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The 2016 movie year may detonate stink bombs off in your head for the rest of eternity, but for as many disappointments as there were at the 2016 box office, there was another amazing film. There is no denying that last year had its fair share of subpar sequels, reboots, and cash grabs. However, 2016 actually had some extraordinary films, some of which will go down as some of my favorite films of all time.

There were different types of successful movies in 2016 with big blockbusters like Captain America: Civil War and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story expanding their connected universes, Doctor Strange and Arrival doing cool new things with special effects, and then you have a film like La La Land: A movie that came out of nowhere yet its success is still shining in 2017.

'La La Land' Was A Huge Success In Various Ways

This movie had a massive amount of hype around it when it was first released into theaters last month and has been blowing people away ever since. I waited a long time to see La La Land, but after finally seeing the movie last weekend, I totally regret how long it took me. La La Land is a piece of art that every movie fan should go out and see. Luckily, the world has noticed as the movie.

[Credit: Box Office Mojo]
[Credit: Box Office Mojo]

As you can see in the picture above, La La Land did something remarkable. La La Land had a limited opening weekend as it was only placed into five theaters. When it was put in 729 more theaters, it was obviously going to make more money than the previous weekend. The third weekend saw a 40.2 percent spike and the fourth weekend, the film had an astonishing 66 percent rise — and the movie only went into 16 additional theaters.

As we transitioned into 2017, the movie made more money in Week 5 and even more in Week 6. This past weekend finally saw a dip in La La Land's earnings over the box office, but it only saw a 42 percent decrease in sales. That is a number huge blockbusters strive to have in their second weekend at the box office. To put it in perspective, Captain America: Civil War had a 59.5 percent decrease and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story had a 58.7 percent decrease in their second weekends.

[Credit: Box Office Mojo]
[Credit: Box Office Mojo]

The image above displays the 27th to 37th highest domestic grossing films of 2016 and as you can see, La La Land ranks at number 32, which is pretty impressive considering all of the huge blockbusters that were released last year. The reason I specifically listed number 27 is because I believe that's most likely where La La Land will end up by the end of its theatrical run. If that is true, La La Land will have surpassed big blockbusters such as Arrival, Passengers, The Accountant, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Out of the Shadows, which is almost unbelievable.

Clearly, La La Land had a very successful box office run that's still rolling weeks later. The musical almost grossed $90 million in the United States and a surprising $84.5 million in foreign countries, bringing its worldwide total to $175 million. Let's not forget to mention that this project had only a $30 million budget.

La La Land's hype increased at the 74th Golden Globe Awards, where it broke the record for most wins. People were shocked when they found out that La La Land received a whopping seven nominations at last year's Golden Globes Awards — and then won them all.

Read more on the 74th Golden Globe Awards:

If you thought La La Land's success at the Golden Globes wouldn't transfer over to the Academy Awards — you'd be wrong. The film was nominated for 14 Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Original Score, Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing, and two more Oscars for two original songs: “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” and “City of Stars.”

Read more on the 89th Academy Awards:

La La Land breaks another record by receiving the most amount of nominations than any other movie besides Titanic and All About Eve, which also both received 14 nominations. For the hit musical to receive the most amount of awards at the Oscars on February 26th, La La Land would have to manage to earn a colossal 12 wins — The most Oscars bestowed upon a single film is 11, awarded to Ben-Hur, Titanic, and The Lord of the Rings' final installment: The Return of the King.

This is a record almost impossible to beat considering La La Land would only be able to lose one category (it was nominated twice for Best Original Song) and the 2016 Oscar race is filled with extraordinary films — but anything could happen at this point. Either way, don't be surprised when La La Land wins multiple awards next month.

Could This Lead To More Mainstream Success For Passion Projects?

[Credit: Lionsgate]
[Credit: Lionsgate]

As we've seen in the past, when a movie pulls off as much success as La La Land has, it usually starts a trend. For instance, the success of 2008's Iron Man showed the world that superhero movies can be made realistic and appeal to a general audience. From there, comic book movies have become the most popular genre at the box office and we keep getting spoiled with better superhero films every year. So what kind of trend could La La Land spark?

La La Land is clearly a passion project that wasn't made for the money (even though it definitely received some cash) but for the sole purpose of telling a good story, having some great visuals, and making a great film overall. Most of these movies nowadays seem to be swept under the carpet by the mainstream audience, but once in a while, a smaller movie will hit big. This is not saying that big blockbusters are never made with passion and love, but they are made with the general public in mind, and with bigger budgets. Of course, both types of films are amazing for various reasons, but it's refreshing when you watch a passion project like La La Land.

Given La La Land's success, it shows that passion filmmaking still means something to the general audience, which is great to hear for movie fans like myself who like a mix of blockbusters and indie films. Hopefully, this will inspire other filmmakers to come out with more original and creative content that stands apart from the norm.

However, not all passion films were noticed last year — Silence was a passion project that director Martin Scorsese was planning for 20 years yet when the film came out into theaters, it actually underperformed. However, this could have happened due to the fact that Silence isn't a film for everyone.

Even a huge movie fan such as myself didn't enjoy the movie. I believe that if a passion project is really amazing and generates a lot of hype, it will have no problem succeeding. Nonetheless, the fact that this is even a possibility is an extremely invigorating thought after a year similar to 2016 with a ton of lousy sequels and reboots. Maybe there is hope for Hollywood after all.

What do you guys think about La La Land's success? Will it spark a trend of more mainstream passion films? Discuss below!

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