. Strange

Summary: Dr. Stephen Strange loses both his hands in a car accident, and when medical doctors can't help him he turns to a less conventional, more magical brand of healing. But Dr. Strange quickly learns that the people who are helping him are also on the front lines of a battle with forces of evil. Ultimately, he must decide whether to continue his life as it once was or enlist in the fight against the most powerful sorcerer in the universe.

Total Domestic Earnings: $207,454,015+ at time of publishing
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The Film: Sully

Summary: Remember that heroic pilot who landed a malfunctioning commercial aircraft in the Hudson River and then got crucified for it, even though he actually saved the day? This is his story.

Total Domestic Earnings: $123,387,227+ at time of publishing
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The Film: Central Intelligence

Summary: The Rock's character used to be really heavy in high school, but now he's super fit, oh, and he's also in the C.I.A. But he really needs Kevin Hart's character to help him out with some accounting skills.

Total Domestic Earnings: $127,440,871+ at time of publishing
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The Film: Ghostbusters

Summary: Like the original, but new and improved and starring some of the funniest ladies Hollywood has to offer. Also, plenty of slime.

Total Domestic Earnings: $229,242,989+ at time of publishing
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The Film: Star Trek Beyond

Summary: Like all Star Trek films, but further than they've ever gone before. (Seriously, all these movies just wind up as one in my brain, so just watch the trailer if you really want to know how this edition is different.)

Total Domestic Earnings: $158,848,340+ at time of publishing
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The film: Jason Bourne

Summary: Yes, he's back. Again.

Total Domestic Earnings: $162,192,920+ at time of publishing
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The Film: X-Men: Apocalypse

Summary: You know...it's X-Men. But this time, there's a pending apocalypse.

Total Domestic Earnings: $155,442,489+ at time of publishing
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The Film: The Mermaid

Summary: So many genres, where to begin? This is a sci-fi fantasy rom-com about a playboy businessman who falls in love with a mermaid who was sent to assassinate him. Don't let the ridiculousness fool you; this was actually hilarious.

Total Earnings In China: $500 million + at time of publishing, making it the highest-earning film in that country, ever
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The Film: Finding Dory

Summary: Our favorite forgetful fish regains her memory and goes on a hunt to find her family. Yep, it makes sense that this was one of the best-performing films of 2016.

Total Domestic Earnings: $485,909,441+ at time of publishing
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The Film: Captain America: Civil War

Summary:
You know, just superheroes fighting super villains. The ushe.

Total Domestic Earnings: $408,084,349+ at time of publishing
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The Fim: Zootopia

Summary: A bunny heads to the big city to become a cop, but has to let go of her own biases about tricky foxes to solve her first case. (Honestly, there's a lot of important messages packed into this movie.)

Total Domestic Earnings: $341,268,248+ at time of publishing
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The Film: Jungle Book

Summary: This live-action version of the original animated classic is complete with "Bear Necessities" dancing and also Scarlett Johansson as a truly terrifying jungle snake.

Total Domestic Earnings: $364,001,123+ at time of publishing
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The Film: Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice

Summary: You can kind of figure this one out from the title, right?

Total Domestic Earnings: $408,084,349+ at time of publishing
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The Film: The Secret Life Of Pets

Summary: Disney's account of what our fuzzy buddies are up to after we humans leave the house for the day is also, a pretty heartwarming account of unlikely pup pals.

Total Domestic Earnings: $366,859,025+ at time of publishing
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The Film: Deadpool

Summary: A bounty hunter winds up becoming an accidental superhero who is less focused on using his powers for good than exacting revenge on the guy that made him immortal.

Total Domestic Earnings: $363,070,709+ at time of publishing
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The Film: Suicide Squad

Summary: A gang of dangerous and menatlly unstable super-criminals combine forces to take on someone even more evil than they are.

Total Domestic Earnings: $325,061,130+ at time of publishing
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