Timeline of Greatest Film
Milestones and Turning Points
in Film History


The Year 2017

Timeline of Greatest Film History Milestones and Turning Points
(by decade and year)
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2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

The Year 2017
Year
Event and Significance
2017
For the most part, 2017 was an historically bad year at the domestic box office. The yearly box-office (domestic) was $11.06 billion, an approx. 2.7% dip from a record-setting 2016 (at $11.4 billion). Promising and costly titles such as The Dark Tower (2017), Justice League (2017), Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017), Baywatch (2017), King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017), and Universal's The Mummy (2017) fell far short of expectations. Various reasons were hypothesized for the slump: high ticket prices, sequel fatigue, disfavor with the movie-theatre experience, poor advertising, and a late-summer decline. However, one category of films that seemed to succeed was the family-oriented animated film (i.e., Despicable Me 3 (2017), Boss Baby (2017), Cars 3 (2017), and The Emoji Movie (2017)).
2017
There were a few summer hits (all super hero films: Wonder Woman (2017), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), and Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)), but there was a major slump in box-office returns during the season. August box-office plunged 35%. The summer movie season was the worst in recent memory, failing to gross $4 billion for the first time since 2006, reaching only $3.78 billion. On the domestic front, it was the worst summer season in a decade.
2017
Some studio executives and industry experts complained that box-office downturns for some films were partially attributable to the review-aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes. The site, owned by the movie ticket-selling site Fandango, had recently seen an upswing in growth and unique visitors each month within an important demographic that was making spending decisions. According to National Research Group, a movie industry consulting firm, 34% of American teenagers would check Rotten Tomatoes before buying a ticket, up from 23% in 2014. Two late summer releases in particular, Baywatch (2017) and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017), received low scores on the site and were deemed "Rotten!" And because Fandango was posting Tomatometer scores next to a ticket-purchase button, some protested that very poor RT scores for certain films inevitably doomed ticket sales and box-office performance.
2017
One bright spot was that the worldwide (or international) box office revenue continued to grow and was up 3% from the previous year, from $38.6 billion in 2016 (only 1 percent ahead of 2015) to almost $40 billion in 2017 - a new high.
2017
A number of challenges were bound to affect the movie industry: (1) younger audiences and millennials were more interested in streaming content over their iPhones or tablets - shifting viewing habits from the big to small screen, (2) DVD sales, pay-per-view buys and pay-TV licensing rights fees were declining, and (3) one of the major sources of financial backing and investment in the film industry, mainly from China, was now being restricted by government authorities. Venture capital was drifting away from the movie industry to other forms of popular entertainment (i.e., virtual reality).
2017
Writer/director and legendary film-maker George A. Romero, who essentially launched the modern zombie film sub-genre, died at the age of 77. His most influential film, influenced by Richard Matheson’s novel I Am Legend, was the low-budget, black and white, gory B-movie cult classic Night of the Living Dead (1968). It told about a group of people (with an heroic black male lead) trapped in a remote Pennsylvania farmhouse who became prey to a horde of slow-moving, ravenous zombies. Further zombie classics included the sequel Dawn of the Dead (1978) - a critique of consumerism, Day of the Dead (1985), Land of the Dead (2005), Diary of the Dead (2007), and Survival of the Dead (2009).
2017
Character actor Martin Landau died at the age of 89. In his career, he had three Oscar supporting actor nominations with one win -- Best Supporting Actor in director Tim Burton's Ed Wood (1994), for his role as the dying, once-famous screen vampire Bela Lugosi. He was also nominated for roles in Woody Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989) and Francis Ford Coppola's Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988). His first memorable role was as the villain's right-hand man Leonard in Alfred Hitchcock’s action suspense-thriller North by Northwest (1959). Landau's most famous non-widescreen role was in the late 60's TV's Mission: Impossible as Rollin Hand, a master of disguise.
2017
By the end of 2017, the Marvel Cinematic Universe continued to be a box-office leader among film franchises. With a total of 17 films, it had become the most successful movie franchise with a combined box office (domestic) revenue of $5.27 billion, and $13.5 billion (worldwide). In 2017 alone, the franchise broke numerous records - it crossed into new revenue (worldwide) territory with each new release: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) brought it over $11 billion, then Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) crossed $12 billion, and Thor: Ragnarok (2017) brought its totals to exceed $13 billion. It became the first film franchise to release three movies in one year that all made over $800 million (worldwide revenue).
2017
In 2017, Despicable Me (four films from 2010 to 2017) became the the highest-grossing animated franchise ever (at $3.7 billion worldwide), surpassing the Shrek 5-film franchise at $3.5 billion (worldwide). It also became the first animation franchise to have two films earn over $1 billion (worldwide) - Minions (2015) and Despicable Me 3 (2017).
2017
Tobe Hooper, the horror director best known for helming The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) and Poltergeist (1982) died in late August, 2017 at the age of 74.
2017
There were 724 movies released in North America. In 2017, almost 1.24 billion tickets were sold in the United States and Canada at an average ticket price of $8.97 each. The number of tickets sold fell by from 4% to 6% from the previous year. The total theatre ticket volume was about the same level as 1995, when there were 60 million fewer people living in the country.
2017
English actor Roger Moore who appeared in seven spy-action feature films (from 1973 to 1985, beginning with Live and Let Die (1973), and ending with A View to a Kill (1985)) as British secret agent 007 James Bond, died at the age of 89. At the time of his death, Moore was the longest-serving James Bond actor (a duration of 12 years), and the oldest actor to have played Bond (from age 46 to 58). He was tied with Sean Connery as the actor who played Bond in the most movies (7).
2017
Warner Bros.' It (2017) about a child-eating clown known as Pennywise was the first horror movie to make more than $300 million (domestic) at the box-office, at $327.5 million. It was the highest-grossing (domestic) R-rated horror film of all-time. Also, director-writer Jordan Peele's small-budgeted independent horror film Get Out (2017), with a budget of $4.5 million and box-office gross of $176 million (domestic), was the most profitable movie of the year, and had the highest-grossing original screenplay debut. A third horror-thriller about an extreme split personality, Split (2017) scored $138.3 million. Combined, the top three horror films: Get Out (2017), It (2017), and Split (2017) grossed $641.8 million (domestic), and when added to other popular horror films of the year (Annabelle: Creation (2017) at $102.1 million, Happy Death Day (2017) at $55.7 million, Saw's latest installment Jigsaw (2017) at $38 million, and Rings (2017) at $27.8 million), it was one of the biggest years ever for the horror genre, at approximately $865 million total.
2017
A few films bucked the trend of the massive blockbuster assault - and were critically-acclaimed and honored, such as writer/director Greta Gerwig's indie Lady Bird (2017), Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017), and the low-budget drama Wonder (2017) about a boy with a facial deformity that racked up $131.4 million (domestic). Even the raunchy R-rated sisterhood comedy Girls Trip (2017) performed well, but many others bombed.
2017
Although some film franchises continued to flourish, there were a few (now with multiple installments, sequels, reboots, etc.) that showed signs of weakening and were underperforming relative to their predecessors: Transformers: The Last Knight (2017) grossed (domestic) only $130.2 million (a significantly-lower gross when compared to the previous four films from 2007-2014), Ridley Scott's expensive next chapter in the Alien saga: Alien: Covenant (2017) had a domestic gross of only $74.3 million, with a production budget of $97 million, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017) - with a production budget of $230 million made only $172.6 million (domestic), much lower than its four predecessors. The DC Extended Universe's Justice League (2017), DC's answer to Marvel's The Avengers (2012), also suffered in comparison. Although its domestic box-office was $228.6 million, that was a much lower total than the four previous films in the series-franchise, and it was expensive to produce.
2017
Wonder Woman (2017), a superhero movie from Warner Bros. and DC Comics and directed by Patty Jenkins, became the biggest blockbuster ever directed by a woman. (Jenkins was also the second woman to ever direct a movie with a $100 million-plus budget. The first was Kathryn Bigelow for K-19: The Widowmaker (2002).) It scored a $103.3 million debut in its first opening weekend. [Note: The previous record holder, Sam Taylor-Johnson's Fifty Shades of Grey (2015), opened with $85.2 million.] Jenkins, who previously directed Monster (2003) starring Charlize Theron, became the record holder for the biggest domestic opening for a feature film by a female director, and the first to top the $100 million mark. It was the first superhero film directed by a female. It became the # 3 box office hit (domestic) of the year at $412.6 million, third only behind two Buena Vista films: Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017), and Beauty and the Beast (2017). It was remarkable that it took almost 40 years since the end of the Wonder Woman TV show (with Lynda Carter) (that aired from 1975 to 1979), to bring the character to the big screen.
2017
Co-writer/director Lucia Aniello's R-rated comedy Rough Night (2017) starring Scarlett Johansson, was the first R-rated studio comedy directed by a woman in almost 20 years (the previous film was female director Tamra Davis’ crime-comedy Half Baked (1998)).
2017
In 2017, there were 15 new studio releases from female directors and co-directors. Of those, female-directed features pulled in a massive $1.2 billion take at the global box office. The three top-grossing films featured women in lead roles: Daisy Ridley in Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017) at $620.2 million, Emma Watson in Beauty and the Beast (2017) at $504 million, and Israeli actress Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman (2017) at $412.6 million. It had been many decades since the same feat had been accomplished - some claimed since 1958's trio of female-led films: Mitzi Gaynor in South Pacific (1958), Rosalind Russell in Auntie Mame (1958), and Elizabeth Taylor in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958).
2017
Despite hits like Wonder Woman (2017) and Girls Trip (2017), female representation onscreen actually dropped in 2017. According to SDSU's Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, females comprised 24% of protagonists featured in the 100 top-grossing (domestic) films of 2017, a decline of 5% from 2016.
2017
Beauty and the Beast (2017) became the highest-grossing PG rated film of all time at $504 million, beating out Finding Dory (2016) at $486.3 million.
2017
DVD sales were shrinking - total consumer spending on DVDs fell by 39% compared to 2016. The top DVD sold in 2017 was Trolls (2016) (at $31.8 million). In comparison, each of the top 3 DVDs sold in 2016 outsold it: Zootopia (2016), Deadpool (2016), and Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens  (2015).
2017
AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., the world’s biggest movie theater chain owner, reported a bleak financial outlook for 2017, due to declining domestic box-office revenues and ticket sales in the film industry, especially in the third quarter of 2017. Increased consumer access to movies anywhere (digital subscriptions) and via on-demand services, changing movie consumption, and a shrinking of theatrical release windows resulted in a major decline in movie-theatre attendance. Overall, shares of movie theater operator AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. plunged 53.1% in 2017. Declines in revenue also affected three of the other largest North American movie theatre chains: Regal Entertainment Group, Cinemark Holdings and Cineplex.
2017
At this year's Cannes Film Festival, Sofia Coppola's Civil War remake The Beguiled (2017) won Best Director. Thus, she became the second woman to win that honor (the first was Yuliya Solntseva for the war drama The Story of the Flaming Years (1961, Soviet Union) (aka Povest plamennykh let)).
2017
The much-loved primary host of the cable channel Turner Classic Movies (TCM), originally a competitor to American Movie Classics (now AMC Networks), Robert Osborne, died at the age of 84. All of his life, he had promoted an interest in movies, the Academy Awards and classic films. In particular, his "The Essentials" weekly film series highlighted some of the best films ever made.
2017
One of the most influential producers in the film industry, 65 year-old Harvey Weinstein, fell from his position of power and influence due to allegations of sexual harassment, misconduct and predatory behavior. Miramax (co-founded by Harvey Weinstein and his brother Bob in 1979) was the most influential film company in the 1990s, with many classic and Academy Award-winning films including The Crying Game (1992), Clerks (1994), Pulp Fiction (1994), Best Picture winners: The English Patient (1996), Shakespeare in Love (1998) and Chicago (2002), Good Will Hunting (1997), and Gangs of New York (2002). Then, their subsequent Weinstein Company produced other winning-films including Blue Valentine (2010), Best Picture winners: The King's Speech (2010) and The Artist (2011), Django Unchained (2012), Silver Linings Playbook (2012), and Carol (2015). His movies earned more than three hundred Oscar nominations (29 films received Best Picture nominations under the Miramax or Weinstein Co. banner), and many won many top awards. The charges against Weinstein reflected a long history of sexual abuse inflicted upon many female performers (A-listers and foreign film stars) and others employed (or hopefuls) by the company. After Weinstein was removed as a member of AMPAS by expulsion, questions were also raised about others in the Academy with questionable status: including convicted sex offender Roman Polanski, Bill Cosby, and Dustin Hoffman. And others came under scrutiny, including Hollywood writer-director James Toback, and actor Kevin Spacey. Later in the year, producer Harvey Weinstein was fired from The Weinstein Company, and faced serious criminal and civil charges.
2017
MTV became the first major awards show to adopt gender-neutral categories. During their annual Movie and TV awards ceremony, Emma Watson accepted MTV’s first gender-neutral acting award - Best Actor for her role in Beauty and the Beast (2017). Although the change was hailed as a commendable step forward by many, others predicted that chances were unlikely that gender-neutral categories would spread to more prestigious film acting awards, such as the Golden Globes or the Oscars. It would be unusual to reduce four acting categories down to only two (with the opposite effect of actually reducing the possibility of women winning the award), and some felt that other Hollywood organizations were not yet ready to recognize men and women as equal in acting.
2017
According to Forbes, Emma Stone was the year's highest-paid actress with $26 million, thanks to her Oscar-winning performance in La La Land (2016). Jennifer Lawrence - who was the highest-paid actress in both 2015 and 2016 moved down the list to the # 3 position at $24 million. In second place in 2017 was Jennifer Aniston at $25.5 million. The highest box-office grossing actor in 2017 was Vin Diesel with $1.6 billion at the box-office (domestic), mostly due to his roles in xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017) and The Fate of the Furious (2017). The highest-paid actor (worldwide) in 2017 was Mark Wahlberg with a paycheck of $68 million.
2017
In one of the biggest showbiz mergers of all time, Disney purchased 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion (in stock). The deal was valued at $66.1 billion including debt. It was part of Disney's plan to acquire more content for a future launch in 2019 of its own subscription, stand-alone streaming service that could compete with Netflix. Some of Fox's acquired assets included Fox's movie studios, the National Geographic Channel and FX, Asian pay-TV operator Star TV, and Fox's stakes in Euro satellite broadcaster Sky (39%), Endemol Shine Group (50%) and Hulu (30%), as well as 22 regional sports networks. It was noted that Disney's content (including its very popular animated features, Marvel and Star Wars films) would now be supplemented by Fox's X-Men, Alien, The Fantastic Four, Avatar and Predator franchises in addition to TV shows like The Simpsons, Family Guy, Modern Family, How I Met Your Mother and The X-Files. It was also hypothesized that the number of studio releases would likely shrink due to the absorption.
2017
People were watching less TV and going to fewer theatrical movies. By the end of 2017, it was estimated that 22 million US adults were cord-cutters who had canceled their traditional pay-TV (cable and satellite) services. According to researchers (as reported in Variety), that figure was up 33% from 16.7 million in 2016. And the number of "cord-nevers" (consumers who never subscribe to pay TV) was predicted to rise 5.8% this year, to 34.4 million. In 2017, approx. 196.3 million US adults had pay-TV services, but looking further out to the year 2021, that number would decline to 181.7 million. Overall by 2021, around 30% of American adults wouldn't have traditional pay TV. One of the big winners as a result of these changing trends was Netflix - the booming streaming service had also invested heavily in creating its own individual content, and had dramatically increased its subscriber base across the globe, with more cost-effective alternatives to moviegoing.
2017
Disney-Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017) opened with a $220 million weekend at 4,232 North American sites - at the time, the second-highest opening weekend of all time. It was second only to its predecessor in the franchise, Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) at $248 million.
2017
Of the leading film studios in the US and Canada in 2017, Buena Vista/Disney accounted for 21.8% market share of the total box office gross in North America (at $2.4 billion).
2017
Jerry Lewis, nicknamed "The King of Comedy" - the legendary entertainer, comedic actor, and director (known for his long-standing set of films with Dean Martin from 1949 to 1956, and his own works including The Bellboy (1960) and The Nutty Professor (1963)) died in late August, 2017 at the age of 91.
2017
Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (2017, India) became the first Indian film to earn about $220 million (domestic). [Note: It also earned $270 million (worldwide).] Another Indian film, Dangal (2017, India) became the highest-grossing (worldwide) Indian film of all time, at $300 million.
2017
The action film Wolf Warrior 2 (2017, China) was the first non-Hollywood film to be listed on the Top 100 box office (worldwide) hits of all-time, with a worldwide gross of $870 million. It became the highest-grossing Chinese film ever released, to date.
2017
68 year-old Meryl Streep acquired her 21st Academy Award nomination (a significant record), for her role as Washington Post publisher-heiress Katharine Graham during the Vietnam War-era at the time of the Pentagon Papers scandal, in Steven Spielberg's political thriller The Post (2017).
2017
88 year-old Christopher Plummer received his third Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his role as oil tycoon J. Paul Getty in director Ridley Scott's crime thriller All the Money in the World (2017). With this nomination, Plummer became the oldest person ever nominated for an acting Academy Award, a record previously held by the 87-year-old Gloria Stuart for Titanic (1997).
2017
63 year-old Denzel Washington became the most nominated black actor of all-time, when he received his eighth performance nomination of his career, for his title role as a lawyer in writer/director Dan Gilroy's legal drama Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017).
2017
The TV telecast of the Oscar (AMPAS' Academy Awards) presentations appeared to be an all-time low rating (at 18.9), 16% lower than last year’s 22.4 rating (marking a 9 year-low point), and well below the previous low ratings point - the 2008 telecast (at 21.9). In terms of viewership numbers, there were 26.5 million viewers (in the previous year, there were 32.9 million). Almost all of the awards were highly predictable and expected.
2017
The Shape of Water (2017) became the tenth film in Oscar history to earn 13 nominations. The current record of 14 nominations was held by only three films, All About Eve (1950), Titanic (1997) and La La Land (2016).
2017
Mexican film-maker Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy romance The Shape of Water (2017) had 13 nominations and 4 Oscar wins - Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Score, and Best Production Design. The whimsical tale was about a fanciful romance between a mute cleaning woman (Sally Hawkins) and a misunderstood, imprisoned amphibious, mutant man-monster (Doug Jones) in a laboratory. It was the highest-grossing (domestic) Best Picture winner in five years, at $57.4 million at the time of the award. It was only the second movie with a credited female screenwriter (Vanessa Taylor with co-writer Guillermo del Toro) to win Best Picture since World War II. [Note: The first film was The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) - co-written by two female screenwriters: Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens.] The R-rated feature (with sexual content, graphic nudity, violence and language) was the sixth consecutive Best Picture winner with this rating, beginning with Argo (2012).
2017
From 2013 to 2017, Mexican film-makers (Guillermo del Toro, Alejandro Inarritu, and Alfonso Cuaron) have won Oscars for Best Director in four of the five years. Del Toro became the third Mexican-born filmmaker to win the award.
2017
Writer/director Jordan Peele's sleeper hit and horror film Get Out (2017) (with 4 Oscar nominations) received one memorable Oscar - for Best Original Screenplay, the first for an African-American nominee. He was the first black filmmaker (and the third filmmaker of all time, after Warren Beatty and James L. Brooks) ever nominated for the trifecta of directing, writing, and producing in the same year for his debut feature film. Peele's nomination for Best Director made him the fifth black director ever nominated for the Oscar.
2017
Also, 89 year-old James Ivory, a four-time nominee and well-known for his Merchant Ivory Productions and acclaimed British period films, finally won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, marking him as the oldest Oscar winner to date.
2017
Disney continued its Oscars dominance, as Pixar’s Coco (2017) was honored as the Best Animated Feature Film - Disney’s sixth straight victory in the category. It was the first Animated Feature Film winner with a Latino protagonist.
2017
Greta Gerwig became the third American woman nominated as Best Director and only the fifth woman nominated in the category for her Best Picture-nominated Lady Bird (2017). In fact, she was also the first woman to be nominated as Best Director for her solo directorial debut.
2017
Roger Deakins took home his first Oscar for Cinematography for the sci-fi sequel Blade Runner 2049 (2017) after fourteen nominations (in some of the most classic films ever made from 1994 to 2017, a period of 23 years). He had been nominated 13 times for an Oscar for Best Cinematography without a win — an Academy record. Competing in the same category, Rachel Morrison was the first woman ever nominated for the Cinematography Oscar, for Mudbound (2017).
2017
Netflix won its first Oscar for a feature film: Icarus (2017), in the category of Best Documentary Feature. It told about systematic Russian doping at the Olympics.


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