The 8 biggest surprise hit films of 2016

  • The 8 biggest surprise hit films of the year

In the year of 2016, we've seen some good films and we've seen some bad films. We've seen some films that we thought were going to be good, but turned out not to be.

And here are the films that came to cinemas with fairly low expectations, and turned out to be some of the best and most profitable films of the year...

8. Me Before You

The adaptation of Jojo Moyes novel, Me Before You had teenage girls sobbing in the cinemas with its Nicholas Sparks-esque tale of romance, disability and loss.

Game of Throne's Emilia Clarke plays a small town twentysomething who finds a job as a caregiver for a paralysed young man and the pair fall in love.

The film's handling of a sensitive topic was criticised, with activist groups stating that the film indicated that people with disabilities were a burden. Despite that, Me Before You managed to gross $200 million worldwide - over ten times its budget.

7. The Conjuring 2

The first instalment of the paranormal investigating horror grossed over $318 million worldwide, making it one of the highest-grossing horror films of all time, so a sequel was inevitable.

Fresh from banking over $1bn with Furious 8, James Wan returned for the sequel, which saw the paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren travel to Enfield, in North London, to investigate a council house suffering from an especially lively poltergeist.

In a time where high-profile horror sequels usually disappoint, The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Horror, delivered a terrifying follow-up to the original, and grossed $320 million - beating the first movie by a couple of million dollars.

Click here to read our review

6. Sausage Party

What originally started out as Seth Rogen and his writing partner Evan Goldberg coming up with ridiculous movie titles, it took eight years for the pair to get the movie - which was turned into the first ever R-rated 3D animation.

The story of Frank, a hot dog who discovers the horrors that befall his food friends when they leave the grocery store, a goes on an epic voyage to get back to the store to warn his fellow edible buddies.

Despite reports that animators were forced to put in long overtime in poor conditions without pay, the film impressed audiences and critics even more than expected and grossed over $140 million, earning back its budget seven times over.

Click here to read our review

5. Don’t Breathe

Uruguayan filmmaker Fede Alvarez, who directed the 2013 remake of Evil Dead, decided to write and direct an original, suspenseful horror as a result of criticisms he faced from Evil Dead reviews about its overuse of blood and cheap scares.

The story sees a trio of thieves breaking into the house of a blind man who they are told has $300,000 in cash inside; but when they enter they house, they discover that the blind man is a lot more dangerous than the thieves expected.

Alvarez's vision of an (of sorts) anti-Evil Dead, was widely praised for its tension and its ability to terrify audiences with a relatively simple, yet relentless storyline, and earned over $150 million on a budget of less than $10 million.

4. 10 Cloverfield Lane

Springing out of nowhere, 10 Cloverfield Lane was announced mere weeks before it arrived in cinemas, as during the shooting of The Cellar, producers - including J.J. Abrams - noted similarities between it and 2008 found footage sensation Cloverfield.

Abrams decided that they should turn it into "a blood relative" or "spiritual successor" of Cloverfield, and it was kept under wraps so effectively that even stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher, Jr. weren't told the plan until a few days before the rest of the world.

Jon Goodman delivered a chilling, menacing performance that helped to make it a super-tense, edgy thriller that wowed fans, grossed over $100 million worldwide and became a surprise hit just as much as the original.

3. Bad Moms

It hasn't been the best year for comedies, with the likes of Bad Neighbours 2, Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates and Bad Grandpa failing to raise a chuckle, but one or two tremendously funny films have stood out.

Mila Kunis' tale of an overworked, underappreciated mother falling afoul of an elitist PTA, and with the help of her two friends (Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn) blowing off some steam.

Smart, funny and very enjoyable, it's no surprise that it made nearly $180 million on a budget of $20 million.

Click here to read our review

2. The Nice Guys

Lethal Weapon writer Shane Black went with his tried-and-tested formula when he wrote and directed the buddy crime action-thriller The Nice Guys, about a pair of private detectives in 1970s Los Angeles.

Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe delivered wonderfully funny performances as the chalk and cheese pair who are forced to work together to solve the death of a fading porn star.

While it didn't break the bank during its theatrical run, the word-of-mouth spread as latecomers enjoyed the winding, action-packed story, and many have justifiably labelled it one of the best films of 2016.

Click here to read our review

1. Deadpool

The biggest success story of 2016 is the wise-cracking, fourth-wall-breaking, merc with a mouth Deadpool, completely surprising fans who had staked their money on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice or Captain America: Civil War being the biggest superhero films of the year.

The X-Men spin-off and Ryan Reynolds' passion project, was released to rave reviews and a fresh new take on the tried-and-tested superhero films, all of which helped it earn over $782 million worldwide.

Meanwhile, X-Men: Apocalypse fell well short of its expectations, and Fox are henceforth (and unsurprisingly) putting their focus into Deadpool for big screen bucks.

Click here to read our review

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