Science Fiction Films

Top Ten Chart - 2017/18

Concatenation's annual calculation looking at the 52 British Isles (and Malta) weekly film (movie) charts up to Easter 2017 that accounts for only fantastic films (SF and fantasy).

Remember, this is the UK public's cinema theatre box office we are talking about, and not fantastic film buffs' views. Consequently below this top ten we have included at the end a few other worthies well worth checking out as well as (in some years) some warnings-to-avoid. Also note that this chart compilation calculation did not include DVD sales or spin-off product earnings, and our chart is also subject to weekly vagaries. (In some weeks most of the entries do not gross much but at other times (for example public holidays) overall box office takings are higher.) This means that the chart reflects on-going cinema attendance throughout the year and it is not a strict annual list of the year's high box office earners. Notwithstanding such small-print caveats, standby with the pop corn, here we go...


1. Paddington 2

(PG)

A mix of live action and animation of the marmalade-loving bear from Peru based on the books by Michael Bond. This spent one-and-a-half months in the top two positions of the weekly chart.  Family fantasy fun.  Trailer here.


2. Black Panther

(12A)

Marvel Comics' character. T'Challa, the King of Wakanda, rises to the throne in the isolated, technologically advanced African nation, but his claim is challenged by a vengeful outsider who was a childhood victim of T'Challa's father's mistake.  Had this chart been based on global box office take then, based on this performance, it would have easily been this year's number one.  Trailer here.


3. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

(12)

In a follow-up to the 1995 film (that had Robin Williams) in new Jumanji adventure, four high school kids discover an old video game console and are drawn into the game's jungle setting, literally becoming the adult avatars they chose. What they discover is that you don't just play Jumanji - you must survive it. To beat the game and return to the real world, they'll have to go on the most dangerous adventure of their lives, discover what Alan Parrish left 20 years ago, and change the way they think about themselves - or they'll be stuck in the game forever, to be played by others without break.  Trailer here.


4. Wonder Woman

(12A)

DC Comics action. Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when a pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers and her true destiny.  This we cited at the beginning (January) of 2018 as one of the best films of 2017.  This was subsequently (31st March) nominated to the short-list for a Hugo AwardTrailer here.


5. Thor: Ragnarok

(12A)

Thor is imprisoned on the planet Sakaar, and must race against time to return to Asgard and stop Ragnarök, the destruction of his world, which is at the hands of the powerful and ruthless villain Hela.  This was nominated to the short-list for a Hugo AwardTrailer here.


6. Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2

(12A)

Based on the Marvel mini-series, this is directed by James Gunn who co-wrote the screen play with the acclaimed Dan Abnett.  After saving Xandar from Ronan's wrath, the Guardians are now recognized as heroes. Now the team must help their leader Star Lord (Chris Pratt) uncover the truth behind his true heritage. Along the way, old foes turn to allies and betrayal is blooming. And the Guardians find that they are up against a devastating new menace who is out to rule the Galaxy.  Trailer here.


7. Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi

(12A)

Directed by Rian Johnson who also did the screenstory. The second in the re-boot trilogy that follows on from the original three films. Stars the late Carrie Fisher. Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) is found and makes a meal of contemplating answering Leia's appeal for help. Meanwhile her forces are decimated.  Very photogenic which, with the old favourites, helps make up for the weak plot.  This we cited at the beginning of 2018 as one of the best films of 2017.  This was nominated to the short-list for a Hugo AwardTrailer here.


8. It

(15)

Horror based on the Stephen king novel.  In the Town of Derry, the local kids are disappearing one by one, leaving behind bloody remains. In a place known as 'The Barrens', a group of seven kids are united by their horrifying and strange encounters with an evil clown and their determination to kill It.  Trailer here.


9. The Mummy

(PG13)

Fantasy horror. The latest Mummy re-boot spent over a month on the British Isles box office top ten; four weeks of which in the top three. As such it was enough to enable it to make our annual top ten.  Though safely entombed in a crypt deep beneath the unforgiving desert, an ancient princess, whose destiny was unjustly taken from her, is awakened in our current day bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia, and terrors that defy human comprehension.  Trailer here.


10. Kingsman: The Golden Circle

(15)

After the Kingsman headquarters are blown up by a psychotic criminal named Poppy Adams, the surviving agents find their way to an allied secret organisation based in Kentucky, named Statesman. The two agencies must now work together in order to save the world and take down the so called 'Golden Circle'  Trailer here.

 

And the worthies that slipped through the net...

Once again Hollywood dominates chart, the below is where you may find some worthy watching should you want to hire a DVD for the evening.

Blade Runner 2049 (15)
This only just missed getting into the British Isles, Easter-to-Easter year, box office top ten.  Thirty years after the events of the first film (based on the Philip K. Dick novel), a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what's left of society into chaos. K's discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.  Great plot. Superb photography. If renting or buying best to get it in high definition.  This we cited at the beginning (January) of 2018 as one of the best films of 2017.  This was subsequently (31st March) nominated to the short-list for a Hugo AwardTrailer here.

Early Man (PG)
Comedy from Nick Park, the creator of Wallace & Gromit. This model animation is set at the dawn of time, when prehistoric creatures and woolly mammoths roamed the Earth, Early Man tells the story of Dug, along with sidekick Hognob as they unite his tribe against a mighty enemy Lord Nooth and his Bronze Age City to save their home.  Trailer here.

It Comes at Night (15)
Horror and suspense.  Secure within a desolate home as an unnatural threat terrorizes the world, the tenuous domestic order he has established with his wife and son is put to the ultimate test with the arrival of a desperate young family seeking refuge. Despite the best intentions of both families, paranoia and mistrust boil over as the horrors outside creep ever-closer, awakening something hidden and monstrous within him as he learns that the protection of his family comes at the cost of his soul.  Trailer here.

Kong: Skull Island (12A)
Monster adventure.  Yes, we had this in the 'other worthies' last year but it overlapped Easter into this Easter-to-Easter chart: it spent five weeks in the weekly, British Isles top ten cinematic box office chart.  It is a modern set- re-boot of the classic 1933 film. A diverse team of explorers is brought together to venture deep into an uncharted island in the Pacific—as beautiful as it is treacherous—unaware that they’re crossing into the domain of the mythic Kong.  Much giant ape and humongous monster mayhem.  Trailer here.

The Shape of Water (15)
Fantastical romance.  Directed by Guillermo del Toro.  An otherworldly fable set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1962. In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of isolation. Elisa's life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment of a strange aquatic creature.  This was nominated to the short-list for a Hugo AwardTrailer here.

Spider-Man Homecoming (12A)
Yes, this is another Marvel Comics super-hero offering, but it is rather fun and although the third recent re-boot of the franchise it mercifully does forgo the origins story, which we have had three times.  Peter Parker is exploring the concept of becoming an Avenger. Tony Stark tries to help Peter, but he does not have total faith in Spider-Man to become a hero. And so Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man sets off to prove he is worthy to become an Avenger!  Director: Colm McCarthy.  Trailer here.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (12A)
SF action.  Now, while this is not brilliant, it is above average. It is also directed by Luc Besson (who did Lucy and The Fifth Element). It is also based on the French graphic novel Valérian and Laureline by Pierre Christin and artist Jean-Claude Mézières.  A dark force threatens Alpha, a vast metropolis and home to species from a thousand planets. Special operatives Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.  Trailer here.

 

 

See also our selection of best films of 2017 (January - December) as opposed to the year to Easter 2016 - Easter 2017 box office chart above. This personal selection is in our Spring 2018 news.

For forthcoming SF film premieres then see the Concat' Science Fiction diary.

For forthcoming SF film news then see our seasonal Science Fiction news page and its film section.

If you really are into Science Fiction then check out this site's What's new page for our full list of recent postings of news, reviews, diary articles and loads of other stuff.

 


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