There’s a common complaint about Hollywood’s current output of movies: no one has any original ideas anymore. It seems like every year we get more sequels, more reboots, and more comic book and YA adaptions, all of which inevitably rule the end of year box office lists.
It’s true that Hollywood tends to favor material that comes with a built-in fan base, but that doesn’t mean there’s not still room for original films to make their mark. In 2015 we saw such films as Inside Out, San Andreas and Spy hit it big despite having no source material.
Sometimes all it takes to make a hit is a solid cast, an interesting plot, or a strong trailer. Even though films like Batman V Superman and Captain America: Civil War will inevitably sit at the top of the box office by year's end, 2016 has a healthy dose of fresh ideas that could surprise.
Just so we’re all on the same page, let’s go over what we can consider original material. For the sake of this article original films are ones that are not connected to established franchises (reboots, remakes, sequels, prequels), not based off an existing piece of work (book or comic book adaptions), and not interpretations of real-life events (“based on a true story” or biopics).
With those rules in place, let’s look at this year’s original films that could be big hits.
12. The Accountant
Ben Affleck certainly isn’t in need of a big film for visibility in 2016 since he’ll already be appearing in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and The Suicide Squad. But it seems he’s keen to try his luck at box office glory outside of the Batsuit.
The Accountant is directed by Gavin O’Connor and written by Bill Dubuque, who penned the Robert Downey Jr. courtroom drama, The Judge. The plot, according to IMDB, follows “a forensic accountant [who] un-cooks the books for illicit clients”. Aside from Affleck as the titular numbers nerd, the impressive cast includes rising stars like Anna Kendrick and Jon Bernthal, as well as amazing character actors like Jeffrey Tambor, JK Simmons and John Lithgow.
While the available plot is a little vague, the cast and filmmakers are the real draw here. O’Connor is a talented director most known for the excellent, if underrated, Warrior. Although he hasn’t had a real hit at the box office, having Batman headlining his film should help. As for Affleck, he’s been smart at picking acting projects recently, outside of the DCU, and he does well playing mundane men thrown into extraordinary positions (Changing Lanes, The Sum of All Fears).
We’ll have to wait and see if he’s regained enough star-power to carry a movie on his own, or if he’s doomed to wear a cowl and cape forever.