Gal Gadot in "Wonder Woman" (DC Entertainment, Inc.)

These are the top-10 grossing movies of summer 2017 at the U.S. box office

It's been a down year for the domestic box office, especially for franchises, but standalone films have had success


Taylor Link
September 2, 2017 7:00PM (UTC)

2017 has been a rough year for the film industry, with the North American box office suffering its lowest-grossing summer in 25 years, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Ticket sales are down 10.8 percent this summer and have decreased by nearly 3 percent year to date. Box office flops such as “The Mummy” and “Baywatch” have hurt Hollywood, but there have been some movies this year that have experienced success.

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With Labor Day upon us, now might be a good time to observe summer 2017's top-grossing movies at the domestic box office.

10. "Girls Trip," July 21, $109,007,055
"Girls Trip" was an undeniable box office success. The female-driven comedy boasted an all-star cast featuring Regina Hall, Tiffany Haddish, Jada Pinkett Smith and Queen Latifah. With a budget of just $19 million, "Girls Trip" pulled off the impossible as it opened alongside juggernaut "Dunkirk."

Director Malcolm Lee said the movie's profitability was due in part to "black girl magic." "Black girl magic is real — people want a piece of it, they want to see it, they want to be empowered by it," he told The Hollywood Reporter.

http://twitter.com/girlstripmovie/status/893516917742354432

9. "Transformers: The Last Knight," June 22, $130,168,683
Say what you want about the "Transformers" franchise, but its movies know how to make money. Domestically, however, "The Last Knight" was a box-office bomb. While the movie has made over $600 million worldwide, the fifth installment of the "Transformers" franchise only grossed $130 million in North America. Mark Wahlberg, who made his return to the series, is likely not complaining, as he just became Hollywood's highest paid actor.

http://twitter.com/transformers/status/885544354919710721

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8. "War for the Planet of the Apes," July 14, $143,147,351
Like "Transformers," the rebooted "Planet of the Apes" franchise has also enjoyed commercial success. However, while "War for the Planet of the Apes" was critically acclaimed, the movie did not produce as strongly in the box office.

The movie's debut was able to beat out the second week of "Spider-Man: Homecoming," but tickets sales stalled shortly thereafter. The sci-fi drama faced quality competition this summer and shouldn't be considered a box office failure. It just failed to do as well as the first two movies in the franchise.

http://twitter.com/ApesMovies/status/891070785279803392

7. "Cars 3," June 16, $149,120,569
The first animated movie to crack the list, "Cars 3" was able to top the box office its opening weekend. It's also the 18th straight Pixar film that was able to earn over $100 million. In terms of the critics, "Cars 3" was considered a marked improvement over its predecessor. All is well in Pixar world.

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http://twitter.com/pixarcars/status/883729449539125248

6. "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales," May 11, $172,069,290
The "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise might be a shell of its former self, but it's still a rainmaker. The fifth installment of the franchise starring Jonny Depp as Jack Sparrow has grossed over $791 million worldwide. Indeed, despite its struggles with the critics, the movie had the 20th-best worldwide debut of all time, according to Deadline.

Domestically, Disney anticipated that "Dead Men Tell No Tales" was not going to do as well. The movie's predecessor, "On Stranger Tides," only saw 23 percent of its overall sales come from North America.

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http://twitter.com/DisneyPirates/status/901179337981927424

5. Dunkirk, July 21, $174,162,476
Christopher Nolan's war epic is not only an Academy-Award contender, it's made a mint. The highly-anticipated film earned over $50 million its opening weekend, topping all other films in 2017.

The decision to release the movie in July was a bit of a gamble. "Why open a period war movie in the middle of popcorn season?" Vanity Fair asked. Over $174 million is why.

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http://twitter.com/dunkirkmovie/status/893151728354250752

4. "Despicable Me 3, June 14, $255,340,195

The last animated movie on the list, "Despicable Me 3" did not let its franchise down. The "Despicable Me" series has a cult following of sorts among children, proving that popularity among kids is a strong driver of commercial success. The movie did not perform as well with the critics as its predecessors, not that anyone at Universal Pictures would complain.

http://twitter.com/DespicableMe/status/882282872224141312

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3. "Spider-Man: Homecoming," July 7, $320,076,475
The world welcomed another Spider-Man reboot this summer, to the delight of everyone. Part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, "Spider-Man: Homecoming" starred a much younger super hero, one who actually managed to top the first "Iron Man" movie at the domestic box office.

The kid-friendly adventure film smoked its competition, as "The Mummy" and "Transformers: The Last Night" failed to capture the hearts and minds of North American movie goers.

http://twitter.com/SpiderManMovie/status/888405720424562688

2. "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," May 5, $389,418,709
To no surprise, the "Guardians of the Galaxy" sequel raked in money this summer. The movie blasted pass the $300 million mark, earning more than its highly-popular predecessor. On opening weekend, the movie grossed $146 million, an impressive feat for a movie sequel. According to Forbes, "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" had the best-selling debut for a movie about superheroes not named Batman, Spider-Man or Iron Man.

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Starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista and Vin Diesel, the "Guardians of the Galaxy" franchise has officially become one of the highest grossing series ever.

http://twitter.com/Guardians/status/899990858702999552

1. "Wonder Woman," June 2, ($406,838,875)
"Wonder Woman" holds the crown thus far in 2017, and it's not even really close. Some doubted that a female-led superhero film could make bank, but "Wonder Woman" kicked ass regardless. The movie blew away fans, critics and the box office alike.

It was the most successful movie from the current DC slate and competed against the top five superhero movies of all time. Gal Gadot impressed as the Amazon Princess and proved she can anchor a blockbuster franchise all on her own.

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http://twitter.com/WonderWomanFilm/status/901474336409767936


Taylor Link

Taylor Link is an assistant editor at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @taylorlink_

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