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A look back in the year of film in 2016


12-06-2016 00:17 BJT

As 2017 is quickly approaching, we now take a look back at some of the biggest events in film this past year, including the Academy Awards and Cannes Film Festival, as well as Hollywood's highest-earning actor and actress, and the highest-grossing films of the year around the world.

2016 kicked off with diversity front and center in awards season.

As soon as the nominees were announced for Best Actor and other categories, the outrage began and the hash tag 'OscarsSoWhite' was born.

There were demonstrations and a number of leading names in entertainment, including Jada-Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee, announced that they'd be boycotting the key events including the Academy Awards themselves.

Despite the controversy, the awards went ahead and saw the often-Oscar-nominated-but-never-triumphant Leonardo DiCaprio secure his first gold statuette for Best Actor thanks to his performance in "The Revenant."

Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio

"What about it? Yeah, it feels amazing. Yeah, it is the first. Look, like I said, I'm just incredibly grateful, thank you," said Leonardo DiCaprio.

The Best Actress award went to Brie Larson for her performance in "Room." Other winners in the major categories included Alicia Vikander for Best Supporting Actress in "The Danish Girl," a Best Supporting Actor win for Mark Rylance in "Bridge of Spies" and Best Picture went to the Tom McCarthy directed "Spotlight."

With Ricky Gervais hosting The Golden Globes, controversy was assured. Matt Damon walked away with the award for Best Actor In A Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy for his performance in "The Martian" and the film also won Best Picture - Musical or Comedy - a decision that left many baffled as the film is neither a comedy nor a musical.

Other winners at the Golden Globes included Sylvester Stallone who took Best Supporting Actor for "Creed," a decision that courted further diversity controversy as the film's main star and the film's director were both African-American. Meanwhile, Kate Winslet secured a Best Actress win for "Steve Jobs."

This year's film festivals were also full of surprises and controversy.

In Cannes, British director Ken Loach won his second Palme D'or for his film, "I, Daniel Blake."

Meanwhile, "Birth Of A Nation," directed by Nate Parker, won both the Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance film festival.

At the Berlin Film Festival, Gianfranco Rosi received the Golden Bear for "Fire At Sea" about the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean off the Italian island of Lampedusa. At the Venice Film Festival in September, the coveted Golden Lion went to director Lav Diaz for "The Woman Who Left," a 226-minute Philippine drama about revenge and forgiveness.

However, it was director Damien Chazelle's "La La Land," which reunites Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, that generated the most buzz at Venice and even opened the festival. It is hotly-tipped for a swath of nominations in 2017's upcoming awards season.

In August, Forbes magazine revealed Hollywood's highest-earning actor and actress. For women, Jennifer Lawrence came out on top for the second consecutive year, having made $46 million over the previous 12 months which was due in part to the high success of "The Hunger Games" franchise, as well as a hefty upfront fee for the upcoming movie "Passengers."

The honor of highest-earning male in Hollywood went to Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson who made $64.5 million over the previous 12 months. The rise of the actor, whose Disney animated movie "Moana" was one of the year's biggest box office successes, knocked Robert Downey Jr. out of the top spot for the first time in three years.

Although the Hollywood box office year was littered with flops, misfires and critical-maulings, 2016 is set to finish ahead of 2015 in terms of tickets sales. While the Harry-Potter prequel "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," "Doctor Strange," "Moana" and "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" could cause a late upset come the end of the year, as of November, the Top 10 highest-grossing films of the year worldwide looks like this.

Top spot goes to "Captain America: Civil War," the Disney/Marvel movie that plays like an Avengers film but has Captain America at its heart, which took $1.1 billion globally.

Second, third and fourth place also belong to Disney movies, animated movies "Finding Dory" - the sequel to "Finding Nemo", and "Zootopia" and live-action reboot, "The Jungle Book". They took $1.03 billion, $1.023 billion and $966 million respectively.

In fifth place is Warner Bros' DC Universe movie, "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" which sold $873 million worth of tickets worldwide despite receiving poor reviews. "The Secret Life of Pets" took sixth place with $872 million, followed by 20th Century Fox's "Deadpool" which featured Ryan Reynolds in the lead role, which, with a take of $782 million, surpassed expectations.

Another maligned Warner Bros DC Universe movie, "Suicide Squad," takes eighth place in the top ten with  $745.6 million.

The final two spots in the top ten are likely to be taken by one of "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" - which has passed $500 million in just two weeks of release or Disney's "Doctor Strange" - which has secured almost $600 million in tickets sales. Coming in the final weeks of December is the eagerly anticipated "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" - a prequel that is expected to have an opening weekend in the region of $130 million.

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