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

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    Illustration: Paola Delucca for Refinery29.

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    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: 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